Graduate and Doctoral Student Resources

As current students, graduate students have access to all Career Center services and resources, including connectSC, 30-minute appointments, workshops and career events.

Business Cards

Currently enrolled graduate students may be eligible for USC business cards. To place an order, contact your department’s Senior Business Office (SBO).

Prepare for Your Job Search

Before you begin submitting applications, there are several important steps you can take to prepare for your job search and maximize your opportunities. Consider the following steps to help you build a foundation for your job search.

1.    Assess how your advanced degree fits into your overall career plan.

  • What skills does your graduate degree help you develop?
  • Conduct industry and organizational research to help you identify related skills.
  • If you’re not sure about your career goals, take a career assessment on CareerBeam, an online self-paced career management tool. To access CareerBeam, click on the “Resources” tab in connectSC.

2.    Build your network.

3.    Find a mentor.

  • As you network and meet other professionals, identify mentors who can provide career guidance. Your mentor(s) may help open doors once you embark on your job search. Join the Career Network to reach out to alumni working in fields of your interest for career advice.

4.    Investigate industry trends and recruiting schedules early in in your program.

  • Identify key skills and experiences you need to develop to stay competitive in the job market. Find opportunities to develop these skills as a student.
  • Seek out top employers that you want to work for and participate in recruiting events.

5.    Attend professional events and conferences.

  • Academic Careers Week (Fall): A week of academic job search workshops, such as CV writing, interviewing, and drafting your teaching philosophy/research statement.
  • Beyond the PhD: PhD and Postdoctoral Career Conference (Spring): This conference features breakout sessions on academic and industry career paths.
  • Career Fairs (Fall/Spring): Meet employers recruiting for full-time positions and internships across a variety of industries.
  • The Career Center offers workshops including resume, CV and cover letter writing, interviewing strategies, job search strategies and negotiation strategies.
  • Attend academic career workshops by the Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET) including CV Writing, Drafting Your Teaching Philosophy/Research Statement, Academic Interviews and more.
  • Explore school-specific career events. Contact your school-based career services office or academic department to inquire about upcoming events.
  • Professional associations often hold local and national conferences. Check your professional association’s website for the next upcoming event. Search for professional associations related to your discipline, on the Career Access Resource Library (CARL).

Start Your Job Search

Upon completing self-assessment, career exploration, and developing related job search skills, you will be equipped to conduct your job search. Below are resources to help you identify job opportunities in academia and beyond.

Academic 360: Academic job board for the US, Canada, Australia and UK

American Association of Community Colleges: Job bank for community college job opportunities Job board for life science PhDs and MDs

Career Fairs: Meet employers recruiting for full-time positions across a variety of industries.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Resources for those who are new to the academic job search including topics such as the current job market, CV advice, how to search for jobs, and interviewing advice. To review these articles, visit “First Time On the Market.”

connectSC: Search through thousands of job listings using search terms such as “PhD,” “Postdoc,” or industry terms to identify relevant positions.

Find A Post Doc: Job board dedicated to new and recently qualified PhDs U.S. and international higher education job opportunities

Inside Higher Ed: Source for higher education jobs, news, and career advice

National Postdoctoral Association: Job board and career development resources Job listings, career guides, and postdoc resources A free postdoctoral job board Nonacademic Career Resources: Articles on pursuing nonacademic careers

Professional Association Job Boards: Search on CARL for industry-specific resources and professional associations. Job board for postdoctoral and faculty positions

Versatile PhD: Forum to help humanities, social science, and STEM graduate students identify and prepare for non-academic careers. Accessible via connectSC under “Resources.” (For current PhD students only).

Transition from Academia to Industry

The following articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education offer suggestions to those transitioning from a career in academia & starting a new career in industry:

From Academe to Market
The Humanities PhD at Work
The Sweet Spot of a Nonacademic Job Search

Additional employment resources can be found via CARL (link to CARL).

Resume or CV?

As you apply for jobs, either a resume or CV may be requested. Use the following guide to help you identify key differences between a resume and a CV.

Purpose: To promote your professional identity when applying for private and public sector jobs

Length: 1-2 pages, depending on your experience and industry

Content: Highlight job related skills and relevant experiences. Focus on accomplishments

Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Purpose: To highlight your scholarly experiences when applying for academic or research positions

Length: 2-3 pages (additional pages can be added as you further your career)

Content: Highlight academic experiences, such as educational background, research, publications, awards/grants, and presentations.

Write Your Resume/CV

Please refer to the following links for resume or CV writing guides and samples:

Discover Campus Resources

Take advantage of the many on-campus resources you can utilize to support you through your job search and graduate experience, such as:

Beyond the PhD: PhD and Postdoctoral Career Conference
Offered in the Spring, this conference includes a keynote speaker, academic and nonacademic career panels, and roundtable sessions specifically tailored to PhDs and postdoctoral scholars

USC Graduate School
Provides academic support, thesis/dissertation resources, and fellowship information

Graduate School Blog
Offers articles on valuable resources, fellowship information, funding resources, professional development events, and tips on navigating educational policies and procedures

USC Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Access information on benefits/privileges, professional development workshops, blog, and information on academic policies and procedures for postdoctoral scholars

USC Postdoc Online Newsletter
Subscribe to the USC Postdoc newsletter here to stay up to date on postdoc resources and events

USC Postdoctoral Association
Represents all postdoctoral scholars on all USC campuses. Provides professional development, networking and social events. Includes a webcast archive of past events on applying and working in academia

USC Center for Excellence in Teaching
A university-wide, fellow-driven organization focused on enhancing teaching and learning. Offers workshops and online resources to improve pedagogy, professional development and academic job search resources.

USC Office of Research
The point of contact for participation and initiation of interdisciplinary university research programs, research proposal submission, and training on proposal preparation and funding strategies. Offers professional development resources for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

USC Center for Excellence In Research
A faculty-initiated center that promotes the advancement of research university-wide. Offers peer-to-peer proposal review service and research advancement workshops on topics such as grant-writing and fellowship applications.

Attend the Beyond the PhD and Postdoctoral Conference

“Beyond the PhD/Post Doc” is an annual conference designed to inspire and help students strategize for careers as future leaders in academia and industry. The event is co-sponsored by the USC Graduate School, USC Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, USC Postdoctoral Association, USC Graduate Student Government, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, USC Marshall School of Business Ph.D Program, USC Viterbi Graduate Student Association, and the USC Career Center.