As we get closer to July, vacations loom, and our thoughts run to the beach. Or to the mountains. Or to the World Cup. Or to anywhere but the lab. If you are enjoying a slower pace now, you can use this time to get in shape for a job search this fall.
1. Get your CV ready.
Keep your CV up-to-date. You might create a few different versions, depending on the types of jobs you intend to apply for in the fall.
2. Draft letters.
Again, depending on the kinds of jobs you might apply for, you can use time this summer to craft a few very strong letters. Tailor your letters to jobs you are considering. If you are still unsure of your plans, visit with a career counselor at OITE to explore different fields. If you have a few notions but aren’t sure how to write your letters, troll job listings, taking keywords and ideas from them and incorporating these into your letter. Edit your letters carefully, and share them with an OITE career counselor for an objective read.
3. Contact references for letters, etc.
Get in touch with your dissertation advisor, talk with your current PI, and contact other professionals who might serve as references for you. Let your references know what types of jobs you are considering for the fall. If you intend to apply for academic positions, you will need letters of recommendation on file. Find out about the costs of holding a file of letters at your graduate institution, open a file, and send the details to your references.
4. Network everywhere, all the time.
You may be planning to attend professional meetings this summer, or you may be staying close to home. Either way, it will serve you to consider every contact a potential networking contact. Whether you are visiting another lab on campus for a talk or going to a picnic with several other families, get to know people, and share your job search plans with them, if and when appropriate.
Finish up projects, draft papers, edit them carefully, and submit them. Your publication record still serves as valuable currency for your job search candidacy.
Using the time you have now will make for a less hectic, more productive fall. Get in shape today!