STEMskiller: Skill Set Map for Mentors of Early Career Researchers

CAREER MANAGEMENT: Placement and job searching/seeking

[Non-academic positions]

Applying for non-academic jobs


Before applying to specific jobs, early career researchers should perform several steps prior to submitting any applications. First, mentees should conduct a search engine search on themselves using one’s name as a search phrase (e.g., “Sasha Smith”). Private sector Human Resources (HR) departments often do this in screening candidates even before looking at other materials. Mentees should check to see if there is any content online which might cause their application to be rejected (e.g., old social media photos or posts that do not present a professional image). Mentees should then prepare a resume, which can typically be used without customizing it for different organizations, and decide whether or not to create online profiles (with LinkedIn, other local portals). Mentees should find at least three trusted references (e.g., professors, managers at positions held before this job search) and let them know about position applications, so the references are prepared if a potential employers checks references by phone, email, or video conference. After finding a position or positions to apply to, mentees should create customized cover letters for each position. This does not mean simply changing the addressees on the cover letters, but it means tailoring each letter to the position being applied to. If possible, cover letters and resumes should be proofread at a local career center or by one to three trusted colleagues. Minor mistakes in spelling, grammar, and so on can lead to automatic rejection of an application.

Useful resources on Applying for non-academic jobs:

University of Southern California Career Center. (2022). Resumes/Cover Letters/Curriculum Vitaes.

Discussing resume and cover letter writing and provides annotated examples. Also provides example of a reference list and list of how U.S. resumes may differ from those in other countries—most notably, “Minimal personal info (no birthdate, picture, height, country of origin).”

Tags: CompQ

Peer Review: None

Table of contents: Applying for non-academic jobs


Author: Stephanie Krueger

Peer Reviewer(s): None

Last Updated: March 22, 2022


Editor: Jana Orlová Last modified: 24.5. 2024 08:05