Job Search Strategies

Graduate Job Search Strategies The job market outside of the academy is very different than the academic job market. That being the case, your approach to exploring the market will be different.

Diversify Your Search

The majority of academic positions are advertised. In the non-academic market, about 70% of positions are not. These unpublished or hidden positions are usually the most important target of your search.

Explore published opportunities.

  • Job search sites: Most published opportunities are listed on job search sites, along with job descriptions, titles and requirements.
  • Field-specific resources: Professional journals, major newspapers and their internet sites can be a good resource as well.
  • Direct requests: You may contact (or be contacted) by job search firms or agencies that have open positions. 



Examine search / recruiting firms.

Sometimes recruiters will market you to an organization even though there is not a published opportunity. Sending letters to organization marketing you can also lead to an interview. If considering a search firm, choose one that specializes in your discipline or industry, and be sure to do your due diligence into their approach and track record. 

Remember the hidden market.

Unpublished positions can take many forms:

  • Actual, but not yet advertised positions
  • Potential positions that may have been discussed, but not posted
  • Positions created to meet a need, a problem or a critical issue

Networking is the most important tool for uncovering the majority of "hidden" positions. By word of mouth, your contacts may be able to match you with an opportunity, especially as your career progresses.