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Jobs for PhD Graduates

Looking for graduate jobs and careers but no luck getting interviews? Here's 8 tips to quickly boost your job search results.

jobs for phd graduates

Job searching is a tedious and sometimes long process due to the sheer volume of qualified candidates applying to the same positions. If you're sending off applications but not getting results, it's a good idea to widen your job search strategy. Not only does this broaden your prospective employment opportunities, but it also gives you a better idea of exactly what jobs are available for PhD graduates.

Follow these 8 tips if you're looking for science or biology graduate jobs and careers after your PhD degree.

jobs for phd graduates

Magnify your job search

Candidates often make the mistake of limiting themselves to a couple of general job boards. If you haven't done so already, take a look at dedicated recruitment agencies specific to the industry you're applying to. These often post job opportunities not commonly found on other sites. Furthermore, make a list of potential companies you're interested in and bookmark the job board on their website - you may find opportunities you're missing out on!

Leverage your social network

Don't limit your job search to immediate work colleagues - they're probably in the same boat as you! Reach out to past acquaintances, advisors, and mentors to find hidden opportunities that aren't going to be advertised on an online job board. Your contacts can also help introduce you and get your foot in the door of a potential employer. If you're not sure who to contact, make use of social media platforms such as LinkedIn to find past co-workers who might be up to something interesting.

Tap into PhD resources

What many PhD students don't realize is that conferences are probably one of the best ways to secure a graduate job. First of all, you're meeting lots of other graduate students who are moving up and leaving academia to secure industry positions. Secondly, there's usually vendors or exhibitors present at conferences. Guess what, they're probably PhDs too and can give you valuable advice with your career transition, if not potential job opportunities outright. Develop your network as much as you can.

Broaden your scope

If you're mobile, it's always a good idea to look at international job boards. Not only do they include jobs for PhD graduates not commonly found online, but they often provide services and general help when moving abroad.

Set up informational interviews

Don't be afraid to contact employees in a company you're interested in and ask for advice! A 20-minute coffee chat can go a long way into securing your next position. Instead of asking for a job directly, set up a meeting to talk about the company's current offerings or projects, plans for the future, or the employee's personal career trajectory. It's always helpful to find someone with a similar background as a mentor.

Join professional organizations

If you have a broad idea of the industry you want to be working in, join organizations to get access to informational guides, content, and courses. These may also open up networking opportunities for you to take advantage of later on if you're looking for science or biology graduate jobs.

Optimize your applications

If you're sending off application after application but not getting interviews from prospective employers, your resume and cover letter may need an overhaul to get past applicant tracking systems and into the hands of hiring managers. If you've just used online resume templates or attended resume workshops, your application might be holding you back. If you're interested to see where you stand as an applicant, click here for a free resume assessment.

Reassess your keyword strategy

On a final note, keep an open mind and don't limit your search to particular keywords. For instance, only searching for "postdoc positions" or "jobs for PhD graduates" on general job boards may not give you a complete list of positions you're qualified for. Get ideas from job alert communications from various career sites. Remember, you're still exploring career options after your PhD - keep your options broad until something clicks!


As always, thanks for reading and I hope you found this useful. If you're interested in being one step ahead of other candidates in terms of your application, you may also be interested in some of our services, catered to candidates looking for science or biology graduate jobs.

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