Grad Student Resources

As a current student, you have access to all of the services and resources, including Handshake, advising appointments, workshops, and career events.

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.

1. Assess how your graduate degree fits into your career plan.

  • What skills does your graduate degree help you develop?
  • Conduct industry and organizational research to help you identify related skills.
  • To help you get started exploring your long term academic career goals:
    • Explore ImaginePhD, a free online career exploration and planning tool for graduate students in the humanities and social sciences.
    • Beyond the Professoriate, a public benefit corporation with a mission to empower Ph.D.s to build impactful careers and engaged lives, wherever smart people are needed.

2. Build your network.

  • Cultivate relationships with your faculty, peers, colleagues, potential employers, and alumni. See Sonoma State Alumni on LinkedIn
  • Join professional associations and attend conferences in your field of interest. 

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. 

4. Attend professional events and conferences.

  • Annual Online Career Conference and Graduate Success Conference from Beyond the Professoriate
  • Virtual Career Fairs (Fall/Spring): Meet employers recruiting for full-time positions and internships across a variety of industries.
  • Career workshops: Topics include resume, CV and cover letter writing, interviewing strategies, job search strategies, and negotiation strategies.

Start Your Job Search

Upon completing self-assessment, career exploration, and developing related job search skills, you will most likely feel better prepared to conduct a successful job search. Below are resources to help you identify job opportunities in academia and beyond. Lists open positions at colleges and universities, academic and industry associations for Higher Ed Professionals, Conferences, articles featuring job search topics and resources for PhD’s and Postdoctoral resources.

American Association of Community Colleges: Job bank for community college job opportunities

Virtual 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. U.S. and international higher education job opportunities Find remote jobs for academics

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

Each graduate academic area has its own field with related associations and job resources. Search for your industry-specific resources. 

Resume or CV?

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


Purpose: To promote your unique qualifications 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 your accomplishments

Writing Your Resume

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

  • Resume Guide: Includes resume tips and samples for basic resumes for recent graduates
  • You will need more industry or field-specific information and may want to include a Research Section
  • Schedule a 1-1 Session with a Career Advisor for feedback and support

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

In the United States, a curriculum vitae (CV) is used for documenting and promoting scholarly and professional experiences when applying for academic (faculty),  research positions, academic postdoctoral research opportunities, grants, and fellowships. Based on reviewing your CV, an academic committee might choose to invite you to interview for available academic positions. Learn more and start writing your CV: