Focus Your Search

Earning a graduate degree takes time, hard work and dedication—with the hope that, at the end, students will find a clear path to a fulfilling position. But things are never as simple as they seem. In today's economy, there are unique obstacles to job search success, especially if graduate students have not adequately prepared for the process. Reflect on "What's Driving Your Search?" to help FOCUS YOUR SEARCH to target the most beneficial resources based on your unique situation. Several categories/types of resources are listed below:

Strategy and Focus

  • Target & Utilize Best-Fit Resources: Reflect on what's driving your job search to discover and utilize targeted resources based on location, industry, interests, skills and values (see "Resource Types" below)

  • Comprehensive Search: Utilize resources that can work well together or fill in gaps. For example, when looking for contacts you can leverage alumni on Notre Dame's mentor platform Irish Compass, discover emails and more in depth information in the ND Alumni Association Directory, find how people are connected on LinkedIn, and search for emails of contacts in Career Shift.

  • Stay Organized: Manage your connections and opportunities by utilizing a systematic approach that works best for you.  This can be done through an Excel file or other methods that best fit your approach. See an example "Job Tracker" Excel File with several tabs that utilize different approaches such as the LAMP Method (From "The 2-Hour Job Search")

  • Promoting Your Value: Showcase your experiences, skills, interests, values and overall value through applications, networking and more. Reflecting on your background utilizing resources such as the "Career Readiness" competencies (NACE - National Association of Colleges and Employers), specific industry standards (Ex. Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators), and the "T-Shaped" Professional can prepare you to adjust your approach efficiently and effectively

Resource Types

Notre Dame Specific Resources

Job boards, networking, mentoring and career resources for Notre Dame students and alumni

  • Irish CompassConnect with alumni who have opted in to support ND students and alumni with a wide variety of career development topics, including job search. Includes a job board exclusively for graduate level students
  • Notre Dame Alumni DirectoryDiscover information you can't find anywhere else through Notre Dame's largest directory
  • Go IRISH: Employer information, job postings, events, and more from those who want to specifically hire Notre Dame students
Employer/Organization Directories

Find employers and organizations across the globe by a variety of criteria in every career field and industry

  • Reference USA: Search for over 53 million organizations in every industry based on a variety of in-depth criteria. Search by specific codes such as SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) and NAICS (North American Industry Classification System)
  • Career ShiftDiscover employers and contact information of employees in every industry
  • LinkedIn: One of the most comprehensive career tools available. The site allows users to search for employers and organizations in any industry across the globe while viewing employees, alumni and discovering how people are connected
  • Carnegie Classification System: United States higher education directory that allows users to search for schools based on a variety of criteria such as research activity, size, culture, location and more
  • Guidestar: Non-profit focused directory that allows users to search by location, cause area (NTEE - National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities) and more 
  • Going Global: Employers across the globe, including those willing to hire international students
  • Uniworld: "Who operates where" throughout the world. Easy searching in two separate databases: American Firms Operating in Foreign Countries and Foreign Firms Operating in the United States. Excel downloads featuring contact information, number of employees, annual sales, and basic product descriptions
  • Buzzfile: Find employers based on area of study and industry
Industry-Specific Resources

Job boards and career resources specific to industries and career fields. A few examples are provided below. Utilize keyword searches online to find other resources specific to your area of study, discipline and career interests

Location-Specific Resources

Leverage resources by city/town, region, state and country to discover resources and opportunities

Large Search Engines/Job Boards

A broad brush of job postings that can be filtered by a variety of criteria

Employer Review Sites

Get an inside look at employers and organizations in regard to culture, salary, interviews and more

  • Glassdoor: Search millions of jobs and get the inside scoop on employers in every industry through employee reviews, personalized salary tools, interview insights and more
  • Vault Career Insider: Research thousands of companies through profile pages, rankings, survey data and employer reviews. Get advice on interviews, cover letters, resumes, networking and more
    Get advice on interviews, cover letters, resumes, networking and more.
  • College Scorecard: Reviews of US higher education institutions 
  • World University Rankings: Reviews and rankings of higher education institutions worldwide based on a variety of criteria
Social Media

"Like" and "Follow" employers and organizations of interest to research best fit and prepare for applications and interviews. Also consider liking or following community organizations of interest to learn more about locations of interest

Networking 

Build meaningful connections and expand your personal and professional network both on and offline

  • Irish CompassConnect with alumni who have opted in to support ND students and alumni with a wide variety of career development topics, including job search. Includes a job board exclusively for graduate level students
  • Notre Dame Alumni DirectoryDiscover information you can't find anywhere else through Notre Dame's largest directory
  • LinkedIn: One of the most comprehensive career tools available. The site allows users to search for employers and organizations in any industry across the globe while viewing employees, alumni and discovering how people are connected
  • Career ShiftDiscover employers and contact information of employees in every industry
  • Attend Events
  • Professional Organizations: Speak with faculty contacts and mentors to learn about organizations specific to your area of study/discipline. Utilize Organization Directories (see above) or resources such as the "Professional Association Finder" and "What Can I Do with This Major?" to discover organizations based on topic and location
  • Young Professional Networks: Connect with local professionals often representing a wide range of industries and career field (Ex. South Bend Young Professional Network)
Consulting, Freelance, Entrepreneurship ("Gig Economy")

Work as a consultant for an organization to help solve problems in a variety of areas, complete projects for a variety of employers, or set your own path as an entrepreneur 

Grants, Fellowships and Post-Doctoral Opportunities
  • Office of Grants and Fellowships (Graduate School): Empowering students to win internal and nationally competitive funding to further support research and professional development endeavors. Helps students identify potential supplemental funding sources and develop competitive applications
  • Internal Opportunities
  • External Fellowship Databases: Discover opportunities through Pivot and H-Net
  • Post-Doctoral Positions:

Additional Resources