Focus Your Search

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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" in order to  FOCUS YOUR SEARCH when targeting the most beneficial resources based on your unique situation (ex. discipline, career interests and goals, location). Several categories of resources are listed below to help you find people, places (employers), postings, professional organizations, and more!

Planning Your Job Search

Stay Organized

PLANNING TOOLS AND STRATEGIES

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"). Additional planning resources are below:

CRITERIA AND CAREER KEYWORDS

Make sure to keep track of what's driving your job search (ex. pay, location, industry...) to develop criteria and your "Career Keywords" (ex. Human Resources, Training & Development) when targeting resources and strategies to use. Example resources are below:

  • "I want to live in Chicago" - Consider using a "Location-Based" resource such as Going Global
  • "I need more professional connections in nonprofit careers" - Networking resources such as LinkedIn and Irish Compass can help
  • "I want to find jobs in Human Resources" - Look into "Industry-Specific" resources such as SHRM
  • "I am not sure how to find what I want. I don't know what words to use. I don't know what's driving my search." - You may want to utilize careers assessments and resources to explore options before diving into the job search process (ex. Imagine Ph.D. and My IDP)

Conduct a Comprehensive Search 

  • The "Big 3" Career Resources: Some resources are so comprehensive, that other online tools may serve in a more supplemental role. Consider the resources below no matter what careers you pursue:
    • ♣ Handshake: Notre Dame's main career management system that includes employer information, job postings, events, student messaging, and more 
    • ♣ 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
    • LinkedIn: The most comprehensive career resource available. Search for people, jobs, employers, schools, groups, and more based on any topic (User Guide)
  • Combine Resources: 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.

Understand and Promote Your Qualifications 

Knowing what you want, what you have to offer, and being able to articulate your values, interests, personality, and skills to employers are crucial components to a successful job search:

Leverage Career Outcomes

Research where others in your field/discipline and Notre Dame alumni have secured employment to assess viable options. This can be done through a variety of resources:

Resources

Notre Dame 

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

  • Handshake: Employer information, job postings, events, and more from those who want to hire Notre Dame students
  • ♣ 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
  • Notre Dame Alumni Clubs - Connect with alumni across the globe by city, state, and country
  • Global Gateways - More than launching pads for our faculty and students. They allow for rich collaborations with local universities, research centers, governments, churches, and grassroots organizations
  • Gain experience through involvement with Centers and Institutes (ex. NDIAS Fellowship), campus jobs, and programs such as LASER (Leadership Advancing Socially Engaged Research) and 3MT

Employer/Organization Directories

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

DIRECTORIES WITH ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS (ex. jobs, networking...)

  • 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
  • ♣ Going Global: Employers across the globe, including those looking to hire international students
  • The Org: Includes organizational charts and staffing updates for organizations

OVERALL DIRECTORIES

  • ♣ 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)
  • ♣ 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
  • Yellowpages: The original source to find and connect with local organizations

CAREER PATH-SPECIFIC DIRECTORY EXAMPLES

Higher Education

Nonprofits/NGO

Industry/Discipline

Discover 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 and career interests:

OVERALL

HIGHER EDUCATION EXAMPLES

Location

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


LOCAL EXAMPLES

ND REGIONAL EXAMPLES

  • The ND Regional Engagement Team, currently based in California, DC, and Houston is a growing team of professionals which will expand to strategic industry markets in the coming years. Connect with them to learn about resources and build connections with alumni and other professionals.

GLOBAL EXAMPLES

  • ♣ Going GlobalCity and country career guides across the globe that include job boards, networking opportunities, culture-specific strategies, employers and more

General Job Boards

A broad brush of job postings that can be filtered by a variety of criteria. These resources can be helpful if you are open to exploring a variety of career options.

Employer Review Sites

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

OVERALL

  • 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
  • ♣ Handshake: Notre Dame's main career management system allows you to view student user comments on what it is like to interview with, and work for, different employers.

CAREER-SPECIFIC (ex. Higher Education)

Networking 

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

PROFESSIONAL

  • ♣ 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
  • Handshake: Employer profiles featuring public staff lists and public student profiles from across the United States to connect with those in similar areas of study
  • 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)

PERSONAL

  • Facebook and Twitter: "Like" and "Follow" employers and organizations of interest to find best-fit and to prepare for applications and interviews. Also, consider liking or following community organizations and locations of interest based on where you want to live.

Entrepreneurship/Start-Ups

Do you have an idea for a product or service that you would like to bring to the market? Get started with the resources below:

Consulting, Freelance, and Remote Work 

Work as a consultant for an organization to help solve problems in a variety of areas or complete projects for a variety of employers:

Grants, Fellowships, Post-Docs, and Internships

If you are looking for a shorter-term opportunity to build your experiences and qualifications, consider the resources below:

  • 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:
  • Internships: Since these experiences are meant for professional development and can lead to full-time employment opportunities, finding and securing internships can be a very similar process to the job search. Developing professional connections to discover opportunities, utilizing job posting sites, and looking into specific employers' internship programs is a great place to start. An internship can serve as a trial run for a full-time position, so consider the experience as an extended interview through which you can showcase why you would be a great addition to the team. There are even micro-internships available through sites such as Parker-Dewey and virtual learning experiences with employers through sites such as Forage.