by David Wren and Sonia Underwood
Congratulations! You worked hard and finished your degree and are now ready to put all your dedication and hard work to practice. In other words, you need to get a job. A real one. Scanning through pages of ambiguous job postings, you are not sure what jobs entail, what are the qualifications (what does “or related field” really mean, anyway?), and how to filter those for which you can be competitive. Added to the fish-out-of-water feeling, you may have other restrictions of location or coordinating a job hunt with a significant other (see “Navigating the Two-Body Problem”). Applying for jobs can be daunting, especially when you are in the middle of finishing up your Ph.D. program, post-doctoral fellowship, or teaching 5 classes a semester. Your application writing will most likely not happen in a nice coffee shop during the morning, but at night, while your friends/significant other are laughing at the new season of Orange is the New Black. But there is good news! Actually, two very good bits of news for you. Good news bit one: your degree sets you apart from most applicants, which is HUGE in the screening process. The second bit of good news is there is a process that can maximize your success in your job hunt (see below).