How to Land Your Dream Job After Graduate School?
Step 2: Advertise yourself!
Have you ever Googled yourself? It's time to do that! Especially during Covid times, you need to have some online presence - otherwise, how will recruiters find you and determine your legitimacy? By providing an online profile, you allow recruiters to easily look up all the hard work that you achieved in school and past experiences. An online presence is also important for networking, which is discussed in the next step. Below summarizes some websites that you should have up-to-date:
Brush up your LinkedIn profile to include your publications, summary of your research, and education. Updating your profile is ubiquitous regardless of your choice in academia, national lab, or industry. Recruiters will Google you, and they will likely review your profile. Include a professional photo of yourself and make it public so people outside of your network can see it. Furthermore, include an "About" section giving a brief summary of who you are and your interests. First-time connectors will most likely scroll through your "About" section, so check for any spelling mistakes! LinkedIn will be the main platform to broaden your network; hence, consider focusing most of your advertisement efforts here.
If you are applying for a research position, having a Google Scholar account would help show recruiters that you have publications. If you haven't already, make sure to create a Google Scholar account and populate your publications there. Google Scholar is also a great way to see how your publications impact the community by keeping track of how many authors cite you.
If you are applying for a software development position, it is helpful to have a GitHub/GitLab repository where you could share your codes and show recruiters that you can code. Hopefully, you have started this account before your 4th / 5th year of PhD - if not, it's not too late to start one! There are many resources online to get started (e.g. GitHub cheat sheet), so check them out!
Personal website (Optional)
Alternative to LinkedIn, you could also easily create a personal website with WordPress or Google Sites. Personal websites are useful to complement your LinkedIn profile because they allow you to post links or videos to your research. You can even dive deeper into your research and give an in-depth research summary. A personal website is optional - it does take some time and effort to get started - but I think it is worth the investment as you can include a link in your resume and job applications. If you do create a personal website, consider creating a domain name for your website (e.g. alexkchew.com versus sites.google.com/alexkchew), so it is more professional and succinct. It costs ~$10 per year on NameCheap, which is reasonably affordable.
Twitter/other social media sites (Optional)
You can create an account on Twitter to follow companies - some companies posts job opportunities on this platform. However, I would not spend too much time outside of LinkedIn, since other social media sites are not geared towards prospective job opportunities. Just make sure there is not anything embarrassing on these other social media sites, which might hinder your job applications when recruiters Google you.