Tips on Searching for Science Jobs/Internships

Tips on Searching for Science Jobs & Internships

The Sciences career field requires specialized high skills and laboratory techniques, thus, representing an opportunity for professionals to enjoy what they do along with a prosperous financial reward. As a new graduate or soon-to-be new graduate in the field, there are avenues to consider in landing your best possible entry-level position. In understanding your skills, abilities, and values you can navigate the search successfully to ensure that the positions you apply for and ultimately sign up for align with your “why”. Here are some key factors and tips to guide you in the process of gaining interest and attention from potential employers.

Scroll to the bottom for a list of all resource links!

Factor A – Preparation

  • Know Yourself: Get to know yourself. Identify and understand your strengths, values, passions, and interest areas.
  • Network & Research Career Field: Engage with professionals in the field, to learn and understand their experience and learn more about different sectors and types of positions in the industry. This can be done through informational interviews and job shadowing. Utilize LinkedIn and Pitt Commons to establish networking and mentoring relationships specific to your professional goals. Access Pitt Commons Link. Study job descriptions and requirements carefully to understand current employment and employer trends, and the world of work as it is “today” for engineering and technology. This will provide you not just insight into the industry but also insight into where your interests and values lie, and in turn, facilitate your personal statement and cover letter writing.
  • Resume: Make sure your resume is polished and updated. You may like a refresher–feel free to view our resume samples in both the Life & Physical Sciences Community and Environment & Sustainability Community pages. Seek assistance from Pitt’s Career Center and utilize the online resume review resource, VMOCK 
  • Join Professional Organizations: Professional organizations bring a magnitude of information and opportunity through networking, published articles to remain current and relevant in the latest trends and breakthroughs, mentoring, professional development, socializing, and more. Many professional organization websites also have a built-in career search platform or employment opportunities listings. Here are a few examples of professional organizations:
  • Academic Society of Biological Sciences
  • Health Organizations for Pitt Students
  • International Society of Sustainability Professionals
  • Student Office of Sustainability
  • Epsilon Eta Environmental Honors Fraternity
  • Sustainability Student Organizations (SOOS)

Factor B – The Search: 

  • Identify your dream position & know your expectations
  • Be Proactive and Organized: Plan, do your research and set SMART goals
      • S-Specific
      • M-Measurable
      • A-Attainable
      • R-Relevant
      • T-Time-oriented
  • Stay positive: Don’t become discouraged. Mohammed Gandhi once said: “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”
  • Time Management: Create a road map and timeline
  • Be selective (however, do leave room for flexibility) of employer and industry
  • Expand your search area
      • Utilize the career center resources
      • Attend career fairs
      • Reach out to your network
      • When searching use keyword search and company name
      • O*Net Online is a great resource for exploring occupations and related job titles
      • Reach out to employers directly
      • Search the official website for the career page
      • Connect with their campus recruiter on LinkedIn
      • Share your resume and cover letter with hiring managers
  • Apply! Apply! Apply! Persevere! Remember as a new graduate your primary goal is to enter the industry area. Each application and each interview serve as steps forward and a learning opportunity. It is recommended that you apply to multiple positions.
  • The average candidate will receive 1 interview request for every 6 applications they submit. U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Resources and Listing Sites:

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the Career Central Resources:

Job and Internship Search Platforms:

Enjoy the adventure!

Become familiar with different types of opportunities to learn more about the world of work, and discover your values and interests. Schedule an appointment with your career consultant through HANDSHAKE.

You’ve got this!

By Ingrid Beute
Ingrid Beute Career Consultant, Engineering & Science & Career Champions Program Coordinator