Welcome to the first monthly Science Graduate Career Services newsletter. Each newsletter will collect the latest resources, job fairs, articles, career development supports, and more, all in one easy to find place. This month features a focus on self-reflection and building your resume and/or curriculum vitae (CV).

Career Exploration

For those who are just starting to think about possible careers, decided on what they want to do, or anywhere in between.

Define your first steps into career exploration with self-reflection

Self-reflection, also known as self-assessment, is probably the most crucial part of a successful job search strategy. It involves taking a critical look at what is most important to you, and how you define your personality and values. At the end of this process you will undoubtedly understand more about your core interests, your talents and weaknesses, and your short-term and long-term priorities.” - Ellen Elliot, Self-reflection is the first step in defining your career in science

Consulting, communications, startups, policy, academia… the options are almost never-ending for graduate-level science students, and having so many choices can be intimidating.

If you are unsure where to start with your career exploration journey, you may want to follow Ellen Elliott’s recommendation and self-reflect on what your preferences are. By reflecting on our preferences, we can begin to connect them to career paths that are authentically you. You may begin this process by using the myIDP tool, selecting from a list of personal values, or by asking yourself reflective questions, such as:

  • What am I already interested in?

  • What personal, academic, and career experiences have I had and what have I learned about myself from them?

  • What are my values and ideas about careers and where did they come from?

In the following TED Talk, career coach Ashley Stahl identifies 3 questions we should ask ourselves to unlock careers that match our values.

Three Questions to unlock your authentic career: Ashley Stahl at TEDxBerkeley

Want to connect with professionals in your field? Check out the Alumni Advisor Network

Making connections with and learning about professionals outside of academia can be a difficult process to begin. Luckily the McMaster Alumni and Partners Network makes those connections simple and worry free. Click the link below to get matched with an advisor in the career area of your choice. Advisors are alumni who have been in your position before and are able to provide career guidance, resume feedback, mock interviews and more. Matches are based on

  • geography

  • job title

  • sector

  • experience

  • educational background

  • and other keywords that you can choose from

Note: Use your McMaster email address to register in order to access the service

McMaster Alumni and Partners Advisor Network

Explore a career in the Bio-Economy!

BioTalent Canada has dedicated professional development resources to help you find a career pathway in Canada’s bio-economy—the production, development, and use of bio-based products and processes.

Try a free virtual work experience/internship with The Forage

Explore work experiences with leading companies through The Forage. The Forage is a service that allows you to take part in a free virtual internship with 1 of 24 companies across various industries. Virtual internships can be completed in 3-6 hours and are useful for getting a sense of how a certain career might be like.

Sign up for The Forage today

Events & Workshops

Job Fair - Connect with potential employers

Wednesday, May 4, 2022 - 11:30AM - 1:30PM (Virtual)

McMaster’s Student Success Centre is hosting an Online Volunteer and Job Fair with 30+ organizations in attendance. Participating organizations will have a range of full-time, part-time, co-op, and volunteer opportunities to explore. It will also be an excellent opportunity to network and get a feel for what jobs are out there if you are still early in your job search. Follow the link to register and be sure to bring a resume if possible!

Register here

Mindfulness workshops for graduate students

Session 1 - Tuesday, May 10 - 5PM - 6:30PM (Virtual and In-Person options)

Sessions 2, 3, & 4 scheduled for every other Tuesday from 5PM - 6:30PM

It is important to remember to take time for ourselves and avoid burnout. Explore self-compassion, mindfulness, and self-care in 4 sessions from the McMaster School of Graduate Studies and Student Open Circles.

Each session will consist of a 1.5 hour workshop covering practices related to mindfulness and self-reflection. They will also feature interactive group exercises, community support of other graduate students, and the opportunity to meet with a Becoming Yourself coach.

Space is limited and free to all graduate students, so register as soon as possible if interested.

Register to save your spot

How to creatively transform your resume with Microsoft Word

Transform your resume with Word

McMaster’s Student Success Centre has produced a helpful, 15-minute tutorial for improving the look of your resume and making it stand out from the crowd—all with Microsoft Word! As well, they cover how to use keywords in a job ad to optimize your resume for an organization’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Click here to learn more about ATS

Which is best for you? A chronological resume? Or a functional resume?

In either case, make sure your resume is tailored to the job you are applying to and features strong action verbs.

Getting started on your curriculum vitae

A curriculum vitae (CV for short) is an extensive list of your academic accomplishments such as

  • educational achievements

  • publications

  • research experience

  • and presentations

They are longer and more detailed than resumes (experienced academics may have CVs that are up to 10 pages!), and are typically industry specific.

The choice between a resume and a CV comes down to the type of job that you are applying to and what the hiring manager has requested. If you are unsure what is required, you can reach out to the hiring manager or the organization’s HR department. In either case, it is a good idea as a masters or PhD student to have an up-to-date CV.

Click here for formatting guidelines and CV examples