Prospective from a BASC Peer Advisor: Searching for a Job after Graduation

It’s graduation season! As a graduating senior from UC Davis College of Biological Sciences, I would like to share some job search tips. Here are some questions that you may wonder:


What kinds of job can I apply for with a biology related major?

You don’t necessarily have to apply for a job related to your major after graduation. Take a moment to think about your short-term and long-term goals. It’s all about what fits you and what you would like to do. To start, you can search for jobs or areas that you are interested in, and conduct informational interviews with people in the areas. In addition, gather more information by asking professors, mentors, friends and family.

Some popular career areas are health/medical, biotechnology, environmental sciences, education and academic research.


Where can I find job postings?

  • Check out Handshake, the new UC Davis platform for job posts. Handshake is replacing Aggie Job Link, the older platform, in 2019.
  • Job search websites, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and more. Look into multiple of them for more opportunities.
  • Career/job postings on company websites.
  • Career/job postings on academic institutions’ websites for entry level research positions. Labs in the UCs and other research oriented universities always need support.


What materials do I need?

Make sure to update your resume, and get ready to write some cover letters. For research related jobs, you should also prepare a C.V. (Curriculum Vitae). You can start with a template, but customize your resume/cover letter/C.V. for each job you apply to. Some jobs may ask for a college transcript.


Do I need references?

Many jobs require applicants to provide 2-3 references, including the name, affiliation, and phone or email. The references should be people who know you well in academics or at work/internship. Before you start to apply for jobs, contact professors you know or supervisors from your past job, and ask for permission to provide their name as your reference.


Who can help me with the process?

Internship and Career Center (ICC) at UC Davis is a very helpful resource in helping recent college graduates find a path to start their career.

  • Hire Me! Academy” is a two day workshop held by ICC targeting graduating seniors and recent alumni. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, June 18, 10 a.m – 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday, June 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. If you can’t attend the workshop, there are also other 50 minute workshops offered throughout the year.
  • As a recent alumni, you can schedule a 30-minute in-depth appointment with ICC career advisors to discuss about the following topics:
    • Career exploration
    • Detailed resume/CV and cover letter review
    • Evaluating internship/job offers
    • Internship/job search
    • Interview preparation and practice
    • Coaching on networking strategies
    • Salary and benefits negotiation


Congratulations on your college graduation! Finding a job might take some time, but there will be a perfect position waiting for you.


BASC Peer Advisor
4th Year Genetics and Genomics Major, Class of 2019
Linya Hu

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