While I consider undergraduate and graduate education to be an inherently valuable and enjoyable experience, I also think its important to consider career trajectories early and often in your academic path. The undergraduate research experience and even graduate school can prepare students for a variety of career paths that may or may not follow the traditional academic path. I acknowledge that students passing through my lab will have a diverse set of expectations and goals, and it is my goal to help bend your career arc to the desired end point. Before you start in the lab, we will discuss these career goals and sketch out a plan on how best to achieve them. Don’t be ashamed if you know you are not interested in an academic path – I wont be offended! It is better to be brutally honest, rather than just telling me what I want to hear (though you should have an idea why you want to be in the lab at all). It is also ok to change your mind. Often times, students think they will enjoy a career in research, and after several months grinding away at the bench, decide its not for them. That’s ok too. We will revisit your career goals on a regular basis, and adjust course as necessary.
With that said, the advice I can give will naturally reflect my own experiences. As such, my career advice will be better for the academic path, though I support and encourage trainees to explore and follow any career trajectories that they find interesting. If I don’t have first hand experience in your chosen career path, I will do my best to connect you with colleagues or resources who can better help you.
Below you will find a variety of documents that may be of use to you during a job search. Feel free to use these as inspiration, but please make sure to re-write them in your own words. While these documents are used mostly for academic positions, many can be adapted for other positions (for example, the teaching statement could be useful for a variety of teaching positions). The resume attached here would be used exclusively for non academic positions (academia uses the longer curriculum vitae format). Note of warning, I never actually got a job based on this resume, but I did have it vetted by colleagues in industry.