The best ways to search for an industry job

What are the best ways to approach the search for an industry job?  Natalie McIntyre, Career and Industry Specialist from ASU’s Career and Professional Development Services (CPDS), joined the Grad15 team to share some suggestions and resources.


As a first step, students should sign up for Handshake.  All ASU students (and alumni) have access!.  Why should students sign up for Handshake?  This is a “one-stop shop” for students to schedule an appointment, search internship and job listings posted by employer partners and find  career events including employer visits and CPDS workshops. 


Several reports, including one from LinkedIn, indicate that up to 85% of jobs are secured through referrals.  

There are many different and easy ways to approach networking, including cultivating your curiosity in approaching new contacts.  You can use LinkedIn to start building your network by connecting with people you already know, joining groups or following influencers or organizations of interest to you, and reaching out for an informational interview with alumni or individuals whose work you admire.

Build your Brand

Brands aren’t just for businesses.Think of branding as a way to condense your lived experience - including your personal assets and professional expertise - into a short story that someone can understand without having known you all your life.  

You should think about two things when you reflect on your brand:  

  • What do I bring to an organization?  

  • What makes me different from other job applicants?

Once you figure out what you are highlighting about yourself, make 

sure it is consistent in your professional materials - resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, digital portfolio and social media platforms. Do they all tell the same story?

Develop a Powerful Introduction

Being able to connect with others and convey your purpose in a meeting, presentation or conference is an important skill.  It can be improved with practice.  Think about it as part of your brand.

Build your Online Presence

For most employment sectors, an effective LinkedIn profile is a must. As many as 9 out of 10 recruiters will use LinkedIn to find potential candidates with the skills that they are seeking.  Make sure that you have completed the Education, Photo, Experience, Volunteer and Skills section of your profile to make sure it is optimized for searching. Use this LinkedIn Profile Checklist to cover your bases.

Once you have created your profile, use it to connect with people you know (fellow students, faculty, staff, members of professional organizations) as well as to introduce yourself to some people you may not know but would like to network with. Some tips for starting out:

  • Search for the ASU page on LinkedIn and click on the Alumni tab to connect with fellow Sun Devils.

  • Sign up for the ASU MentorNetwork.

  • Ask alumni for an informational interview. CPDS has a tip sheet to help you get started.

Set Yourself Apart

Tailor your C.V. or resume to highlight what you can and will contribute to a particular job or employer. This requires doing some homework ahead of time. 

Make sure that your C.V. or resume is easily skimmable.  You should also consider how your graduate education can be translated into specific competencies that appear in a job advertisement.  For example, did you carry out a research project from conceptualization to conclusion?  Guess what: that’s project management! 

CPDS has some great examples that you can build on. CPDS also has a YouTube channel with a library of helpful videos such as “Building your C.V.” that can be a helpful resource.

Grad15 is a mini-webinar series around graduate student professional development, support and resources. We’ll be teaming up with the Center for Mindfulness, Resiliency and Compassion on December 1 at 11:00 a.m. for one more session before the fall semester concludes. Register Here!