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Graduate Peers' Schedules

Winter 2016
Peer Advisor Availability

Writing Peer
Kyle Crocco

Mon: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Tue: 10 a.m.-noon
Wed: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thu: 10 a.m.-noon

Funding Peer
Stephanie Griffin
Mon: 10 a.m.-noon
Wed: noon-2 p.m.

Diversity Peer
Ana Romero

Mon: noon-2 p.m.
Wed: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

The peers sometimes hold events or attend meetings during their regular office hours. To assure you connect with your Graduate Peer Advisor, we encourage you to contact them by email and make an appointment.



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Entries in resume (10)


Recap of Resume Workshop

For most graduate students, their resumes are dusty, outdated documents that are lost somewhere in the files. If you are like most graduate students, then you could benefit from learning a few tips on how to create a great resume!

Here is a brief recap of how to make a great graduate student resume:

  • You can use your CV as a reference, but consider this as a totally new document with a new purpose: to briefly showcase your relevant skills
  • Research is the basis for a great, well-crafted resume
  • You need to target each and every resume for the job you apply for - this means you will have to edit and change the order of various sections and the text of bullets to be geared towards various positions to better align with the job you are after
  • Resumes should be one page! (Two pages is sometimes acceptable)
  • You generally need a cover letter in addition to a resume when applying to industry jobs
  • Font size needs to be 11 or 12
  • Typical sections include education, relevant experience, and skills - utilizing clear titles for sections will be important to organizing your experiences
  • You need 3-5 bullet points per place of work where you elaborate beyond duties and discuss what you did, how you did it, and outcomes/results of your work (hint: include transferable skills!)

Check out UCSB’s Career Services resume tips for more information and please consider coming in to meet with me to review your resume!


Get to Know Your New Graduate Student Career Counselor

Lana Smith-HaleThere is a new face at the Graduate Student Resource Center these days. Lana Smith-Hale joins us as Career Services’ new Graduate Career Consultant. She will be dedicated to helping graduate students prepare for non-academic careers. From her office in the GSRC (located in the Student Resource Building Room 1215), Lana offers drop-in and appointment counseling exclusively for graduate students. She also helps develop targeted career programming and serves as a point-person and liaison for graduate career needs.

Lana has nine years of counseling experience and has spent the last year as Director of Compassionate Counseling at UCSB’s Hosford Clinic. Lana received her master's degree from the University of Southern California and her bachelor's degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Lana said that she is excited about working with graduate students “because they are a driven, successful, and committed bunch of students. Graduate school offers twists and turns for many students and helping them navigate their evolution in the program and in career goals is exciting to me.” She went on to say, “I think most graduate students feel that making the decision to go to grad school was ‘the big career decision’ and that the career path from there is all downhill. But grad school doesn’t always set up a clear path and more often than not, there are more questions raised and bigger career decisions ahead once grad school gets underway.”

Lana is available to discuss anything career-related with graduate students, including career exploration, the job search process, CV/resume help, interviewing, and negotiation strategies. And since she is located in the GSRC, she said that she hopes the office can become a one-stop shop for graduate student support. Oh, and did we mention that she is a huge chocolate fanatic? So you know that she will likely always have an epic snack supply on hand.

How to get in touch with Lana:

By e-mail:
By phone
: 805-893-4649
In person
: SRB Room 1215
Drop-in hours

  • Tuesdays 10 a.m.-noon, 2-3 p.m.
  • Wednesdays 9 a.m.-noon
  • Thursdays 1-4 p.m.

Reimagining My Resume: A Peer's Story

Credit: Kelly BrownEver since starting graduate school, I’ve always worked in non-academic positions. I’ve been a nanny, a job skills trainer, a program coordinator, and an executive assistant. As I began to consider career options after graduate school, I realized that I had been pretty diligent about keeping a current curriculum vitae (CV) detailing my academic accomplishments but that my resume, while functional, definitely needed some TLC.

A CV is a pretty straightforward document, made even more straightforward by the fact that it is intended to be comprehensive – even exhaustive. However, I found that keeping my CV up-to-date was kind of like writing in a journal – just add stuff as it happens and occasionally go back to reflect on and refine previous experiences.

A resume, however, is a whole different beast. It has to be lean, mean, and eye-catching. I had been coasting along with what I thought was a halfway-decent resume, but as I began to consider non-academic career options, I realized I needed a document that not only accounted for my relevant experience but also showcased the type of employee that I hoped to be: competent, efficient, with fresh energy and new ideas.

When I attended the Humanists@Work conference in San Diego earlier this year, the timing could not have been better. Although I was representing the UCSB Graduate Division at the conference in my official capacity of Professional Development Peer Advisor, I was personally hungry for the information that was shared there as well. The conference was a one-day event sponsored by the UC Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) geared toward UC humanities and humanistic social science graduate students interested in careers outside or alongside the academy.

One of the keystone workshops at the conference was “Don’t Call It a Template: Unraveling Your Resume’s Purpose, Content, and Design,” led by Jared Redick, an Executive Resume Writer at The Resume Studio. Building off a similar workshop from last year’s Humanists@Work conference in Berkeley, the resume workshop led participants through a job description analysis, open discussion and brainstorming session, and collaborative resume work in groups. In addition to the conference workshop, UCHRI arranged for me to have a one-on-one virtual session with Jared a few weeks after the conference. During this session, Jared walked me through the different parts of my resume and helped me figure out the best ways to frame my professional experience.

Credit: Cristian CarraraAs with many instructional experiences, parts of it were game-changing (I could use prose? I could have an addendum?), and other parts just weren’t my style (I chose to go in a different direction design-wise and move away from bulleted lists and multiple levels of indentation).

Below, I summarize some of the guiding principles that helped me reimagine and redesign my resume, and I provide a before-and-after comparison to show how I implemented these principles.

Job description analysis. (Click here to access related materials) I’m not going to lie: this part was tedious. But it was so worth it. Not only did it force me to get familiar and comfortable with sifting through job posting websites, it also helped me identify exactly what kinds of jobs I’m interested in, what skills those jobs require, and how I could present myself as a viable candidate for those positions.

I highly recommend going through this process if you are actively searching for a job and/or looking to retool your resume after not having touched it in a while. It may also be useful for people who want to take stock of their skill set or just get a general sense of what potential employers are looking for. If you don’t know if you’re ready to commit to an in-depth job description analysis but still want to begin the career exploration process, I recommend checking out Dr. Debra Behren’s materials on Exploring Options for Humanities Ph.D.s and her accompanying Work Values Inventory.

For my hypothetical job description analysis, I culled job ads from two different industries: university administration and nonprofit organizations. I then meticulously went through a handful of job ads that seemed like things I would enjoy doing and pulled out all of the functions, skills, and areas of expertise that the jobs required, ultimately producing a spreadsheet of information I could compare and synthesize. Next, I made my bucket list.

Buckets. Buckets are beautiful things. I’m talking, of course, about metaphorical buckets that are used to conceptualize and organize categories of experience, skills, and expertise on a resume. The bucket categories emerge as a result of the job description analysis and are applied to your professional experience as a way to highlight common themes and capabilities that demonstrate how well-suited you are for a job.

Credit: Sheep R UsYou may have lots of buckets that cover the range of duties you performed at a particular job, but when you go to produce a targeted resume for a particular job, you will likely narrow it down to about three to five bucket categories for each job.

Have a master. I find it helpful to have a master (read: comprehensive) copy of my resume that catalogues all of my professional experience and includes all relevant buckets for each job I’ve had. That way, when I go to apply for a particular job, I can just pick and choose and pare down from the information in my master copy.

Back to prose. I had always thought that a resume was little more than a bunch of headings with bulleted lists underneath. Full sentences were out. Punctuation – no way. Because brevity, right? Well, it turns out it is not that straightforward, and I found that being open to well-structured (and well-formatted) prose can be very liberating and reader-friendly on a resume.

Addendum – or not. This is a judgment call. Jared noted that, particularly for graduate students and recent Ph.D.s, an addendum can be used to capture relevant experience related to your graduate work that wouldn’t normally be accounted for on a resume. Since it’s at the end of the resume document, if employers do want to read it, it’s there. If they don’t, they won’t bother. There is sometimes the concern that including more information will just annoy hiring managers, but I imagine they would be more annoyed if they weren’t able to easily find the relevant information they needed (such as dates and titles) than if you chose to include more information about your diverse expertise.

Find the right design. This part I did largely through trial and error (and in consultation with some very helpful family members – shout out!). In the end, I opted for a more modern design that utilized subtle color, white space, and horizontal dividers to organize information. Everyone has different aesthetic tastes, but the driving force behind the design of your resume should be readability – and by that I mean skim-ability, because your resume will be looked over only briefly to begin with. You should run your resume past several sets of eyes – particularly people who aren’t necessarily familiar with your work experience – to see if they can find the most important pieces of information quickly.

Click on the links below to see how I applied these principles in reimagining my resume.

Ye Olde Resume

Newfangled Resume

Note: This piece originally appeared on the Humanists@Work blog and is reprinted here with permission.


Resume Writing and 'Verbal Origami'

Credit: Simona“What do you want someone to take away having read your resume?”

This is the question that Joseph Barber addresses in a recent article on Inside Higher Ed. He argues that asking this question is especially important for Ph.D. students and postdocs working on transforming their academic CVs into resumes.

In building a resume, Barber recommends that academics not necessarily start from a CV because it tends to show only one or two versions of the writer: the successful researcher and/or the effective teacher. With resumes, there are many more versions of yourself that you can create depending on where you want to put the emphasis in terms of skills, experience, and knowledge.

It's important to remember that you always use multiple skills in whatever you do, but your job in a resume is to draw attention to the skills that are most relevant to the reader. A little bit of "verbal origami" is all you need to achieve this. You can think of verbal origami as the process of taking one of your skills-based experience bullet points from your resume and verbally folding and refolding it so that it can emphasize different skills for the different positions you might be applying to. Consider the following three examples, which all capture the same experience but fold it in different ways:

  1. Created new assessment tool as part of a team to determine success of new training methodology.
  2. Collaborated with team of two MBA students and an engineer to develop an online assessment tool used to measure training outcomes.
  3. Successfully used Qualtrics and SPSS to develop a tool to help analyze 30-minute online assessments for training outcomes that is now used as a standard protocol and tool for evaluation in an office of 15 researchers.

The first option emphasizes the skill of creating, which would be ideal if the job description mentioned something about being creative, innovative, or showing outside the box thinking. The second example shows an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, focusing in more detail on quantifiable elements that make the team feel like real people in a real-life context. The third "folding" increases the visibility of the technical skills involved in the project and adds an outcome, demonstrating how effective the applicant's skill is.

To read the full article (and find out how to make your resume read better than the Twilight books), click here.

To get regular updates from Inside Higher Ed, sign up for the newsletter, or connect via Facebook or Twitter.


When You Think Resume, Think Relevance: Recap of Graduate Student Career Series Workshop "The Resume"

Credit: Jasper JohnsAs graduate students and scholars, we are often taught to be comprehensive, self-promoting, and verbose. This works just fine for crafting a 4- to 8-page curriculum vitae (CV), but when it comes to writing a resume for a job outside of academia, the industry shibboleth is relevance. Employers want to know only what makes you specifically qualified for a particular job and they want to be able to find that information quickly.

John Coate of UCSB’s Career Services led a workshop last Thursday, November 13, on the differences – both in style and content – between a CV and a resume. The workshop, which is part of the ongoing Graduate Student Career Series, emphasized three main things when composing a resume: keep it concise, include only what is relevant, and engage in strategic targeting.

Main Differences between CVs and Resumes

In the U.S. context, a CV is for those working in academia and education, and a resume is for pretty much everything else. Most job descriptions will specify whether you should submit a CV or a resume; if it asks for either, it’s best to go with a CV because you can include more information that way.

Length and Format


  • At least 2 pages (most are 4-5 pages)
  • More white space in between items and at least 1” margins
  • All inclusive (“everything but the kitchen sink”)


  • 1-2 pages
  • Tighter spacing (very little white space) and smaller margins
  • Targeted and selective in content

Expected Sections


  • Education
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Publications
  • Presentations


  • Education
  • Relevant experience
  • Skills

Credit: woodleywonderworks

There is a lot of flexibility beyond the core categories of each. While most people create a generic CV and then submit it to different institutions with a few tweaks, the key to resumes is researching the company/industry beforehand and providing targeted information that they will find important and relevant. Think of your resume as the very first assignment that your potential employer is giving you – be thorough in your research, strategic in your inclusion of information, and impeccable in your presentation.

In-Depth Look at the Sections of the Resume

Name and Contact Information

  • This should be at the top
  • Include name, address, phone, and an (appropriate) e-mail address
  • Optionally include your personal LinkedIn link or professional website URL

Objective Statement

  • Optional
  • Should only be included if you are giving your resume to a person (such as a friend or assistant) who will be circulating it to various hiring managers who may need to know what position(s) you are interested in
  • If you are applying for a specific job, integrate the objective statement into the first paragraph of your cover letter instead
  • Clearly and concisely identify the specific position, employer, and/or industry


  • Put this before the experience section only if you are in school, are close to graduation, or are recently graduated
  • Include school name, city and state, degree and concentration, date completed (or expected)


  • Heading for each position should include: job title, name of employer, city and state, and dates of employment
  • Each position should be accompanied by a bulleted list that describes: an overview of the position, details of your work most related to the position you’re pursuing, and selected outcomes of your efforts (such as accomplishments, honors, etc.)
  • Start most bullet point statements with action verbs
  • Important! Include keywords from the job description


  • Specific transferable skills that are most relevant to the target position (e.g. computer skills or language skills)
  • Omit general or soft skills (such as “team player,” “open-minded,” etc.), which can go in your cover letter
  • You may choose to highlight particularly relevant skills in a section at the top of your resume called “Summary of Qualifications”

Want more help with your resume?

Take advantage of additional assistance offered by Career Services, such as one-on-one counseling, the Career Resource Room, and the Career Resources website.

Also, check out these article on how to turn your CV into a resume:


What You Missed at Resume+

Credit: Open Clip Art

If you were too busy to go to Career Services on Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 2 to 4 p.m., this is what you may have missed at Resume+.

  • A chance to meet with one of 14 human resource recruiters from companies that will be represented at next week's Winter Career Fair.
  • Ten to 15 minutes of personalized critique of your résumé on such things as:
    • Format
    • Job Description
    • How to make your content stand out

Besides résumé advice, there were also:

  • Useful tips on how to prepare for the Career Fair. (Hint: Cover that tattoo and have a firm handshake).
  • A chance to join the UCSB Alumni Association and hear future talks from people who have been successfully employed.
  • Delicious cookies from the UCSB Alumni Association representative. (The chocolate chip was especially yummy).

If you could not attend Resume+, you can always drop in at Career Services, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.



If You Are ‘Responsible,’ ‘Strategic,’ and ‘Creative,’ Avoid These Top 10 Overused Buzzwords, LinkedIn Says

In the professional world, originality is considered a highly valued trait. So says LinkedIn, which for the fourth year in a row has released its list of top 10 overused buzzwords on its members’ profiles in 2013.

Topping the list this year is the word “responsible,” overtaking “creative,” which had led for the previous two years. “Responsible” was used more than twice as often as the No. 2 buzzword: “strategic.”

The professional networking site based its findings on a study of all of its English-language profiles. Since LinkedIn last conducted such a study, its global membership has soared from 187 million to more than 259 million, the site said.

Four buzzwords from 2012 made the list again this year: “creative,” “responsible,” “effective,” and “analytical.” But four other words on the 2012 list were used in profiles less often this year, so they dropped off: “experimental,” “motivated,” “multinational,” and “specialized.”

Among the English-language profiles studied, there were some interesting findings in other countries. The Netherlands was the only country with “sustainable” in its top 10; and Great Britain was the only one to have the word “enthusiastic.” Down under, Australia and New Zealand were the only countries to feature “passionate” on their top 10 overused buzzword lists.

On its blog, LinkedIn emphasized that members’ profiles – and by extension their CVs and resumes – are their professional  brands. “So make it count,” the site says, by demonstrating your skills and experience through examples of your talent rather than by using buzzwords.

“If you sound like everyone else, you won’t stand out from other professionals vying for opportunities,” Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s career expert, said in a news release. “Differentiate yourself by uniquely describing what you have accomplished in your career and back it up with concrete examples of your work by adding photos, videos, and presentations to your profile that demonstrate your best work. Providing concrete examples to demonstrate how you are responsible or strategic is always better than just simply using the words.”

For more information, view the LinkedIn press release, which includes helpful tips on how to stand out from the crowd, and LinkedIn’s infographic below. Also, see the GradPost’s LinkedIn buzzwords article from 2011.

LinkedIn’s 2013 Most Overused Buzzwords on Member Profiles

1. Responsible

2. Strategic

3. Creative

4. Effective

5. Patient

6. Expert

7. Organizational

8. Driven

9. Innovative

10. Analytical


Workshop Shares How Grad Students Can Effectively ‘Advertise’ Themselves in Resumes, CVs

Molly Steen, Acting Associate Director of UCSB Career Services, discusses the importance of tailoring your resume or CV to the job opening. Credit: Patricia Marroquin

Think of a resume as a “targeted ad” that shows you off to an employer. But before you can place that “ad,” you need to know what skills, strengths, and experience you have to offer the employer; and you need to organize all of this information in a concise, well-written, attention-getting document. Molly Steen, Acting Associate Director of UCSB Career Services, shared with grad students how to go about doing just that in her recent workshop, “Resume/CV Writing for Graduate Students – with some job search tips, too.”

Steen focused on two areas of job searches: academia and the private sector. She went over what specific sections are included in a CV and on a resume; and how the two documents differ. She also offered tips on when and how to apply for positions in the two sectors.

“The CV [Curriculum Vitae] is far more comprehensive” than a resume, Steen told the grad students. “It really shows off who you are as an academic, a researcher, a teaching professional; and how you have been giving back to the community. It’s going to show off all of those things and in a more lengthy manner than a resume will do.”

The typical length of a CV for a recent grad student, she said, is three to five pages. In general, higher education institutions prefer CVs over resumes, said Steen. The exceptions, she said, are community colleges, which tend to want resumes from applicants for teaching positions.

The basic sections of a CV are: name and contact information; education; experience; and references. The name should be in larger size type and preferably boldfaced to stand out, Steen said. It isn’t necessary to include a street address or hometown address, she said, unless, for example, you would like to be hired at your hometown university, and you want to show that you still have ties there. What is necessary is an email address, a phone number, and if you have one, a website that shows your work.

Under Education, list the most recent degree first (Ph.D., master’s, then bachelor’s). List an associate’s degree, she said, only if you want to show a geographic connection or if you studied something at that level that demonstrates your knowledge of the specialty sought by the university. You may list the title of your dissertation and/or thesis, and if you studied abroad, include it here.

Under the Experience heading, list jobs in reverse chronological order. Tailor your CV to the job description, she advises. For example, if applying to an R1 institution, highlighting your work as an academic is key – your research, publications, presentations at conferences, teaching, and community involvement.

“You are going to want to keep your reader focused for as long as possible on your strongest qualifications for this particular position,” Steen said. Other areas to include are courses taught, guest lectures, student government leader positions, and off-campus volunteer work.

Because universities are looking for those three pillars (research, teaching, and community involvement), Steen suggests working on your qualifications in each of these areas while you are still in school.

Both the CV and the resume should be tailored for the specific position you are applying for, said Steen, who discouraged the use of a one-size-fits-all, general purpose resume and CV for all positions.

“The CV should change, at least slightly, for that position at Dartmouth compared to the position at Cal State Northridge,” Steen said by way of example. “Dartmouth is looking for different things, and you need to demonstrate that to them. That goes along with knowing what you have to offer.”

If you have some but not all of the qualifications for a particular position you are interested in, Steen said, go ahead and pursue the position. “Don’t think you have to match everything that’s on a job description in order to apply,” she said. “That is a sure way to not get a job.”

“As with any kind of job search, it’s incumbent upon you to know what you have to offer,” Steen said. “You need to understand yourself, what your expertise is, what your skills are, and so forth. And you need to get all of that information organized. So that when you go out to apply for different positions, you know what your strengths are going to be for that position as opposed to another position.”

Unlike the private sector, “there is definitely a season for academic hiring,” Steen said. She suggests that all documents be ready to go by Sept. 1 for jobs that start the following summer or fall.

These documents include letters of recommendation, which should be sought out well in advance of applying. Professors and advisors are very busy once the academic year starts, so she suggests being courteous and respectful of recommenders and giving them sufficient time to prepare letters for you. Advisors are also good sources for feedback on your job application materials, she added.

Other resources that can assist in a grad student’s career search, Associate Director Steen said, include websites such as job boards; and professional associations for conference and networking opportunities.

“Don’t forget LinkedIn,” Steen added. “It is a very valuable tool, both in academia and outside of academia.” Through LinkedIn, she said, students can meet and connect virtually with many others who have similar career and professional interests. Joining LinkedIn groups helps you network, she said, and those groups often post jobs as well.

Personal associations, Steen said, not only include friends and family members, but also professors and faculty members. “They know who is doing what out there in the field,” she said, and they may know others who are doing work similar to yours.

"As with any kind of job search, it’s incumbent upon you to know what you have to offer. You need to understand yourself, what your expertise is, what your skills are, and so forth. And you need to get all of that information organized. So that when you go out to apply for different positions, you know what your strengths are going to be for that position as opposed to another position."
-Molly Steen, Career Services

The minimum required application materials for academic positions, she said, are generally: a letter of application that includes a description of your research and teaching; a CV; samples of your work; and letters of recommendation.

If a job posting in academia asks for three letters of recommendation, you can and should send more, Steen suggested. Don’t go more than two additional letters beyond what is requested, she advised, and make sure they are good, strong letters. “Think about it in terms of being competitive with others who are applying,” she said.

Steen told the grad students about Career Services’ Reference Letter Service. Letters of recommendation from professors and employers are stored and then sent out when requested. There is a fee for this service. A similar service not related to the university is Interfolio.

If you are unsure what career path to follow, Steen suggests taking one or more fee-based career assessments. These tests aren’t for everybody, she said, but for some they can be very helpful in determining which fields you are best suited for based on your interests, personality style, values, and skills. Academic Peer Torrey Trust took some of these assessments; read our February 2013 career assessment GradPost article to learn how the experience went for her.

“There’s not a particular season for hiring outside of academia,” said Steen, who advised applying for positions a minimum of three months before you are ready to go to work, or even as early as six months ahead of time. As for where to look, “GauchoLink [accessed via a current UCSB NetID] is the main place for jobs for UCSB students.”

Steen said a resume is short, concise, and “really is an ad about you.” You have much more flexibility with a resume than you do with a CV. The resume’s purpose “is to get you an interview,” Steen said.

“One of the reasons that the resume needs to be so brief and focused,” she said, “is that outside of academia, far less time gets spent by the employer in reading them.” Years ago, research showed that employers devoted about 30 seconds to read one resume. But Steen said recent studies have shown that employers spend a mere eight to 10 seconds reading a resume. “So you need to clearly convey what your value is for this position.”

The rule of thumb on length, she said, is one page of resume for every 10 years of experience. “Your resume will grow with time.”

Steen suggests adding an Objective to your resume, which you would tailor for the specific position sought. The resume should then support that objective. Go over everything you’ve done (employment, volunteer work, projects, research) and find the best examples that demonstrate you can meet that objective.  Although some would say not to include an objective, “there is no single right way to do a resume,” Steen said. “It’s very subjective.” Including an objective won’t hurt, and might even help, she said.

Other items that can be listed on a resume are honors, activities, skills that are specifically requested, lab skills, foreign languages, and travel if travel is required or if it demonstrates cross-cultural sensibilities.

There are two types of resumes: the chronological format resume with jobs listed in reverse order; and the functional resume, which has all the same information as the chronological one but is packaged differently to focus on skills.

When describing skills and work experience, use strong verbs, Steen advised. Career Services’ manual has a page devoted to action words. Highlight your accomplishments, be specific, and quantify whenever possible, she said. Doing so “really helps to breathe life into what those accomplishments are.”

As for references, she said, there is no need to use valuable space to say “Available on request.” However, you should prepare a separate page of references. Give the employer this list, and let your recommenders know that they may be called. It’s also a good idea, Steen said, to give your recommenders a copy of your resume so they can refer to it when giving a recommendation for you. And always thank your references, she added.

“Don’t think you have to match everything that’s on a job description in order to apply. That is a sure way to not get a job.”
-Molly Steen, Career Services

For some positions, an employer will ask for a cover letter in addition to a resume. If the job posting says to send a resume, Steen advised sending both a resume and a cover letter.

“The cover letter gives you another opportunity to convey your value to the employer. It also gives you an opportunity to show off your writing ability.” Steen suggested a cover letter of no more than three paragraphs. Clearly state what you can do for that employer and why you want to work for that company. This requires some research, she said.

Steen encouraged grad students to stop by Career Services during drop-in hours for 10-minute resume critiques. Hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Career Resource Room. If a longer meeting is desired, students may make 30-minute appointments with career counselors. Steen also has drop-in hours specifically for grad students: Tuesdays from 1 to 2 p.m.; and Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon.

Grad students are welcome to pick up a free copy of the Career Manual at the Career Services Center (Building 599). In it are sections for Graduate Students (with a sample curriculum vitae); Job Search Tools (including sample resumes and cover letters); and Job Search Strategies (including networking, online searches, and Career Fair success).

Some final words of advice from Steen: Be positive, be persistent, don’t embellish, and always be truthful and accurate.


UCSB Career Services, 805-893-4412

Graduate Student section of Career Services website


Career Services’ Reference Letter Service

UCSB Career Services’ Career Manual (available for free at Career Services)

Interfolio (higher education credential management)

GauchoLink (UCSB's official site for jobs, internships, and on-campus interviews)


LinkedIn PDF Export Tool

Did you know that you can export your LinkedIn profile as a PDF? LinkedIn outputs your information in a well-organized, professional resume document that you can print and share with potential employers (this is great to have on hand at a job fair or conference).

Here is how you can create a PDF of your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Login to LinkedIn and click on the "Profile" tab in the toolbar
  2. Click on the down arrow next to the "View" button (see screenshot below)
  3. Click "Export to PDF"

It's that simple. Here is an example of my LinkedIn profile in PDF format: TorreyTrust.pdf

LinkedIn screenshot


Build Your Own Online Visual Résumé

Having an online presence is a good way to get yourself recognized by employers. I have an online portfolio that includes my master's degree projects, résumé, background, and other information about my life. I include a link to this portfolio in my email signature and on my résumés and cover letters. This portfolio has been really helpful in getting jobs and even getting accepted into graduate school. Unfortunately, it costs money to host a website like this and it takes some web design/html programming skills.

Luckily for you, there's a new tool that will build a visual online résumé for you in seconds ... and it's free! uses information from your LinkedIn account (or you can add your own information) and creates a visual profile with your own URL address ( I created my website in less than a minute. You can change the background design, upload a résumé file, add text and share your website with employers.

One of my favorite features of is the visual work history graph that is built into your page:

So, if you are looking for a way to stand out or enhance your online presence, may be the perfect tool for you.