Career Resources for Graduate Students

The Villanova University Career Center recognizes and supports the unique career needs of graduate students as you pursue new academic and career goals.

With this in mind, we offer tailored advising and guidance as well as online resources that use the latest technology to network, polish your resume, job search, prepare for an interview and more.

Take advantage of a library of workshops and checklists created specifically for experienced students and professionals like you. Workshops are 1-hour recorded webinars and checklists are quick one-pagers, so whether you need to take a deep dive into improving your career readiness or you are short on time, we have a solution to fit your needs.

In addition to these on-demand resources, grad students are encouraged to meet with a career counselor. 

Career resources and services for graduate students are available through the Career Center. Our resources are crafted and selected for you as experienced students and professionals. Whether you need to take a deep dive into a career development topic, or you are short on time, we have resources at the ready for you.

As a graduate student, you might be juggling multiple priorities while earning your advanced degree. So, you might need quick, on-demand guidance to prepare for your next career move. If that sounds like you, see these checklists from Villanova’s Experienced Career Services team that highlight best practices in the following areas:

Resume Workshop for Experienced Professionals

Has it been a while since you brushed up your resume? Learn how to think like a recruiter when updating it. Review the basic rules of resume writing, plus cover tips to customize it so each line of it stands out to the hiring manager. This recorded workshop, developed by Villanova’s Career Management team, will demonstrate, section-by-section, practical suggestions to enhance your resume and review best practices for cover letter writing.

Resume Checklist

Short on time? Review this Resume Checklist for Experienced Professionals and update your resume in no time!

Sample Resume for Experienced Professionals

CV: Curriculum Vitae

Check out Villanova’s checklist to ensure that your CV is the best it can be when applying to academic applications including jobs, grants and research fellowships.

Cover Letter Workshop

A well-written cover letter can make your application stand out from the crowd. Hear from Career Management Coach Meredith Okenquist ’96 on tips to write an effective cover letter. This session primarily covers a deep dive into resume writing; the cover letter best practices are toward the end at 41:15 minutes along.

Cover Letter Checklist

Short on time? Use this Cover Letter Checklist to get your cover letter ready for your next career step!

Sample Cover Letter for Experienced Professionals

Job Seeking Resources & Industry Success

Are you anticipating a career transition? There are so many resources, search engines and sources of information out there. This presentation delivered by Villanova’s Career Management Coach, Meredith Okenquist ’96, will help you navigate your way through the job search and share Villanova’s trusted and vetted resources with you to ensure you are preparing for continued career success through an ever-changing market. Industries thriving under current conditions will be discussed for consideration.


This mobile career management platform intuitively connects you to relevant opportunities based on your profile, interests and search activity. Through Handshake, you can apply for positions, explore companies and connections and sign up for career fairs and workshops all in one place.

On-Campus Recruiting Guidelines

Trusted External Job Search Engine

Looking for jobs in a few different locations? Want to find contact information for people who work at employers of interest? Through Villanova, you have access to search internship and job listings as well as company and people profiles from all around the web in one place with CareerShift. With CareerShift, you can:

  • Search, select and store job listings from all job boards and all company job postings.
  • Get up-to-date contact information, including e-mail addresses, for millions of companies.
  • Create personal marketing campaigns, including unlimited resumes and cover letters easily, and save them to access, print or e-mail.

We often recommend using CareerShift in conjunction with accessing the opportunities and resources available in Handshake. Check it out and talk with a career counselor about how you can incorporate this tool into your search.

For more information on CareerShift, please watch our walkthrough video.

Career Planning for PhD, Post PhD students and Postdoctoral Scholars

Ph.D. Candidates: Explore a partial list of popular resources if you are seeking to launch careers outside of academia.

Explore ImaginePhD, a free online career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

Offer Negotiation and Salary Negotiation Workshops

The final phase of a job search can be both exciting and intimidating.  Both you and your new employer want to land on an agreement that is mutually beneficial and sustainable. This presentation will cover negotiation considerations for compensation, benefits, sign-on bonuses and more. In this recorded webinar presented by Career Management Coach, Meredith Okenquist ’96, we take a deep dive into all the elements of a job offer that you can consider for a negotiation with your new employer.

For professionals ascertaining their worth in the marketplace from a compensation standpoint, we offer a recorded presentation by Dr. Joyce Russell, Dean Emeritus of the Villanova School of Business.

Initial Log-In: When you log in for the first time, you will be prompted to create your profile and upload a resume into the system. Basic student profile information – including major(s), minor(s) and GPA – will automatically sync from your Villanova account.

  • You can select My Profile at any time to add or edit profile information or documents.
  • The Documents tab will allow you to add resumes, cover letters and other application materials as well as build your profile directly from your uploaded resume.
  • Graduate student accounts on Handshake default to “first year/freshman” as your class year. This can be corrected in the My Profile section by using the edit button above the profile picture area.
  • Special Note: Making your profile and a resume visible to “Community” will allow employers to search for and contact you based on your interests and additional profile information.
  • Notification Preferences allow you to determine how you want Handshake to communicate important information to you – via push notifications, general notifications and/or email.
  • Select Career Interests to specify your goals based on geographic location, career goals and industry & job preferences. Complete this section to receive more relevant opportunities and personalized recommendations!

Remember: The more you include in your profile and career interests, the better Handshake can populate your newsfeed with opportunities that matter to you. Keep it relevant and keep it updated!

Privacy: Upon initial login, you have the option to share your profile information with employers by selecting or de-selecting the checkbox under the “Yes, I want employers to be able to find and view my profile” area. As a note, Handshake will default to a fully private profile unless you select otherwise.

  • You can change this setting at any time by visiting your Settings & Privacy. Choose the Account tab and find the checkbox to change your preference (Community, Employers or Private).
  • You can elect to hide your GPA even if you have a public profile. Simply visit your Profile Settings, select the “Edit” icon (a small pencil) and locate your GPA within the Education field. You can then un-check the box that says “Hide from employers.” Handshake will default to a public GPA for a public profile unless you select otherwise.

Join the Nova Network

The Nova Network is Villanova’s social and professional network and home to nearly 20,000 alumni, students, faculty and staff. Grad students may search the community by company, city, or industry of interest and directly connect for a networking meeting.

Nova Network houses on-demand workshops and checklists on best practices on resume writing, LinkedIn, interviewing, offer negotiation and more. These are tailored to the experienced professional. Grad students may also choose from 45+ groups in industry, region or experiential communities to connect with Villanovans and stay current. Learn more about Groups.

Leverage LinkedIn
Did you know 90 percent of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn? Is your profile standing out to them? In a recorded webinar delivered by Villanova’s Career Management Coach, Meredith Okenquist ‘96 covers best practices for building or revising a standout profile. Designed for experienced students and professionals like you, tips were shared on how to make connections, engage in groups, be found by relevant employers, and network your way to continued success on LinkedIn.

Short on time? Check out our checklist on leveraging LinkedIn.

Networking Best Practices

Networking Checklist

If you’re wondering where else to make connections, how to deepen professional relationships and eager to learn best practices for engaging in impactful networking conversations, Villanova has a practical checklist for you.

Social Media Best Practices

Interviewing Workshop for Experienced Professionals

So, you’ve landed the interview? Great news! Now, learn how to land the position by brushing up on your interview skills. This presentation will cover the stages of the interview which start long before the phone screen. Learn how to properly research the employer, prepare to communicate your examples and evaluate transferrable skills and resources Villanova offers you for practicing these skills. Lastly, learn about critical follow-up steps that were once deemed optional.

Prepare and Practice Interviewing Online

The Villanova University Career Center is pleased to offer a training system that features a new and innovative way to help students prepare more effectively for job interviews.

Big Interview is an online system that combines training and practice to help improve interview techniques and build confidence. Check out this demonstration to get the most from the resource

Through Big Interview, graduate students have at their disposal a variety of tools including:

  • Challenging, virtual mock interviews for all experience levels and dozens of industries
  • A database of thousands of interview questions with tips on how to answer them
  • The ability to rate and share interview answers for feedback
  • A comprehensive video training curriculum covering all aspects of landing a job
  • A step-by-step interview Answer Builder for crafting answers to behavioral questions

Interviewing Checklist

Short on time? Check out this Interviewing Checklist for Experienced Professionals for quick and easy steps to prepare for your next interview!

Virtual Interview Backgrounds

Interviewing Resources and Tips

November is Dedicated to the Professional Development of Alumni, Graduate and CPS Students of Villanova University

Each year, the Career Management team partners with Villanova University’s Alumni Relations team to offer 40+ events to enhance the career satisfaction and development of experienced Villanovans. Programming is uniquely Villanovan and ranges from industry expert panel discussions, to career coaching sessions, to regional networking events. Check out the latest Nova Network November details. We hope you will join us next November.

Villanova on The Hill offers students a weeklong immersive experience that explores all aspects of the policymaking and political ecosystem of Washington DC, and how individuals from a variety of backgrounds, and in a broad range of professions, make it work.

The Villanova in The Valley student immersion program is a weeklong experience that exposes students to Silicon Valley and San Francisco, the center of global innovation and entrepreneurship.

Villanova on Set is a weeklong immersive experience designed to expose Villanova students to the various facets of the Hollywood television and film industry.

Villanova at the Agency is a four-day-long immersion program that takes place at the end of May in New York City, the heart of the public relations and advertising industry.

Learn More About Our Immersion Programs

If you would like individual guidance, please make an appointment via Handshake with our team of Industry Advisors or our Career Development team.

The University Career Center provides career counseling and coaching services to Villanova University degree-seeking graduate students and alumni. Graduate students who are in a credit-bearing certificate program are also eligible to receive up to three career coaching sessions available per academic year (June 1 – May 31). For all alumni who have graduated more than one year ago, our Career Management team is the primary resource for providing coaching services, including up to three career coaching sessions available per academic year (June 1 – May 31). No-shows and cancellations by the student/alumni are included in the three sessions.