Virginia Tech® home

Essential Skills Professional Development Series

The Virginia Tech Office of Postdoctoral Affairs launched the Essential Skills Professional Development series during the 2022 spring semester.  The series is for Virginia Tech postdoctoral associates and other early career Ph.D.-trained researchers interested in learning more about how to leverage a variety of tools and resources to assist in career exploration and job searches.

The series will be held monthly at 12:00 p.m. via Zoom on the second Wednesday of the month, beginning on Apr. 13, 2022.

Past Events

In this interactive workshop, graduate students and postdocs will learn more about the value of informational interviewing to grow their networks and explore career options. In addition, we will leverage an "story circle" activity to help attendees think through how to frame their experiences when answering common interview questions. 

Jan. 11 | 12 - 1 p.m.

What can a postdoc do with Ph.D. and postdoctoral training beyond becoming a faculty member? This workshop will focus on assessing skills, interests, and values; and how those can map to a variety of career paths after the postdoc experience. During the session, information regarding a FREE online assessment and career exploration tools will be provided to help plan for a variety of career possibilities.

Learn the value of creating an Individual Development Plan to map out training and scholarly milestones in addition to planning for the next stage in the postdoc career path.   

Postdocs will learn how to effectively engage with former postdocs and other professionals via informational interviews to gain advice and insights on various career options and navigating job searches.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool to build the professional brand, identify individuals for informational interviews, and is used by recruiters looking to identify new talent. Learn about the basics of a LinkedIn profile and how to use the tool for networking.

Building off our July workshop on crafting an effective LinkedIn presence, this session will focus on leveraging LinkedIn for career exploration & networking purposes.

Building off the July workshop on crafting an effective LinkedIn presence and August workshop on using LinkedIn for career exploration and networking purposes, this session focuses on leveraging LinkedIn in your job search including how to optimize your profile for recruiters.

You do not need to have attended the prior workshop(s) or have a deep familiarity with LinkedIn to benefit from this session.

What makes an effective curriculum vitae (CV) and resume? How are these documents different? In this interactive session, postdocs will learn about the essential components of both documents and how the content of each differs. Having a solid CV and resume prepared and ready to adapt to job searches will allow postdocs to capitalize on open positions when they are advertised.

While many job applications do not require a cover letter, designing an effective document that highlights the postdoc’s fit for a position can support the application. In this workshop, postdocs will learn about the key components of an effective cover letter, which can be relevant for those applying to both academic and non-academic positions.

Nov.  9 | 12 - 1 p.m.