Succeeding in Graduate School: The Career Guide for Psychology Students

By Steven Walfish; Allen K. Hess | Go to book overview

The following advice is important: “No interview is complete until you have sent the interviewer a thank-you note.” In addition to being courteous, such a procedure provides another way to enhance your impression and keep your name in the interviewer's mind.

To evaluate your interview effectiveness, how many interviews will you have to do? Some authorities recommend that you plan to undertake at least five interviews. If you have not detected some favorable reactions by the fifth interview, then reevaluate your strategies and modify them accordingly. Do not hesitate to contact your CO personnel or your adviser.

As many as 30 interviews, including those both on and off campus, is realistic to achieve a mutually satisfactory match for you and a prospective employer. Anyone can get a job with fewer interviews, but to get one that you particularly want may require greater effort. Lunneborg and Wilson (1982) discovered that job satisfaction was directly related to the length and method of job search. They found that graduates were more satisfied with positions after long periods of searching and use of self-initiated interviews. Begin the process early in your senior year. Findings from this and other studies indicate several variables contribute to job satisfaction. That students were psychology majors was only indirectly related to satisfaction. How they pursued the job search and what they did were more important than the major per se.

Simply because you decide to seek employment immediately following graduation does not prevent you from pursuing graduate education in the future. Do not be surprised if you pick up this book and read additional chapters in a year or two. Many employers provide financial support to employees who develop job-related skills by attending graduate school. Moreover, experience in the world of work can help identify and clarify career goals that will require graduate education.

More thorough treatment of all of the topics in this chapter can be located in numerous career-oriented books in libraries and commercial bookstores. Thorough preparation and dedicated effort can pay large career dividends. Oh, and by the way, good luck in your career pursuits!


REFERENCES

Davis, J. R. (1979). Where did they all go? A job survey of BA graduates. In P. J. Woods (Ed.), The psychology major: Training and employment strategies (pp. 110–114). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Figler, H. (1988). The complete-job-search handbook (Revised and expanded ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Holland, J. L. (1985). Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational, personality and work environments. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Lunneborg, P. W. (1974). Can college graduates in psychology find employment in their field? Vocational Guidance Quarterly, 23, 159–166.

Lunneborg, P. W., & Wilson, V. M. (1982). Job satisfaction correlates for college graduates in psychology. Teaching of Psychology, 9, 199–201.

McGovern, T. V., & Carr, K.F. (1989). Carving out the niche: A review of alumni surveys on undergraduate psychology majors. Teaching of Psychology, 16, 52–57.

National Association of Colleges and Employers. (1999, September). Salary survey. Bethlehem, PA: Author.

Perlman, B., & McCann, L. I. (1999). The most frequently listed courses in the undergraduate psychology curriculum. Teaching of Psychology, 26, 177–182.

Swanson, J. L., & Tokar, D. M. (1991). College students' perceptions of barriers to career development. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 38, 92–106.

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