I am a PhD student graduating in September 2016. I just started looking for jobs, but I feel that when recruiters look at my CV and see that I am still 5-6 months away from graduation, they'll ignore me.

However, I can't just wait till 1-2 months before graduation, since finding a job is a long process (interviews, etc), and if I graduated without a job then I have to leave the US since I'm not a citizen.

This seems like a never ending problem. What do you think?


3 Answers 3


Yes apply for jobs. It shouldn't matter if they see you are still 5-6 months away. If they are not interested then move on to the next. You never know, someone might actually have work or a position waiting for you.


It takes approximately 1 month per every 10K of salary to find a job. With a PHD, you should be looking at least in the 60k range, if not much much more. Apply now. You are actually BEHIND schedule.

  • 1
    Where's that number coming from? It's taken me two weeks or less to get a six-figure job in the past.
    – JHZ
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 13:05
  • It's the average figure given out by the Department of Labor as a general guide for job hunting. Commented May 3, 2016 at 13:09

Absolutely apply. It is the CV that will be on file so make it a good one. In your cover letter maybe even state your situation - you need a job to stay in the US. They may low ball you but a job is a job.

Recruiters may ignore you as they want quick paycheck. Apply directly with companies. With a PhD you probably have limited target group. 5-6 months out if they are looking for a PhD in your field will get their attention.

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