top of page

Professional development

Sharpen your professional development skills with the Graduate & Professional Student Professional Development Learning Modules

The Office of Graduate Studies has developed a series of Canvas Learning Modules to provide on-demand career readiness resources for all graduate and professional students and postdoctoral fellows preparing for the job market or looking to enhance their professional skills. These modules include short videos and handouts to maximize your time and help you find the most relevant information for your professional development.

Topics include writing and formatting a curriculum vitae or resume, writing a cover letter, preparing for online interviews, utilizing LinkedIn, and transitioning to the workforce. Each module features a series of short videos, as well as handouts and additional reading material.

If further assistance is needed, students can set up a consultation ( with a member of the graduate student professional development team. We are able to review and provide feedback on your job documents, facilitate a mock interview, or help you develop an individual development plan.

For a list of all career and professional development services offered by the Office of Graduate Studies, please visit the Professional Development website ( . If you have any additional questions, please contact Erin Omar ( or Lisa Rohde (

2021 Grant Writing Seminar

The Office of Research and Economic Development is offering its annual Write Winning Grant Proposals seminar via Zoom over a two-day period, Thursday, March 18 from 1-4:30 p.m. Central Time and Friday, March 19 from 7:30 a.m. – noon Central Time. Registration is open and required to attend. (

Faculty, staff and postdocs can select one of the seminar’s four workbooks, depending on the source from which they plan to seek funding: National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, or a general version geared towards smaller funding agencies and foundations.

Participants who register by March 4 will have their workbook mailed directly to them prior to the workshop. Those who register March 5-18 will receive their selected workbook after the workshop.

The seminar comprehensively addresses both practical and conceptual aspects important to the proposal writing process, emphasizing:

* Idea development

* Identification of appropriate granting agencies

* How to write for reviewers

* Proven tips and strategies for presenting an applicant’s case to reviewers

This seminar is free for University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty, postdoctoral research fellows and university staff.

Access to the Zoom recording will be available to registered participants for 30 days following the workshop.

For more information, contact Lisa Maupin at 402-472-0030,

2021 CROPS Job Interview Workshop Recap

Common tips and mental preparation:

    1. Make sure that you realize that you have a lot of power and will be doing the company/institution/team a favor.

    2. Present the best side of your work, yourself and practice communications.

    3. Know who you are as a person and what kind of working environment you prefer, remember that no one knows you better than yourself.

    4. What do you want to learn from this position? Find your passion and show it for what the team does.

    5. Describe how you will fit in the working environment and do the job you are required to.

    6. Show your willingness to learn new skills and adapt to a new working environment on the top of having your technical proficiencies.

    7. Make the case that,  as an interviewee, you want to physically be here and join the department.

What is the best way to answer broad questions?   

    1. Relax and talk about how your skills match the position requirements (the committee members might forget what you have told them in your CV)

    2. Short story line:  highlighting education, projects you have done, and what excites you about this position.

   3.Listen to the offer first described by the interviewer, what can I grab onto, and highlight why you are the best fit, always say something when asked is there anything else you want to say.

Red flags from the interviewee:

   1. Don't talk about salary in the first place unless asked to talk about, that should be the conversation between you and the HR.

   2. During an interview, the interviewee is not well prepared and did not do research on the specific position.

   3. Professionalism: don't be late, don't make inappropriate jokes.

   4. Don't lose your guard, be on point all the time, you are interviewing all the time even in a small seemingly casual conversation.

Ways of seeking position openings:

   1. Career section in Science, Nature websites.

   2. Informal ways: twitter, talk to mentor, committee, let them know you are looking for positions.

   3. Industry: each company has career website, internal or external; collaboration with industrial teams; internships;

   4. USDA, department wide positions are usually internal. At state, AAAS, different levels to get into government jobs.

   5. If you are planning to apply, reach out for reference letters a minimum of two week before you need them and let the referee know why you want to apply for this position. Get your package ready to go (cover letter, teaching statement, research plan...).

Tips for preparing for a Zoom interview:

   1. Ensure a good Internet connection; dress and talk professionally. 

   2. Be more prepared for the presentation, don't show notes in your presentations, practice with Zoom for your presentation specifically.

   3. Stay professional, use an appropriate background. Looking into your camera, interviewers might also be looking at your behaviors.

   4. If you get to meet a small group, send thank you notes to people who asked you questions  after the interview.

   5. Tailor your cover letter, describe what you have done that makes you the best fit of the position, make sure there are no grammar flaws.

   6. Be ready to ask some specific questions when asked to ask questions.

bottom of page