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Subject Guides Prepared by the Swain Library

General Guide | Analytical Chemistry | Biotechnology | Chemical Laboratory Safety | Crystallography | Drug Information | Inorganic Chemistry | Life Scientists | Physical Chemistry | Polymer Chemistry | Searching the Internet | Spectral Information

Career Resources

Compiled by Ivan Kassal and Grace Baysinger

A guide for Stanford students to career resources in chemistry and chemical engineering.


Stanford Resources

Silicon Valley/California Resources

General Career Resources

Career Guides

Professional Organization/Networking Sites

Don’t wait until after you graduate to join a professional society such as the American Chemical Society! Giving a talk or doing a poster at a meeting is a great way to meet people and have people be introduced to you. Career services staff and interviews by employeers are common at national meetings. Note that some jobs postings and career services may be limited to members. For example, there are jobs posted in the online version for ACS’ Chemical and Engineering News: ChemJobs site that are NOT published in the print version of Chemical and Engineering News. Another way to build professional relationships is to join LinkedIn, an online networking site.

Strategies and Background Information about a Job

Job Search Sites

Additional Resources


Resumes, CVs, and Interviews

Interview Preparation Tips from Jennifer Petoff, Stanford Chemistry Department Alumnus and PhD Recruiting Manager for Rohn and Haas (Personal Communication, Feb. 2, 2007):

“Doing your homework and researching a potential employer is important. Knowing the strategic plans and current product lines for a company will help ensure that your career plans and their directions are aligned.

Find out who you will be interviewing with and research their professional interests. Doing this can be as simple as ‘Googling’ a person if their name is not a common one like ‘John Smith.’ Another possibility would be to look up a person’s profile on You can look up a person’s research papers using resources like SciFinder Scholar or Google Scholar. Knowing more about the people you will be interviewing with will give you an idea of what common ground/rapport you might establish with them. It will also give you an idea of what they are passionate about and what their scientific expertise is. For example, if you learn from reading an interviewer’s research papers that they like to take deep dives into kinetics, you will have a pretty good idea of what types of questions they might ask you about your research. Also, interviewers love people to cite their work to them. I know that I am usually very impressed when a candidate has taken the time to find out about me and my expertise and work it into the interview conversation. You’d be surprised how few candidates go to the trouble.”

To collect background information about a company, please see Researching a Potential Employer

Print Resources

(Socrates Search Tip — Search “vocational guidance” as Subject keyword and limit search to a particular library to focus results by subject area. In addition, the Stanford Career Development Center also has a great collection of print resources. Their catalog is searchable from their web site.)

  • A Ph.D. is not enough: a guide to survival in science. Swain Q147 .F45 1993
  • Academic environment: a handbook for evaluating employment opportunities in science. Falconer Biology Library Q148 .L36 1996
  • Advice to a young scientist. Swain Q147 .M382 1979
  • Alternative careers in science: leaving the ivory tower. Falconer Biology Library, Physics Library Q149 .U5 .A48 1998
  • Best jobs for the 21st century. Jackson Business Library HF5381.15.F37 2006
  • Breaking the bamboo ceiling : career strategies for Asians : the essential guide to getting in, moving up, and reaching the top. Jackson Business Library HF5382.5.U5H98 2005
  • Building a successful career in scientific research : a guide for Ph.D. students and post-docs. Falconer Biology Library Q147 .D44 2006
  • Career management for chemists : a guide to success in a chemistry career. Swain QD39.5 .F48 2004
  • Career management for scientists and engineers. Swain Q180.55 .V6 B67 2000
  • Career renewal: tools for scientists and technical professionals. Swain Q149 .U5 R67 1998
  • Career transitions: catalyst for change. [videorecording] Swain Permanent Reserve ZY2 195
  • Career transitions for chemists. Swain QD39.5 .C24 1995
  • Careers for chemists: a world outside the lab. Swain QD39.5 .O95 1997
  • Careers in science and engineering : a student planning guide to grad school and beyond. Falconer Biology Library TA157 .C284 1996
  • The Door in the dream: conversations with eminent women in science. Swain QH26 .W375 2000
  • Every other Thursday: stories and strategies from successful women scientists. Swain Q130 .D36 2006
  • Guide to nontraditional careers in science. Lane Medical Library, Physics Library Q147 .K73 1999
  • How to succeed as an engineer : a practical guide to enhance your career. Swain TA157 .Y89 1998
  • How to succeed in academics. Falconer Biology Library LB1778 .M27 2000
  • Job search and career checklists : 101 proven time-saving checklists to organize and plan your career search. Jackson Business Library HF5381.H517 2005
  • Job seekers guide to Silicon Valley recruiters. Jackson Business Library HF5382.75.U62C224 1998
  • Jobs in the drug industry: a career guide for chemists. Swain Permanent Reserves QD39.5 .F75 2000
  • The Joy of science: excellence and its rewards. Lane Medical Library, Green Library Q147 .S56 1985
  • Landing your first job: a guide for physics students. Physics Permanent Reserve QC29 .R54 2002
  • On becoming an engineer : a guide to career paths. Engineering Library TA157 .I753 1997
  • On being a scientist, 2nd Edition. Falconer Biology Library Q180 .A1 O5 1995
  • Opportunities in biotechnology careers. Lane Medical Library TP248.215. B766 2001
  • Physical sciences career directory. Swain Reference Q147 .P55 1994
  • Planning, proposing, and presenting science effectively : a guide for graduate students and researchers in the behavioral sciences and biology. Falconer Biology Library QH315 .H25 1997
  • Preparing physicists for work: a career guide. Physics Library QC29 .P73 1997
  • Put your science to work : the take-charge career guide for scientists. Physics Library Q147 .F58 2000
  • Rethinking science as a career: perceptions and realities in the physical sciences. Swain Q147 .T63 1995
  • The Scientist as consultant: building new career opportunities. Lane Medical Library, Green Library Q147 .S562 1997
  • Secrets of executive search : professional strategies for managing your personal job search. Jackson Business Library HF5382.7.M45 2002
  • Survival skills for scientists. Swain Library — on order
  • Survival strategies for new scientists. Physics Library Q147 .S563 1987
  • To boldly go: a practical career guide for scientists. Swain Q148 .F57 1996
  • Tomorrow’s professor: preparing for academic careers in science and engineering. Swain Q149 .U5 R45 1997
  • Trends in chemical consulting. SAL3 TP186 .T74 1991
  • Vault career guide to biotech. Jackson Business Library TP248.22.M68 2004
  • Your career in chemistry: measuring your skills, weighing your options. [videorecording] Swain Permanent Reserve ZY2 193

Last modified: March 21, 2011

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