Career Guidebook banner

Professional Development Guidebook

Try, Try Again!

If at First You Don't Succeed...

Person climbing ladderAs any good scientist knows, you can seldom expect to have an experiment work exactly the way you hope it will, the first time you try. Your job search is no different. Some of your job applications may not receive a response. You may even go through multiple interviews which don't ultimately result in your being hired for the job. Anyone who has a career that they love will probably tell you that it took a lot of persistence and focus for them to get where they are. The broader your cross-section (i.e. jobs applied for) the greater the probability of a good result!

The good news is that each of these scenarios represents an opportunity. Every interview you give represents a measurement, which you can then use to tweak your resume, interview skills, and network.

  • Follow up - After your interview, always follow up with a thank you note to the individual who interviewed you within a few days of the interview. Not only is this an important courtesy, it creates another point of contact between you and the interviewers.
  • Reach Out for Feedback - If you don't receive an offer, reach out to the recruiters at the company to ask for feedback on what might have made you a stronger candidate for the position.

It can seem like a daunting task, but you will receive a tremendous return on your investment in the form of a career that aligns with your skills and abilities, and which provides the benefits and salary that are important to your happiness and well-being.

Throughout this process, APS stands ready to assist you in accomplishing this very important goal of finding your physics career path. We hope that the career resources available in this guide, as well as elsewhere on the APS Careers website, provide you with some useful tools to move your career forward.

Try, Try Again!

In this clip, Megan Anzelc describes her personal process of applying to jobs before finally landing her position.

Download Personalized Workbook

Download Workbook format_pdf

Workbook ActivityWorkbook Activity

Browse the list of resources on this page and note down major takeaways.

Contact Us

APS is invested in your success as an early career physicist, and stands ready to help you discover your path forward. Any questions, comments, and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

Please email us at

Other Resources

Job Prospects
APS has assembled a library of special profiles which give at-a-glance information about common career tracks for physicists. Each profile includes typical starting salary, degree path, job outlook, and a description of the daily activities for that career track.
View more

APS Webinars
APS offers a variety of webinars focused on career and professional development topics for students, including career exploration, industry careers, and more. Recordings of all broadcasts are available for on-demand viewing.
View more

Salary & Employment Statistics
You can find a quick reference to employment and salary information from the AIP Statistical Research Center on our statistics page.
View more