Practical Tips for the Economics Job Market


There are many guides and tips out there for the job market, but not so many dealing with the day-to-day.

In no particular order:

Before Job Market

  • Get a driver’s license
  • Buy interview clothes
    • Many retailers have student discounts, frequent sales
    • Prioritize materials that can be washed normally, less wrinkles
  • Take care of mental health
  • Take care of physical health
  • Take care of financial health
    • Build your credit
    • Save a liquid fund for flyouts that reimburse you afterwards, min. a couple thousand
  • Take a nice headshot
  • Make sure all travel documents are up to date
    • At the time of job market, more than 1 year to expiration
    • Apply for passport if needed, check country for issuing delays
  • Talk to people…
    • Recently on the job market
    • In roles that you are interested in


  • Double-check what timezone each application site runs on
  • Set up alert on USAjobs for the Economist job family
    • Data Scientist, Statistician also relevant
  • Mention referrals in cover letter
  • Turn off spam filtering on your phone in case calls are blocked

First-Round Interviews

  • Record a test interview using the camera and microphone to check image and audio quality
    • Consider investing in external camera and microphone for computers pre-2020
  • If possible, sit in front of windows for natural lighting
    • Consider investing in lights if video is consistently dark
  • Clear background of items as much as possible


  • Be gracious to everyone
  • Given the choice, always buy refundable flights
  • Have a credit card with min. $5k limit
    • Look out for sign-up bonuses
    • Some travel-focused credit cards provide reimbursements for TSA-Precheck, Global Entry, CLEAR, etc., preferential airline treatment, trip insurance, lounge access
  • Buy extra items just for your carry-on to minimize re-packing and forgetting items between flyouts
    • Chargers, wires, clickers, adapters, USB drive
    • Hygiene routine
    • Basic medication: antidiarrheal, upset stomach, pain relievers, antihistamines, etc.
  • Keep all receipts and/or scan using a phone app


  • Everyone’s job market is unique, comparison is self-defeating
  • It’s a two-way match; rejections are also two-way
  • Do not feel guilty about making things easier for yourself (within financial reason):
    • e.g. hiring a cleaning service, buying coffees, getting takeout