Searching for Open Positions

You are here: Home / Current Students / Graduate Students / Career Diversity / Applying for Jobs / Searching for Open Positions

Make sure to use a variety of strategies to search for open positions because it will enable you to have a wider range of options that you can choose from. This could also give you a competitive advantage in comparison to other applicants on the job market. Below are some commonly used strategies that will help you get started with finding positions.

Job postings

Online: Websites such as, job postings on LinkedIn, etc. provide easy access to several available jobs. You can also search for positions on Nittany Lion Careers, which is a university-wide career services management system for all Penn State students. You should be able to find information on internships and full-time positions here. Most applicants use this method because of its convenience and therefore it would be best to also use other strategies.

Career fairs: Career fairs at Penn State can be another great way to learn about different companies and the types of jobs available. You could refer to career fairs information on the career services website to learn about upcoming events and jobs available.


Networking can prove to be a very effective strategy to find a job because people often take seriously recommendations they get from their colleagues about potential employees. You could go about this process by reaching out to your mentors, family, and their contacts that might know of any available position in their companies. You would need to think about the types of jobs you are looking for and communicate that information to people in your network so they can connect you with the relevant people.

Cold calling

Although this method is very time intensive, it could sometimes be beneficial. You could go about doing this by first thinking about the types of positions you may want. You could search for individuals with similar job titles on LinkedIn and either message them from LinkedIn itself or try to search for their contact information from websites such as Email Hunter.

Turning an internship into a job

Companies often try to select interns with the goal of eventually hiring them as full time employees because they have a preview of your performance on the job. It will also gives you an opportunity to become familiar with the type of work you would do and the company or work group culture. Therefore, you could also look out for an internship in an area of interest towards the end of your graduate school career as this could potentially turn into a full time position upon graduation.

Other Resources

“The Ph.D.’s Guide to a Nonfaculty Job Search” by Maren Wood

This article contains seven tips to help Ph.D.s through a nonfaculty job search.  These tips can also serve as a good introduction to what alt-ac preparation may look like.

“Where to Find Information on Nonacademic Careers” by Gabriela Montell

Although this article is from 2001, the resources they highlight for both the sciences and the humanities are still extremely relevant and have evolved over time.

Alt-Ac Fellowships

Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Competition for Recent Ph.D.s

This fellowship is for Humanities Ph.D.s who have, by choice, decided to work in the public sector.  The fellowship lasts two years and the deadline for applying is mid-March.  They do require that applicants defend and file their dissertations by April 5th and provide the documentation to prove this.

Return to Top