University Career Center

As you enter into the execution phase of your non-academic job search you should be searching for, applying to, and interviewing for jobs. The best job searches use an approach where you employ some specific job posting websites, but also rely heavily on your community of contacts. Community building including networking is vital to any successful search. 

Job Posting Websites

Handshake: Handshake is The Career Center's recruiting system where emloyers, interested in hiring UM students post jobs and internships.  Although opportunities for PhD students may be fewer in number, we suggest registering for an account and using its search functionality.

Find a Job or Internship: For most industries the resources PhD students use do not vary from that of other job seekers. Our find a job or internship page provides access to information and resources on a variety of different careers including relevant job posting websites. 

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF): Many PhD students are interested in Federal government jobs. Although there are different pathways to Federal employment PMF is a program designed specifically for masters and PhD students. 

Social Media/Online 

Some would say using social media in your approach is vital. Employers find and evaluate candidates using social media tools and internet searches. More importantly connecting to other PhDs looking or who have been successful leaving the academy often exist in online settings.

Google+: This social media tool is still gaining momentum but at the very least it is worth checking out how it may help you expand your community of contacts, or bolster your online presence. 

LinkedIn: As far as professional social media tools go LinkedIn is the standard. LinkedIn has high Google search recognizability so as employers are searching your name your profile should be towards the top of search results. What's more powerful about LinkedIn is the communities you can become a part of using contacts and groups functions. Getting started on LinkedIn is easy. Don't forget to join the PhD Careers Outside of Academia Group.

Versatile PhD: The Versatile PhD provides info on non-academic careers for PhDs, ABDs, and Master’s degree holders. It is a supportive Web-based community where you can get advice from PhDs and ABDs working outside the academy. As a premium subscriber you can see authentic, successful resumes and cover letters that got a humanist or social scientist their first non-academic job. Using the site is confidential. No one will know you are using it unless you tell them.


Interviewing protocol for non-academic jobs generally follows standard interview protocol with some industry specific caveats. Strong interviewing includes ample preparation and practice