Career Resources

We hope that the resources assembled here will offer a starting point wherever you are in the career development process. We urge faculty, as much as students, to familiarize themselves with the wide array of resources and opportunities available both on campus and beyond for graduate student professional development. You may even find something helpful to your own career here!

Career Exploration

Save the mechanics of job searches for later. The first step is to consider the types of work you might like to do, and to think about how the skills and abilities you already have fit into the picture. Below are a number of resources to support you in that process.


Career Advising in the History Department

Sarah Stoller will be holding peer advising office hours for grad students by appointment. See Sarah to brainstorm career ideas; learn about career development resources on and off campus; work on a resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile; or with any ideas, suggestions, or complaints for the taskforce!

Graduate Division

Linda Louie is a recent Berkeley PhD now working as the Professional Development Resource Coordinator for Graduate Division. Linda offers advising under the remit of professional development planning and is a great person to see if you are tossing career ideas around, and wondering where to begin.

UC Berkeley Career Center

Andrew Green and Debra Behrens both specialize in working with PhDs and postdocs. These are great folks to see at any point, but especially when beginning a job search.

PhD Matters

John Paulas, a humanities PhD and the former Director of Fellowships and Special Programs at UC Berkeley's Townsend Center, recently founded this business. PhD Matters offers career advising to humanities graduate students and PhDs on a sliding scale.

Online Tools

The Versatile PhD

This online career finder is aimed at helping graduate students envision, prepare for, and excel in non-academic careers. It includes examples of career paths, discussion forums, and networking opportunities, as well as job listings and sample resumes and cover letters.

Imagine PhD

Another career exploration and planning tool. It includes self assessment resources and other tools for mapping out career moves.

Graduate Division

Another career exploration and planning tool. It includes self assessment resources and other tools for mapping out career moves.

Rebecca Lippman's piece "Why Wait? Early Explorations of Career Paths for Humanities PhDs" for Humanists@Work offers basic advice on exploratory job searches.

Growing Your Network

Talking to people who you already know about their work and expanding your range of professional contacts are two of the most important steps you can take to support your professional development as a graduate student and further your future job prospects. There is no time too early or too late to start.

Networking Resources

Our Department Alumni

Berkeley’s PhD alumni are the single best resource available to you as you expand your network. Join our alumni networks on LinkedIn and Facebook. Follow our career development initiative on Twitter @history_careers. Engaging with our alumni community will support your academic and non-academic career goals alike. Many of our alumni are excited to hear from current students via email or in person, and to help students think about and plan for careers. You do not need to be sure that you are set on a particular kind of work to reach out to someone and start a conversation. Networking is about career exploration. Feel free to get in touch with the taskforce if you are looking for contacts who work in a particular field or sector.

Beyond Academia

A student-run organization at Berkeley which aims to support graduate students and postdocs as they pursue careers beyond the tenure track. They offer numerous career education activities throughout the academic year, including an annual conference, a career fair, and a series of workshops, tutorials, and lectures. Their events frequently feature alumni and recruiters, and are excellent opportunities to meet and network with professionals.

UC Berkeley Career Center

The Career Center sponsors annual career fairs for graduate and professional students. See their webpage for dates and details. Remember that you can always attend a career fair whether or not you are currently looking for a job to get ideas about different kinds of work and to make contacts.

American Historical Association (AHA)

The AHA offers a Career Contacts service that facilitates informational interviews with History PhDs who have gone on to work in a variety of careers beyond the academy.

Building Skills

Whether your goal is to write your dissertation, become a better teacher or public speaker, or learn how to code, there are a wide array of resources on campus and beyond for building skills. Through discussions with historians who work outside of academia, the AHA has identified five key career diversity skills. These include: communication, collaboration, quantitative literacy, digital literacy, and intellectual self-confidence. Foremost among the AHA's findings was that these core competencies mapped very closely to desired competencies for academic humanists. In other words, the skills most likely to facilitate career advancement of historians beyond academia are largely the same as those likely to support their development as academics. Two birds with one stone.

Skill-Building Resources

Dissertation Success Curriculum

The Dissertation Success Curriculum is a 12-week program designed to provide skills, strategies, and support to advanced grad students working on dissertations. It is aimed at helping students to overcome the three major obstacles to finishing: perfectionism, procrastination, and isolation.

The Graduate Writing Center

The Writing Center offers workshops on academic skills ranging from drafting a grant proposal and revising writing to mentoring undergraduates.

GSI Teaching and Resource Center

The center offers teaching workshops in a number of areas, as well as an annual summer institute for preparing future faculty.

Beyond Academia

Beyond Academia hosts an annual Professional Profile Clinic that provides advice and support with draft resumes and cover letters, as well as professional headshots.

Berkeley Data Lab (DLab)

DLab provides consulting and advising, and a huge range of software training on everything from Excel basics to programming in R.

Townsend Center for the Humanities

Berkeley’s Townsend Center offers a number of workshops and programs relevant to graduate students. It’s Art of Writing Fellowships support graduate students teaching university reading and composition classes. Townsend also hosts popular public speaking workshops each semester facilitated by an acting coach. In the past it has run the networking event Inside Dope, and various other career skills workshops.

The University Library

Berkeley's Library periodically offers professional development workshops on topics including copyright issues and the dissertation, and publishing your dissertation as a book.

Publishing Resources

This handout from Susan Ferber, an executive editor at Oxford University Press, provides guidelines on writing effective book proposals. Her article covers the ins and outs of the publishing process.


More to come!

Job Searches & Making Your Skills Legible

When it comes to looking for jobs right now, there are a number of places to start online. Remember, too, to be in touch with your network of contacts. Outside of academia, many organizations only post job advertisements on their own websites, so knowing someone working in a given industry may help you not to miss out on a great opportunity. In applying for jobs, it is also critical to think about how to present your skills and experience. The way you present your skills and experience will vary tremendously based on the types of roles you are looking for.

Job Search Tools

Find Current Academic Job Postings:

A webinar on how to navigate the academic job market.

UC Berkeley’s Career Center offers an annual academic job search series.

Handshake is Berkeley’s recruiting platform available to current students and alumni.

Idealist is the job board for nonprofit work.

Hired is a major job listing site.

LinkedIn: In case you still need a reason to join.

The Berkeley Career Center’s website includes many more subject and industry specific job search sites.

Glassdoor is a platform where employees and former employees anonymously review companies. This can be a useful tool for learning about an organization’s culture and for getting a sense of salary range in different jobs and industries.

Applying for Jobs

CVs and Resumes. Check out the following articles for guidance on writing an effective CV or resume for your job search: Beyond Academia's “From CV to Resume,” Shawn Warner-Garcia's "How I Reimagined My Resume," and Laura York's "Some Dos and Don'ts for an Effective CV and Cover Letter."

Online Profiles and Networking. For guidance on managing your online presence, see Gregg Britton's "Making your voice heard," Mark Carrigan's Social Media for Academics, and Vanessa Varin's "Managing Your Digital Self." Phil Wolgin's "An Academic's Guide to Getting a Non-Academic Job," offers concrete advice on making new contacts and doing informational interviews.

Extended Programs & Workshops

A number of extended programs and workshops are available to support ongoing career exploration and preparation. Many of these provide funding or financial support to graduate students.

Workshop Listings

Humanities without Walls Summer Workshop

Humanities without Walls is a national, in-residence summer workshop for graduate students interested in learning about and leveraging their skills for careers outside of the academy. The deadline to apply for the Summer 2019 program was 30 September 2018.


The graduate career initiative for the University of California. It runs a biannual graduate student career workshops and also provides internship opportunities. Its web resources include professionalization tools and discussions about critical issues within graduate student training including student debt and mentoring.

Resources for Department Faculty & Staff

In 2017, the Modern Languages Association released a fabulous toolkit for PhD programs and their faculty members looking to support graduate student career development and planning. The toolkit offers advice on a variety of issues, ranging from how to talk to graduate students about their career ambitions, to curricular innovations that support diverse career preparation.

The American Historical Association provides this helpful guide to career diversity for faculty. It includes everything from sample syllabi for professionalization seminars to how-to-guides on workshops that help prepare grad students for a range of careers.

Check out Fordham University English professor Leonard Cassuto's article "Can You Train Your PhDs for Diverse Careers When You Don't Have One?"

Maria Wisdom and Edward Balleisen’s piece “Rethinking Doctoral Education in the Humanities,” in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning offers reflections based on two years of NEH Next Generation grant funding for career diversity programs at Duke. See in particular the recommendations for faculty and departments on pages 7 and 8.

More faculty and staff resources to come!

Further Reading

Phil Wolgin (Department Alum), "An Academic's Guide to Getting a Non-academic Job"

John Paulas, "To a Revolutionary Degree: Power to the PhD"

The AHA's Career Diversity Five Skills

UC Berkeley Graduate Division — Six Core Competencies at the Heart of Graduate Education and Applicable to Many Career Paths

An interview with London Business School professor Herminia Ibarra on the identity shifts and emotional landscape of career transitions