Job Search, Offers, Working Abroad, Salary Negotiation, and Scams

Job Search Methods

  • Looking for Jobs in Public Health?  Hot Jobs in Public Health Webinar gives up-to-date advice from inside the industry.
  • Handshake is the university-wide service for students and alumni to access job and internship postings from tens of thousands of employers, connect with career services, and learn about recruiting events and job fairs.
  • The School of Public Health and Health Sciences hosts it's own curated list of career opportunities, often sent by alumni and SPHHS specific connections. 

Career Planning Office


Direct Employer Contact

Meet with Career Ambassador Peer Advisors to review your resume or cover letters and answer general career questions, or schedule an appointment with a professional advisor through Handshake ( You are not alone – we’re here to help!

Often jobs are not advertised but filled through connections. People get jobs by talking to friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, co-workers, professors, guest lecturers, etc.  Be sure to share your career interests with others.

Directly contacting employers is one of the most successful means of job hunting, if you can get yourself to the hiring manager. Research and develop a list of potential employers in your desired career field, even if no current positions exists.


Informational Interviewing

Job Boards

Internships and Volunteering

Informational interviewing is one of the most effective job search methods out there. By asking someone questions about their career field and current position, you can learn about working in the field, their particular company and expand your network – potentially leading to future work.

Check out the SPHHS job board but don’t rely on job searching in just this way. Most of your time should be spent networking and doing informational interviews. As stated above, many jobs aren’t posted, but are filled through prior connections.

Many employers like to hire directly from their intern or volunteer pool because they have already seen the quality of work that can be produced. Consider both unpaid and paid positions, for credit or not, in order to gain experience.

State Employment Service Offices

Federal Government

Professional Associations

These offices provide resources on professional training and development programs, health care licenses, training programs and civil services exams in addition to job searching help.

USA Jobs ( provides resources for students and recent graduates, including information about how to apply for federal jobs, resume help, disability programs, service programs, veterans, national guard reserves, Peace Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA.

Each industry or field has their own niche professional organization and many times more than one. (American Public Health Association The websites often include a job search feature, career planning, mentoring, and educational programs. Associations may require that you be a member to use their services.

Staffing Agencies

Alumni/Campus Events


Staffing or Temp agencies are often used as a vetting agency by large hospitals. You can register with a healthcare staffing agency, for example, and they can help you find temporary work that could lead to a full time position. This is a great opportunity to test out a career field without committing to it long-term – and get paid for it!

Take advantage of the many opportunities to connect with Alumni: meeting them at on-campus networking events, connecting on LinkedIn, attending off-campus events, and engaging with them at career fairs etc. Join the UMass Amherst Alumni Advisor Network: There are 181,000+ UMass Amherst Alumni on LinkedIn. This is an excellent source for networking, job searching and making connections. Handshake is the school’s internship and jobs database. You can also network with employers and students, register internship credits and schedule appointments with career advisors.


Working Abroad

 Working abroad can be a fantastic way to explore other cultures, learn more about your chosen career field and get out of your comfort zone. But it's very important to work with an organization that will provide you with a safe, rewarding and quality work experience. Learn  how to vet an international organization that doesn't have a formal relationship with the University.

Job Search Resources

Handshake is great, but often times you can find great opportunities in more than just one place. Below are some industry specific job search sites.

Job Offers

Congratulations! You’ve received a job offer – or maybe even more than one! Be sure to handle your job offer(s) as professionally as you did the job search, and pay careful attention to each step as you decide to accept or reject the offer. When the employer makes you an offer, remain poised while expressing your enthusiasm. It is customary for the employer to provide you with a few days in which to decide to accept or reject the offer. Ask the employer for the details of the offer in writing, include the start date, position, title, duties, salary, and benefits. Even if you’re certain you’ll take the job, ask for time to evaluate the offer.

Take some time to determine if this is the right choice for you. Even if this seems like your dream job, evaluate it objectively to see if it is the right fit. If you are leaning toward rejecting the offer, spend time weighing the pros and cons of taking the position, and keep an open mind. Some things to consider:

  • Does the job fit your values and lifestyle needs?
  • Are you happy with the location?
  • Can you live with the salary and compensation package?
  • Is there room to grow in the position?
  • Will the salary and benefits meet your needs

Employment Scams

Beware of employers that scam college students! There are various employment scams designed to gain access to people’s money, bank account information, social security number, or identity. These scams often are posted on online job boards, websites, or via e-mail (inclusive of UMass Amherst Handshake, and Student Job Board). As you enter a job or internship search, keep in mind that if a job seems too good to be true it very well might be.

Learn how to identify potential employment scams to keep yourself safe, as well as how to report any unethical employer behavior you come across during your search.

Salary Negotiation

Massachusetts is the first state to prohibit potential employers from asking about applicants’ salary history before making a job offer. Learn more about The New Pay Equity Law in Massachusetts

Salary comparison links:

For quick tips on Salary Negotiation, review our handout: