Frequently Asked Questions - Careers

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GENERAL

Locations

Our 24 campuses throughout Pennsylvania and our World Campus serve students and communities as we carry out our mission of teaching, research, and service. Employment opportunities may be available at all locations. For a map of the campuses and more information, visit: psu.edu/academics/campuses

Position Profiles

Academic/Faculty: This designation includes all levels of academic and faculty opportunities to include: Tenure Track, Non-Tenure Track, Endowed Professorships, Visiting Faculty, Visiting Scholars, Instructors, Educators, Researchers, Department Heads, Department Chairs, etc.  

Staff: Full time or part time positions that support the university beyond the classroom. Opportunities range across all functional areas and units at Penn State. Exempt and Non-exempt positions are offered at all campus locations. 

Technical Service: Teamsters Local Union No. 8 represents 2,700 working men and women employed at the Penn State, including over 20 commonwealth campuses throughout Pennsylvania.  Technical Service employees who work in custodial service, hospitality service, food service, housing service, trades, science, athletics, agriculture, research, printing, engineering, transportation, airport services, ITS and media. 

Penn State Students: Current Penn State students at any Penn State campus are eligible to apply for student focused opportunities such as: internships, graduate assistants, teaching assistants, and wage-payroll. These opportunities can be paid or unpaid opportunities and may be offered during any academic semester. International students should consult with DISSA or their Career Service Office to discuss CPT/OPT eligibility and implications. 

There is a job posted on the website that has been posted for some time. Is the job still available?

Since the job is still posted to the website, that would indicate the job has not yet been filled and the hiring area is still accepting candidates. Jobs may close or un-post at any time. 

Will I have to complete background checks?

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies. Additional pre-hire contingences may also apply depending on the position. 

Do I need a cover letter? If so, who should I address the cover letter to?

Penn State may utilize formal hiring committees or various interview structures when reviewing candidates. Addressing the cover letter to the entire committee or unit is acceptable. Please read the job description thoroughly to determine if a cover letter or other materials are required as part of the application process. All documents must be submitted at the same time. Individuals are unable to modify their application and materials after submission. 

Who is the hiring manager and how can I contact them?

Penn State does not provide this information to applicants. If a candidate is selected to interview, the hiring manager information will be shared at that point. 

What help is available if I have questions?

Help text is provided throughout the Workday application. In addition to help text and FAQs, you may call HR Services at 814-865-1473.

ACCOUNT INFORMATION

How can I log into my account without applying on a job?

Penn State Employees: You can log into Workday by visiting worklion.psu.edu and entering your Penn State credentials. Penn State employees will have a career application button within Workday.  Within the career application a Penn State employee will have access to search positions, view submitted applications, withdraw applications, and referrals.  

External Applicants: To log into your account, visit: hr.psu.edu/careers and select the type of opportunities you would like to explore (Academic & Faculty, Staff & Technical Services, or Penn State Student). Once you select your preferred position type, you will be taken to search results that may interest you. The “Sign In” button is in the upper right-hand corner of this page. Select “Sign In” and enter your account credentials. 

How can I set up job alerts?

External Applicants: To log into your account, click on the “Sign In” button located in the upper right-hand corner of the career homepage. Once you are logged in, select “Job Alerts” which will be located near the upper right-hand corner of your account landing page or under “My Submitted Applications”. On the “Manage Job Alerts” page you can create new, manage or delete job alerts. 

My email address has changed. How can I update my email address in the system?

Penn State Employees: Employees interested in changing their non-PSU email can do so in Workday.  

External Applicant: To log into your account, click on the “Sign In” button located in the upper right-hand corner of the career homepage. Once you are logged in, click on your email address which is displayed in the upper right-hand corner of your candidate homepage. Select “Account Settings”, and you will see “Change Email”. Enter the new address you would like to use and select “Submit”. 

I forgot my password. How can I get that information? 

Penn State Employees: You will log into your Workday account through Duo (2FA). Visit security.psu.edu/two-factor-authenticationif you need to reset your password.

Penn State Students: Students will have to enroll in Duo (2FA) by May 12, 2020 for all Penn State systems. To address the switch and ease the process, Penn State students applying for opportunities must enroll in 2FA before they apply through Workday. More information about 2FA can be found at: security.psu.edu/two-factor-authentication

External Applicants: You can reset your password by selecting “Forgot Password” and entering your email address when signing into your account. You should receive a notification with reset instructions to the email tied to your Workday account. 

APPLYING

General Instructions

To be considered for a position, you will need to apply online and complete the employment application. 

Penn State employees log into their Workday account and select the “Career” icon under “Applications”. 

If you are not a current Penn State Employee, you will need to create a candidate profile in Workday. You can create an account by visiting hr.psu.edu/careers and selecting “Sign In”. 

Submission of the affirmative action identification is voluntary. Completing this information allows us to meet our reporting requirements under Federal employment laws and regulations. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

If you have need assistance or have any questions about applying for a position, you should contact HR Services at 814-865-1473.

Application Assistance for Individuals with Impairment or Disabilities 

If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact HR Services at 814-865-1473.

Is there a process that I can follow if I'm an external applicant?

Yes. Please use the following process.

Can I apply to more than one opportunity?

You can apply for as many positions as you’d like. You are encouraged to review the basic qualifications, skills and required documents before applying. Your candidate profile will save your information after it is completed which will expedite the process moving forward.

Note: Once you apply, you are unable to modify your application or materials for that position. If an applicant withdraws from a position, they are unable to reapply to that role. Prior to removing your application from consideration, please understand this action is final.

How to Apply – (External)

  1. Click on the job number that you are interested in, and the job description will be displayed.

  2. If you are interested in applying for that job, click on “Apply”. 

  3. The login screen will appear. You will need to enter your Workday User ID and Password. 

  4. You will be asked to upload a resume to assist with the application through “Quick Apply”. 

  5. The application will load and ask you to complete the required fields. Some fields are option, but we encourage you to share as much information as you are comfortable with so we can get to know you better!

  6. You will have a chance to review all information and materials before the final submission. 

  7. Note: Once you apply, you are unable to modify your application or materials for that position.  If an applicant withdraws from a position, they are unable to reapply to that role.  

How to Apply (Internal)

  1. Log into your Workday account and select the “Career” icon under “Applications”

  2. Update the information in “Job History”, “Education”, “Certifications” and “Languages”. This is not required but save you time completing the application process for this application or future applications.

  3. Select “Career Opportunities”, this will take you to the careers page where you can search by keyword, job number or filters. 

  4. Click on the job number that you are interested in, and the job description will be displayed.

  5. If you are interested in applying for that job, click on the “Apply”. 

  6. The application will load and ask you to complete the required fields. Some fields are option, but we encourage you to share as much information as you are comfortable. 

  7. Review all entered information and select “submit”. 

How can I see the jobs I've applied for?

Penn State Employees: log into your Workday account, select the “career” icon and then select “My Application Status”.

External Applicants: Select “Sign In” on the Penn State Careers page. Enter your email address and password. Once you are logged in, select “My Submitted Applications”. 

How can I withdraw my name from consideration for a job?

Penn State Employees: Log into your Workday account and select the “Career” icon under “Applications”. Select “Withdraw Application”.  This will take you to a landing page with all of your current applications. Select the radio button on the far left for the corresponding position you’d like to withdraw from and select “Okay”. You will be asked to confirm your selection, select “Ok”. 

External Applicants: Select “Sign In” on the Penn State Careers page. Enter your email address and password. Once you are logged in, select the position you would like to withdraw from under “My Submitted Applications. Once you are in the profile for the position you’d like to withdraw from, select “Withdraw Application”. You will be asked to confirm this action, select “Ok”. 

What can I do if I accidently withdrew from a job? 

Penn State Employees: You can reapply but will need to recomplete the application in its entirety. 

External Applicants: You are encouraged to review the basic qualifications, skills and required documents before applying. Your candidate profile will save your information after it is completed which will expedite the process moving forward.

Note: Once you apply, you are unable to modify your application or materials for that position. If an applicant withdraws from a position, they are unable to reapply to that role. Prior to removing your application from consideration, please understand this action is final.

Will I be required to fill out an employment application in addition to my cover letter and resume/cv?

Yes, an online application is required for each position. You have the option to include a resume which will parse into many of the required application fields. Or, you have the option to manually enter all the application information. 

I'm currently a full-time employee, do I need to complete the online application?

Yes, positions require an application to be completed regardless of affiliation with the University.  

What document types can be uploaded?

DOC, DOCX, HTML, PDF, or TXT file types (5MB max)

The job posting asks for letters of recommendation, how do I provide confidential letters?

Workday does not provide the ability to receive confidential documentation. If this information is required, it will be handled by the specific unit.  

You are asking if I’m keeping my current position,  will my current manager know my answer

No,  your answer to this question is not shared with your current manager. This information is used for HR to determine how to best process your job change or job addition if you are the successful candidate.

All my letters of recommendation are on Interfolio, what email can I provide to Interfolio?

At this time, Penn State does not have a relationship with Interfolio and does not have an email address that you can utilize for this purpose.
 

HIRING PAUSE

Penn State leadership is currently determining the impact of COVID-19 as it relates to University hiring practices and will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.

General Information

Is information provided on this page applicable to all Penn State campuses (including World Campus) and Penn State affiliate organizations?

Yes, the information is inclusive to Penn State employees at all campuses and affiliates. 

Does this information apply to 3rd party temporary or contract employees?

No, please contact your temporary agency or manager for more information. 

Where can I find more information on Penn State’s response to COVID-19?

https://sites.psu.edu/virusinfo/

 

Penn State University’s Hiring Pause

When did the hiring pause begin at Penn State?

The hiring pause is in effect as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020. It is inclusive of all positions (faculty, staff, student, and technical service). Exceptions may be granted if deemed “Mission Critical” by University leadership via an exception approval process. 

What does the hiring approval process look like?

If unit leadership deems a position is critical to hire, the hiring manager should work with their Human Resources Strategic Partner (HRSP) to complete the Exception to Hire form. The form also includes instructions on the approval process. Only approved hires may move forward (either posting or offer). 

How long will the hiring pause last?

Until further notice. 

What will happen to job openings currently being advertised on Penn State Careers web page?

Job statuses will vary. Many positions currently posted may be placed in a new status of “Freeze.” When job openings are placed into a “Freeze” status, they are no longer being advertised on our career sites (internal or external). They may still appear on external vendor sites (LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, etc.) until the scraping mechanism updates on the vendor side (typically 24 hours). We will work with the vendors to take them down sooner, if possible, to avoid issues affecting the overall candidate experience. Once a job is placed on “Freeze,” the system will not allow for additional applicants to apply to that job opening until the job is reopened. Candidates can check the status of their application and position by logging into their Workday profile. Job openings deemed “Mission Critical” will be posted and actively recruited for through the Penn State Careers webpage. 

 

Candidates-External

I received a notification that the job I applied to was “Frozen” or put on “Hold,” what does that mean and what actions should I take from here?

This notification was sent to alert you that a position you applied to has been impacted by the University’s hiring pause. At this point, the recruitment process will not proceed until the position is reopened. If the position is cancelled or reopened, you will receive additional communications. No further action is required at this point. 

I applied prior to the University hiring pause, but I haven’t heard anything yet, how can I check my application status?

Select “Sign In” on the Penn State Careers webpage. Enter your email address and password. Once you are logged in, select “My Submitted Applications” to see your current status. Please note that during the university’s hiring pause, there is a possibility that there may not be much movement in hiring. 

I interviewed prior to the University’s hiring pause, am I still in consideration for the position?

Yes, provided you have not received a notification alerting you that you are no longer in consideration. However, the current hiring pause may result in a stop, or slowdown of the hiring process. Please note, you will receive additional communications regarding next steps and position status (Hold, Closing, etc.). Please feel free to follow up with your recruiter and/or hiring manager in the interim. 

I received an offer prior to the University hiring pause, will my offer be honored?

Verbal and written offers extended prior to Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and that were accepted will be honored. However, start dates, onboarding format, and responsibilities may be modified given the current public health crisis and related regulations. More information will be provided by your manager and Penn State Human Resources. You may also receive supplemental communications based on further information on COVID-19 requirements per Federal, State, Local, or Institutional guidelines. 

I accepted a position prior to the University hiring pause but have not started yet, how will this impact my start date?

Start dates may need to be pushed back. This will be specific to each position and should be a conversation you will need to have with your hiring manager and/or recruiter. If you have not yet been contacted by them, please feel free to follow up. 

I have a confirmed start date, what can I expect for onboarding and training?

Please check with your hiring manager or recruiter to verify your start date. Some start dates have been postponed. If you are set to start, you will receive communications from Penn State Human Resources about scheduling/rescheduling onboarding, including what activities you will need to complete in advance of your onboarding session. Considering Penn State’s response to COVID-19 and the desire to limit in-person interactions, Penn State Human Resources will offer a one-on-one onboarding session via Zoom. Your manager will also be in contact about your first day responsibilities, location, and training. 

How are “fixed term” and “standing positions” different and does that impact hiring during the University’s hiring pause?

These are internal designations related to the funding source for a position. The designation does not make a difference as to which positions may be placed on “hold” or are open for active recruitment.  

How will interviews be conducted to observe proper “social distancing”?

Interviews will be postponed or will utilize technology (phone or Zoom only) to conduct interviews in a virtual space instead of face-to-face. 

Are there resources or tips available for virtual interviewing?

  • Be sure to check that the technology works properly in advance of the interview
  • Prepare for the interview the same you would for an in-person interview
  • Dress in business professional attire or role appropriate attire
  • Look at the camera, not the screen – ensure the camera shows you straight-on so you aren’t looking up or down at the camera
  • Make sure there are no distractions in the background (posters, clutter, clothes, etc.)
  • Ensure you have proper lighting and test the camera and mic before starting
  • Make sure you have a reliable internet connection
  • Utilize a laptop if possible, to minimize distractions, odd angles or a wobbly video feed
  • Try not to fidget, it is more noticeable on camera
  • Be clear and concise
  • Take exaggerated pauses to minimize talking over each other
  • Do not read from notes on your screen, the interviewers can tell by your eye movement
  • If you do not have the necessary technology or require accommodations, please alert your recruiter and/or hiring manager as soon as possible.

 

Candidates-Internal

I received a notification that the job I applied to was “Frozen” or put on “Hold,” what does that mean and what actions should I take from here?

This notification was sent to alert you that a position you applied to has been impacted by the University’s hiring pause. At this point, the recruitment process will not proceed until the position is reopened. If the position is cancelled or reopened, you will receive additional communications. No further action is required at this point.

I applied prior to the University hiring pause, but I haven’t heard anything yet, how can I check my application status?

Log into your Workday account and select the “Careers” icon. Once you are logged in, select “My Submitted Applications”. Please note that during the university’s hiring pause, there is a possibility that there may not be much movement in hiring. 

I interviewed prior to the University’s hiring pause, am I still in consideration for the position?

Yes, provided you have not received a notification alerting you that you are no longer in consideration. However, the current hiring pause may result in a stop, or slowdown of the hiring process. Please note, you will receive additional communications regarding next steps and position status (Hold, Closing, etc.). Please feel free to follow up with your recruiter and/or hiring manager in the interim. 

How will interviews be conducted to observe proper “social distancing”?

Interviews will be postponed or will utilize technology (phone or Zoom only) to conduct interviews in a virtual space instead of face-to-face. 

Are there resources or tips available for virtual interviewing?

  • Be sure to check that the technology works properly in advance of the interview
  • Prepare for the interview the same you would for an in-person interview
  • Dress in business professional attire or role appropriate attire>
  • Look at the camera, not the screen – ensure the camera shows you straight-on so you aren’t looking up or down at the camera
  • Make sure there are no distractions in the background (posters, clutter, clothes, etc.
  • Ensure you have proper lighting and test the camera and mic before starting
  • Make sure you have a reliable internet connection
  • Utilize a laptop if possible, to minimize distractions, odd angles or a wobbly video feed
  • Try not to fidget, it is more noticeable on camera
  • Be clear and concise
  • Take exaggerated pauses to minimize talking over each other
  • Do not read from notes on your screen, the interviewers can tell by your eye movement
  • If you do not have the necessary technology or require accommodations, please alert your recruiter and/or hiring manger as soon as possible.

 

Hiring Managers

What if...

I need to post a new position:

Positions will require University Leadership approval before they will be permitted to post, as only positions that are mission critical are being considered at this time. Please reach out to unit leadership or your Human Resources Strategic Partner(HRSP) for clarity if you feel you have justification for an exception. If unit leadership determines that your position is critical, the Exception to Hire form must be filled out and submitted to Nick Jones and/or David Gray (via the HRSP). If the position is approved, all candidates should be made aware that any future hiring activities and start dates are still conditional based on information regarding COVID-19 requirements per Federal, State, Local, or institutional guidelines. 

I have a position on “Freeze”, can I still manage my job openings and applicants?

Yes, you can review materials, disposition of applicants and create a “short list” of candidates you’d like to interview. Before conducting interviews, please consult with your recruiter for more information. Penn State Human Resources can assist with communication to the candidates regarding the hiring pause. 

I am in the interview process

If the position has already been posted, screening and interviews adhering to University COVID-19 guidelines may proceed but no offers can be extended at this time unless approved by Provost Jones or Senior VP Gray as appropriate. Please reach out to unit leadership or your HRSP for clarity on the approval process. If the offer is approved, start dates will still need to be determined by taking into consideration any current information regarding COVID-19 requirements per Federal, State, Local, or institutional guidelines.  

Top candidate has been identified

No offers should be extended at this time, unless approved by Provost Jones or Senior VP Gray as appropriate. Please reach out to unit leadership or your HRSP for clarity on the approval process. If the offer is approved, start dates will still need to be determined by taking into consideration any current information regarding COVID-19 requirements per Federal, State, Local, or institutional guidelines can be extended at this time.  

Who determines the “Mission Critical” designation?

Provost Nick Jones or Senior VP David Gray. Contact your HRSP to further understand the process for initiating an exception approval for a critical hire. All requests for exceptions must be documented and approved prior to proceeding with future postings or extension of offers.  

Are there tips or resources for conducting virtual interviews?

  • Be consistent, conduct interviews in the same format for all candidates
  • Utilize a standardized scorecard/evaluation form
  • Prepare questions or a script and share with all interviewers
  • Ensure that your questions focus on the core competencies of the position
  • Familiarize and test the technology before the interview
  • Have a backup plan should the technology platform fail
  • Look at the camera, not the screen – ensure the camera shows you straight-on so you aren’t looking up or down at the camera
  • Make sure there are no distractions in the background (posters, clutter, clothes, etc.)
  • Ensure you have proper lighting and test the camera and mic before starting
  • Make sure you have a reliable internet connection
  • Utilize a laptop if possible, to minimize distractions, odds angles or a wobbly video feed
  • Try not to fidget, it is more noticeable on camera
  • Be clear and concise
  • Take exaggerated pauses to minimize talking over each other
  • Allow for time after the interview for questions. These are unique times and candidates may have more questions compared to past interviews.
  • Connect with your recruiter, HRC or HRSP for more information or specific concerns.

The language used in this document should not be construed as creating a contract of employment between The Pennsylvania State University and any employee. At any time the university reserves the right to modify, change, suspend, or cancel all or any part of the policies, procedures, and programs described herein. When the university develops new or modifies existing policies, procedures and programs, it will notify members of the university community as soon as possible. This page will be regularly updated as more information becomes available. Page updated: March 27, 2020