Frequently Asked Questions About Employment at RAND

  1. How can I apply for a job at RAND?
  2. Can I talk with someone to learn more about the job?
  3. Can I arrange an informational interview?
  4. Do you require references? How many?
  5. What is the salary range for the position I'm interested in?
  6. I've submitted my application. How do I know you've received it?
  7. What should I include in my cover letter?
  8. I am applying to multiple positions. How can I submit a different cover letter for each job?
  9. How long before I can expect to hear from you?
  10. If my application is successful, what happens next?
  11. Will I be notified if the position is filled?
  12. If my application is not successful, will RAND keep it on file?
  13. If my application is not successful, when should I reapply?
  14. How do I change any of my contact information?
  15. Will I need a security clearance to work at RAND?
  16. What is your visa policy?

    The following questions refer only to research opportunities:
  17. I'd like to work in a specific research area. How can I make sure my application is submitted to that area?
  18. Why is a writing sample required for my position? It doesn't seem relevant.
  19. All of my writing samples are classified. What should I do?
  20. My writing samples are print-only, and therefore cannot be electronically attached to my application. What should I do?

1. How can I apply for a job at RAND?

Go to Find a Job. Use the arrows to scroll through all open positions. If you know the Job Opening ID Number, select "Advanced Search", enter the number in the field and select search. Click on the job to see the job description. If you meet all the qualifications, click on Apply Now, and follow the directions.

2. Can I talk with someone to learn more about the job?

We discourage this practice, since we don't have enough personnel to handle inquiries. However, we have made every effort to make our job descriptions as clear and comprehensive as possible. If you review the job description for the position you're interested in, you'll probably find that it answers most of your questions.

3. Can I arrange an informational interview?

We don't give informational interviews, since we don't have enough personnel to handle such interviews effectively. However, if you check our web site, you'll find a wealth of information about RAND, including our history, organizational structure, and current "hot topics" on our research agenda.

4. Do you require references? How many?

No references are required with your application. If your application is successful and we decide to move forward, we'll contact you about the next steps in the process, which could include supplying references. As a general rule, three references are needed.

5. What is the salary range for the position I'm interested in?

We don't post salary ranges. However, you'll find that RAND pays competitive market rates and offers excellent benefits. Go to the Benefits page for more information.

6. I've submitted my application. How do I know you've received it?

RAND applications must be submitted online. If you did not receive an immediate email confirmation please check your spam filter and go into your profile to make sure your email address is correct.

7. What should I include in my cover letter?

Your cover letter is important because it helps direct your application to appropriate staff within RAND. It should answer the following questions:

  1. What position are you applying for?
  2. Why are you qualified for the position?
  3. Why are you interested in RAND?

8. I am applying to multiple positions. How can I submit a different cover letter for each job?

Once you have uploaded your resume you will be in the Complete Application Screen. Select the trash can icon on the right of your cover letter to delete it. Select "add attachment" to upload a different letter.

9. How long before I can expect to hear from you?

We're sorry not to be able to provide specific guidelines. We review each application very carefully, including cover letter, resume, and (if applicable) writing samples. The exact timing depends on the volume of applications and the workload of the reviewers.

10. If my application is successful, what happens next?

Next steps depend on the needs and practices of the research unit or corporate division. Such steps could include tests, interviews, and an in-person presentation to your prospective colleagues at RAND. We'll discuss next steps with you in detail, and we'll make sure you have time to prepare.

11. Will I be notified if the position is filled?

You'll be notified if we decide to move forward with your application, or to pass at this time.

12. If my application is not successful, will RAND keep it on file?

No. We rely on you to reapply if your qualifications change or if a new position opens that is more closely aligned with your qualifications.

13. If my application is not successful, when should I reapply?

We encourage you to wait at least six months. That gives a reasonable amount of time for your qualifications or our needs to change.

14. How do I change any of my contact information?

Log in and select "My Profile" under "My Career Tools." Update any information that may have changed and save.

15. Will I need a security clearance to work at RAND?

You generally do not need a security clearance to apply for a position. However, once you are hired, many positions require that you either have or be able to obtain a security clearance. Check the job description to see if a clearance is required.

16. What is your visa policy?

Information on RAND's visa policy can be found here (PDF).

17. I'd like to work in a specific research area. How can I make sure my application is submitted to that area?

Specify your area of interest in your cover letter. We'll make sure your application is forwarded to the appropriate research leader.

18. Why is a writing sample required for my position? It doesn't seem relevant.

Excellent communication skills are required for research and analysis positions at RAND. If you're applying for such a position, your writing sample is very important in the evaluation of your application.

19. All of my writing samples are classified. What should I do?

We prefer an unclassified sample, since it speeds up the review process. Only unclassified samples may be attached to your online application.

However, if your best samples are classified, or if you do not have an electronic version of your writing samples, create a document in one of the following formats: pdf, doc, doc, txt, rtf, htm, html, or ppt. Include your name, date applied, and position applied for (posting title and reference code).

Indicate one of the following in the document:

I am forwarding my writing sample by US mail.

OR

I only have classified documents.

Save the document and attach as a writing sample with your application. (These instructions are also provided in the application process, on the Writing Sample Guidelines page.)

20. My writing samples are print-only, and therefore cannot be electronically attached to my application. What should I do?

You may send them to us via U.S. mail following these guidelines:

  1. Mail to:
    RAND Human Resources
    4570 Fifth Avenue
    Suite 600
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
  2. Indicate "Writing Sample" on outside of envelope
  3. Specify your return address

YOUR RETURN ADDRESS MUST MATCH THE POSTMARK ON THE ENVELOPE

Writing samples will not be returned.

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