Membership in scientific societies can offer a lot—meetings, newsletters, dialogue with peers, and so forth—to working scientists firmly ensconced in their careers. But what about the nonworking scientists— those who are finishing graduate school and seeking employment— or discontented researchers in hot pursuit of a career change? For them as well, professional associations can be the source of significant assistance and support as they take on the odious task of job hunting.

Many of the major United States science societies offer career-placement services that match employers in industry, government, and academia with job-hunting society members. Job seekers who have been helped by these services run the gamut of career experience, ranging from new Ph.D.’s desiring postdoctoral fellowships or their first jobs to those in retirement pursuing consulting opportunities.

Associations like the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), and the Federation...

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