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Best Suggestions for New Grads on the Markets

posted: 6.1.07 by archived

Applying for work is a challenging, tedious, and hurdle-fraught process. In addition to collecting, generating, and properly structuring your documents–CV, Statement of Purpose, Teaching Philosophy, course plans, research interests, etc.–answering the questions, and arranging finances for possible travel, individual personalities and departmental cultures are vital to remember. In Kaye Adkins’ email, she powerfully focuses how this important issue, often not explained to graduate students or adjuncts, can impact your job application and search. Readers are advised to contemplate her comments.

Originally posted by Kaye Adkins on 10 October 2006 :

Instead of thinking about the interview process as auditioning, I like to think of it as applying for citizenship. A job applicant is asking to be accepted into a tightly knit community. In letters and interviews you should somehow address your ability to contribute to the departmental and institutional process of running things. Don’t just talk about your teaching or your scholarship. Remember that service is often the third part of getting promotion and tenure, so at least mention it in passing. What committee work have you done? Other service to your department and institution? Connect this to your teaching/scholarship if possible. (Consider asking one of your references to address this in his or her letter.) This is especially important if you are applying to regional/smaller institutions where teaching is highly valued, but I imagine it’s important for Research I’s, too. (Not as important as scholarship, but important nonetheless.) Along those lines–two questions I asked during the “what do you want to ask us” part of the interview: What kind of community is your department? What is required for promotion and tenure (if you can’t find this information on the web site)? These questions will tell you something about the culture of the program, and they will suggest to your interviewers that you plan on staying around for a while, so they won’t have to go through this process again in a year or two because you’ve left.

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Categories: Adjunct Advice, Gregory Zobel
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