10 Tips for Your Higher Ed Job Search
In the U.S., the higher education industry generates nearly $450 billion in revenue each year. Between 2009 and 2014, the industry grew by almost 10% and now employs nearly three million people.
Searching for a job in higher education, including college administration jobs, can be daunting: diversity jobs, faculty jobs, student teaching, college coaching jobs… many choices. Don’t let that deter you from seeing where you’ll fit.
These tips should help get you noticed and taken seriously, whether you’re interested in adjunct positions or college administration jobs.
Be sure you understand the position and the institution. Each cover letter should be customized to fit the position – do NOT use one for all of your applications. It rings as disingenuous. Speaking specifically to each position applied for, even if it’s a college administration job, lets the school know you take them seriously.
Well Rounded Appeal
Keep in mind that while your accomplishments are important, so is your outlook about education and your related personal passions. Show them who you are as well as what you are, so they get a feel for how well you’ll fit into the culture of the school staff.
Open to Suggestion
Schools are looking for team players. Make it clear that you’re enthused about other opportunities in and around the one you’ve applied for. A willingness to diversify is a great asset.
Honesty, Best Policy
It’s not sinful to have left a job for any number of reasons, difficult life issues included. Don’t be afraid to honestly (briefly) explain gaps in your employment history. Your prospective employers are human too.
Keep your mind open to the various different styles of institutions out there. While you may fancy a position at a university, there might just be a more suitable job waiting at a community college. Don’t shut yourself out of potential wins with narrow perspectives.
There’s a Person Behind That Resume
…and you shouldn’t be afraid to show it, provided you can link much of what you show them back to the position/matter at hand. Hobbies and personal pursuits that compliment your career are definitely great options for keeping a friendly tone in an interview.
Keep the Writing Polished
Since your resume, cover letter, recommendation letters and samples are what they’ll see first, make sure it’s all tight and error free. The flow should be as flawless as possible, no matter what the content – don’t give them a reason to pass you over with avoidable spelling and grammar mistakes.
In the Ring You Go!
Don’t let word of a heavyweight contender keep you from applying for a position you want. Just because someone has established themselves as a desirable candidate does not mean that a fresh face or new perspective isn’t of value.
Out on the Table
Don’t hide any special needs, circumstances, disabilities, etc. While it may be uncomfortable for you to speak up, these issues have a way of becoming assets. Plus, honesty always looks good.
If you’re sending a thank you, send it out right away, keep it brief and professional. No need to keep the interview going with additional details, which can get interpreted as desperation.
From university professors to college administration jobs, the world of higher education is an abundant place for a career. Keep these basic tips in mind while you explore the possibilities.