Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Job search materials advise...

For many of you, this is the beginning of the nerve-wracking job search time.... You are dreaming of an interview at the dream R1, the SLAC or any ivory tower that will take you. I really hope that all of you who are in that situation get a job you want and love.... and, of course since you are all brialliant, nice and talented teachers, you will get those jobs you want.

In case you don't -- the community college hiring season seems to be later -- kind of a pool of last resort. I've found BNCC to be an excellent place to work and I hope that you'll find a CC that fits you as well as BNCC fits me.

This is my 4th year at BNCC. I've been on a couple of hiring committees. While the specifics are confidential, I can give some positive advise based on my experiences reviewing materials etc...

First and formost -- don't send the same materials to a CC that you sent to the R1s and R2s you applied to in the fall. CCs are different and your application materials should reflect that difference.

While teaching is either ignored or distained at the R1/R2 level, CCs are actually interested in your teaching experience. Your CV should be very clear about what courses you've taught and when. Don't make the committee guess at how much actual experience you have -- tell them. Use 'sections' as a common unit and tell the committee how many sections of the basic courses you've taught.

Your research, while it may be interesting, isn't nearly as important on the CV you send to a CC as it is to other kinds of schools. This is because your workload doesn't include research and usually getting tenure doesn't rely on research.

While I'm on the topic of research, don't be shocked by an anti-research bias. Actually wanting to do research that isn't somehow pedagogical can be met by a pretty high level of distain. Get used to that. Writing an article once in a while may be tolerated -- a book in your discipline will likely start them wondering how much you have let your teaching slide to work on research. If you lament the quality of the available textbooks, you may be able to write your own textbook...but don't enjoy it too much.

You should carefully read the position announcement. These are written from a boilerplate, but careful attention to how you fulfill the CCs stated needs shows why your particular experiences will make you a good fit at that CC. If your CV doesn't reflect the set of experience requested by the CC in the announcement, include that information in your cover letter.

If at all possible, run your materials by a pal with CC expeirence. Ask how they'd be read by people inside and outside of your field. If they can help you shape your message, you'll have a good chance of getting an interview.

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