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The general process remains the same for any job search in education. However, some rituals of the search may differ. Following are rituals specific to educators who seek positions at the college and university level.

Researching Target Schools

First of all, searches usually involve long-distance job seeking. When you apply to places far away, the mail becomes very important. Use it to obtain college catalogs, department handouts to current students, papers published by faculty members or those who might end up interviewing you, and local newspapers and college papers.

Be sure to read your professional journals with a specific eye on new trends. These also list openings because most employers use the advertising listing to meet affirmative action goals.

Networking is important, too. You can almost always find someone who knows someone who works at a school you are interested in. Each field is small and tightly knit. Try to attend as many professional conferences as you can in order to pick up on trends and meet people. Be sure to attend the social functions of each conference and bring along resumes and a contact card.

Your best guide, however, will be a mentor who works in the field. Work closely with your major professor or an influential colleague to learn about current hiring practices and see if he or she knows anyone in the places you want to apply.

More Paperwork-The Vita

In many cases, you may need a vita instead of a resume. (A prepared job seeker at the college and university level has one of each.) A vita is like an extended resume. It covers many of the same categories, such as career objective, education summary, and work summary, but it also lists, usually under a subhead such as Professional and Creative Works, your professional contributions and involvements. Look at samples from colleagues or ask your placement office for samples. I suggest you include the following types of information under Professional and Creative Works (or a similar major subhead):
  • Personal Publications: Provide bibliographic data on all citations, pamphlets, monographs, chapters in books, books, articles, and research reports.

  • Papers Presented: For each paper, list its title, the conference where it was presented, and the date and location of the conference. Also note invited and competitive entries for each conference.

  • Professional Service: List by name and date, all organizational memberships, positions on boards, reviewing or editing responsibilities, committee work, recitals, performances, exhibits, and consulting and advisory work.
If you are offered a position during the interview process, bear in mind that you don't have to reject or accept it immediately. If salary is a problem, suggest something that pegs your interest between theirs. For example, if they offer $20,000-$25,000/ you can respond with, "Yes, between 22 and 28 would be acceptable."

Finally, if your interview is out of town, try to arrive the day before. You'll need to be rested and acclimated.
  • Past and Current Research: Identify objective(s) of all research projects as well as their time periods.
Interview Rituals

The interview process at the college and university level can be more elaborate. It often involves three levels: a demonstration, some socializing, and several meetings with various staff members. The demonstration will usually require you to deliver a lecture to staff or students. The socializing will be at a party or luncheon where staff can mingle and get to know you. The meetings will consist of a variety of interviews. (See Chapter 6 for more on interview formats.)
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