Job Search Process in Academia
The process of completing a dissertation and simultaneously applying for faculty positions
can feel overwhelming due to the extensive amount of information required for faculty
position applications. The following information as well as Career Center staff are
available to assist you with this difficult job search process in academia!
Applications for faculty positions often include the following:
- Cover Letter
- Research Statement
- Teaching Philosophy Statement
- Letters of Recommendation
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Because your CV lists all of your educational and professional history, it is important that it is well organized and highlights your major academic and professional achievements.
All information on your CV must be accurate and up to date. By sending or posting your CV, you are agreeing that all information disclosed is accurate and true.
THE FOLLOWING SUGGESTIONS WILL HOPEFULLY ASSIST YOU IN PREPARING YOUR CV:
Unlike a resume, your CV should consist of as many pages as is necessary to include all of your educational and professional experiences. Your CV is your greatest tool to highlight your achievements and provide information about your research, presentations, teaching, service, and relevant work experience. Everyone needs a powerful CV to serve 2 main purposes:
- To present a snapshot of you when not present
- To help you get an interview.
Style. Each field has different styles of writing a CV. Because your field may have specific expectations of your CV, you should ask a professor in your field for more information about how CVs in your field are frequently presented. The goal is to show off your achievements and minimize any weaknesses.
Length. There are no limits to the length of your CV. A career center staff member will be happy to review your CV and help you in this process.
Identifying Information. Your name, address, phone number and e-mail address should be placed at the top of the page. If you have a school address and another address (parents, etc.), it is advisable to list those addresses where you might be reached. Be sure to update the address or phone number if changes occur.
Education + Dissertation or Thesis Topic. Included in this section are undergraduate and graduate degrees earned. Most recent degrees are listed first (reverse chronological order). Include your major and minor if applicable. Under your Dissertation or Thesis Topic, you should include your committee chair. You may promote your marketability by putting other areas of academic emphasis; i.e., "15 hours computer science," "8 hours technical writing," etc. If space allows, you might even list some course titles. Grade point averages may be given in this section. Some students give their cumulative GPA or choose major GPA or junior/senior GPA, depending on which represents them most favorably.
Research Interests/Research Profile. This section should include information about your current and prospective areas of research.
Research Experience. Should describe any research positions or experience.
Experience. This section may include part-time or full-time work. It may also include internships as well as volunteer experiences. Name, address of the organization, your title or position, and dates worked should be included. Describe your experiences in active, skill-related terms and emphasize accomplishments.
Areas of Teaching Experience. Consists of a summary of your teaching experiences.
Teaching Experience. Includes a more detailed list of the course and subjects you taught or co-taught as well as your position title and institution in which you gained this experience.
Honors and Awards. List awards in this section. May include academic achievements as well as scholarships.
Professional Memberships/Organizations. List any professional organizations for which you served on committees or held officer position.
Community/Administrative Service. List any community or administrative involvement in which you engaged.
Publications/Presentations This section may also be divided into two separate sections. It should include all professional publications and presentations written in the format required by your discipline (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).
References. Include each reference's name, title, address, phone number and e-mail address. Only list those persons who have given you permission to do so.
Because your resume is perhaps the most important document in your job search efforts, there are some points to be considered in making this tool as effective as possible. Be prepared to invest the time required to polish and update your resume.
All information on your resume must be accurate and up to date. By sending or posting your resume, you are agreeing that all information disclosed is accurate and true.
THE FOLLOWING SUGGESTIONS WILL HOPEFULLY ASSIST YOU IN PREPARING YOUR RESUME:
Why have a resume?: Your resume is your greatest tool in acquiring an interview. Everyone needs a powerful resume to serve 2 main purposes:
- To present a snapshot of your skills, abilities, experience, and knowledge.
- To help you get an interview.
Style The three styles of resumes are chronological, functional and a combination of the two. The chronological resume lists jobs and duties sequentially beginning with the current or most recent position. This style focuses on your growth in a specific profession. The functional resume emphasizes professional skills. The combination of the two styles incorporates the strengths of both the chronological and the functional. Your resume should be short, easy to read, and use words that are familiar to the reader. The goal is to show off your achievements and minimize any weaknesses.
Length. You are encouraged to limit your resume to one page. Certainly, there are exceptions. A counselor will be happy to review your resume and help you in this process.
Identifying Information. There is no need to put the word "resume" or words "resume of" at the top of the page. This document has become recognizable and will speak for itself. Your name, phone number and e-mail address should be placed at the top of the page. If you choose to list your address and have a school address in addition to another address (parents, etc.), it is advisable to list those addresses where you might be reached. Be sure to update the address or phone number if changes occur.
Objective. Ideally, a resume will be specifically prepared for each employer. Because of this, use care in how you word your "career objective." If you are applying for positions in several different areas, the objective may be omitted from your resume. Education majors should replace "career objective" with "teaching field" because this is what they are certified for and it is not likely to change. To target a particular employer or career field, you may want to prepare individual resumes for the actual interview. Remember, cover letters can be used to serve the purpose of establishing why you are sending a resume and you will be the communicator of this information in the interview itself.
Education. Included in this section are undergraduate and graduate degrees earned. Most recent degrees are listed first (reverse chronological order). Include your major and minor if applicable. You may promote your marketable skills by putting other areas of academic emphasis; "15 hours computer science," "8 hours technical writing," etc. If space allows, you might even list some course titles. Grade point averages may be given in this section. Some students give their cumulative GPA or choose major GPA or junior/senior GPA, depending on which represents them most favorably. If you are not using the cumulative GPA, then label the GPA to explain it.
Experience. This section may include part-time or full-time work. It may also include internships and volunteer experiences. Name, city and state location of the organization, your title or position, and dates worked should be included. Describe your experiences in active, marketable skill-related terms and emphasize accomplishments.
Extracurricular Activities. This section may be titled many different ways. What you want to emphasize is the name of the organization, leadership roles, accomplishments and dates. Involvement in activities can and should be presented in such a way to show that you can interact with others, motivate, problem-solve, and achieve goals.
Languages. State your foreign language skills and accurately indicate your fluency. Foreign studies and/or travel might be appropriately placed here.
Study Abroad. Study abroad can be listed in it's own section or in Education.
Skills. A skills summary can be a strong section to add, particularly for a generalist or for someone with varied work experience. Focus on objective marketable skills for the field you are targeting.
Computer Languages/Literacy. State your language knowledge and level of ability. For example: basic knowledge, conversational, or fluent.
Interests. The addition of a section on personal hobbies can provide the interviewer with helpful information. However, you should rarely delete other, more useful information to allow space for this section.
Personal. Personal data such as age, sex, weight, and place of birth were, at one time, a standard listing on the resume. Since the passing of equal employment legislation, this material is usually omitted. Unless you believe this is truly beneficial to the job you are seeking, this information is now considered to have little impact on hiring decisions and is generally omitted.Because relocation and willingness to travel are often a requirement for some career opportunities, University Career Center suggests that phrases such as "willing to travel," "willing to relocate" or "seek position in Southwest or Texas" be placed in the near the top of your resume, either in the job objective or in a profile section or in another section of the resume.
References. At some point during the hiring procedure you will be asked to furnish references. With few exceptions, your references will be contacted regarding your employability.
Though you may have written references in your application, we encourage you to list your references on a separate document. Include each reference's name, title, address, phone number and e-mail address. Only list those persons who have given you permission to do so. For those students who will be certified to teach, student teaching evaluations will automatically be included in your credentialing file at University Career Center.
Cover Letter Tips
The letter of application, or cover letter, should accompany every resume you send to prospective employers. A good letter introduces you to the employer, briefly states the purpose of communication, highlights pertinent information from your resume, and suggests a meeting or interview. It should not reiterate everything in the resume, but should complement and expand upon the resume. A good cover letter will provide solid reasons as to why the applicant should be considered further. Remember that the main purpose of a cover letter is to get the reader interested enough in you to want to read your resume.
In the cover letter, remember to do the following
- Type it neatly on 8 1/2" x 11" bond paper to match your resume. It should be kept clean and free of errors.
- Keep it brief (no more than four paragraphs). Cut to the chase - don't ramble.
- Never send a form letter. Each letter should be individually composed. Send an original letter and not a carbon copy; however, once a good letter has been developed, it may be used as a model many times with slight revisions.
- When possible address your letter to a specific person, and with his/her appropriate title.
- Talk about what you can do for them, and then take the initiative when closing by asking for an interview.
- Use your own style of writing.
- Use correct sentence structure and grammar.
- Avoid excessive use of I, me, my by using introductory phrases so the personal pronoun is buried within the sentence. Example: "In addition to interning, I...
- Keep a copy of all correspondence sent for your own records. You'll be amazed how helpful this can be when interviews and meetings arise.
- When you complete a rough draft of your letter, show it to a career counselor, professor, experienced professional, or a friend for some helpful feedback.
Thank You Letter Tips
Job Interviews & Salary Negotiation
Job Fair Preparation
The interview is the single most important aspect in job hunting. Good grades, an excellent degree, lengthy experience, and a sharp-looking resume won't compensate for a poor impression made during an interview. You must be able to sell yourself effectively. More often than not, it is the small details such as appearance, handshake, etc., that spell the difference between being selected or rejected for a job. Be thorough in your preparation! Since each interview is unique, the more you interview the more confident and skillful you will become.
Conduct a Self-Assessment(Take an honest look at yourself focusing on such factors as:)
- Personality - What kind of person are you? Strengths? Weaknesses?
- Interests - What do you enjoy doing?
- Abilities/Skills - What do you do well?
- Values - Why do you want to work?
- Goals - Where would you like to be in five years?
- Experience - What have you accomplished?
Study the Organization
- Review company literature.
- Prepare important and relevant questions for the interview sessions.
- Ask others about the organization.
- Develop a clear understanding as to why you have selected them.
- Try and discover problems the organization may have and reflect on how you might be able to help them.
- If possible visit the organization..
- Notice how employees are dressed.
- Pay attention to grooming, styles, etc.
The Initial Interview
Be Yourself. Your attitude is going to influence the interviewer's evaluation. Don't try to be someone you aren't...just be yourself. Emphasize your strong points and remember that the recruiter is looking for inherent personal energy and enthusiasm. The interview is your opportunity to sell a product and that product is you.
Dwell on the Positive. Try always to dwell on the positive. While past failures and shortcomings need not be volunteered, don't try to cover them up or sidestep them. Should the recruiter ask about them, try to explain the circumstances rather than give excuses or blame others. Remember, the recruiter is human, too...and probably has made a few mistakes. You'll create a better impression by being honest and candid.
Ask Questions. When Indicated. If appropriate, ask meaningful questions, particularly if you're not clear about the details of the job, the training program, or other job-related concerns, but don't ask questions just because you think that's what is expected.
Some Do's and Don'ts in Successful Interviewing:
- Act natural
- Be prompt, neat, and courteous
- Bring copies of your resume
- Carry out promises
- Ask relevant questions
- Allow employer to express himself/herself
- Read company literature
- Examine company ratings
- Evaluate objectively
- Follow procedures
- Make yourself understood
- Listen to the other person
- Present informative credentials
- Keep an interview file with all the stuff you need in it. Take notes if you feel like you need to remember important info from the interview
- Follow up with personalized thank you letters
- Criticize yourself
- Be late for your interview
- Freeze or become tense
- Present an extremist appearance
- Become impatient
- Become emotional
- Talk too much or too little
- Oversell your case
- Draw out interview
- Make elaborate promises
- Come unprepared
- Try to be funny
- Unduly emphasize starting salary
- Linger over fringe benefits
Stages of an Interview
Stages of an Interview
STAGE 1: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
- Introduction: light conversation about sports, weather, traffic, etc.
- Interviewer Expectations: Good, firm handshake; eye contact; proper interview attire/grooming.
STAGE 2: YOUR QUALIFICATIONS
- Education: grades, choice of school and major, special interests, and achievements.
- Work: Types of jobs held, level of responsibility experienced, tasks enjoyed most and least, what was gained.
- Which of your experiences has been most rewarding to you?
- What type of work environment appeals to you?
- What skills have you developed?
- Activities and Interests: Role in campus organizations, fraternities, sororities, extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports, cultural interests.
- Are you active in any organizations or clubs?
- What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
- What led you to choose your field of study?
- What subjects did you like best? Why?
- Do your grades accurately reflect your capabilities?
- Willingness to work
- Ability to handle responsibility
STAGE 3: CAREER GOALS
- Immediate and long-term objectives, interest in the company, geographical preferences.
- Immediate and long-term objectives, interest in the company, geographical preferences.
- What are your long-range and short-range goals and objectives?
- When and why did you establish these goals?
- How are you preparing yourself to achieve them?
- What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort
- What qualifications do you have that make you think that you will be successful?
- In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company?
- Realistic knowledge of strengths and weaknesses
- Knowledge of opportunities
- Interest in the company
- Serious interest in career
STAGE 4: THE COMPANY
- Company opportunities, training programs, corporate structure, benefits and educational opportunities, chances for promotion.
- Why did you decide to seek a position with this company?
- What do you know about our company?
- What are your geographical preferences?
- Will you relocate?
- Willing to travel?
- Informed and relevant questions
- Sincere interest in the company
- Appropriate but not undue interest in salary and benefits
STAGE 5: CONCLUSION
- What you should do next (fill out applications, send transcripts, forward references), further steps the company will take, when you will be notified of interview results, cordial farewell.
- Candidate's attention to information as a sign of continued interest.
Sample Interview Questions
Questions to ask the INTERVIEWER:
- What personality traits do you consider critical to success in this job?
- Describe typical first year assignments on the job?
- What is the best part about working for XYZ?
- What is the timetable for filling this position?
- What parts of your job are most challenging?
- What recent changes have forced your company to re-focus its efforts?
- What has the impact of these efforts been?
- What are the most important personal satisfactions connected with your job?
Example Graduate and Professional School Interview Questions:
Practice Interviewing with Optimal Resume
Salary negotiation takes tact, skill, and research. Don't forget that salary isn't the only factor in taking an offer. Benefits, cost-of-living, geographic location, work environment, and corporate culture also need to be considered. Make sure you look at the whole picture. While doing your research, you need to also figure out what you're worth before you start to negotiate.In addition to negotiating the salary you want, there are many non-salary perks you can consider:
- Increased vacation time
- Comp time (time off for overtime worked)
- Participation in the company's 401(k) plan
- Immediate vesting in the company's savings plan
- Stock or equity in the company
- Paid life insurance
- Continuing education or tuition reimbursement
- Flexible work schedule
- Child care benefits
- Elder care benefits
- An expense account
- Parking reimbursement
- Personal use of frequent flyer miles
- Subscriptions to professional publications
- Dues for professional organizations
- A better office
Visit the NACE Salary Calculator for a salary range based on your occupation, targeted region, degree and work experience.
Student Rights & Responsibilities During the On-Campus Recruiting Process
The University Career Center and employers develop connections and programs, such as Hire Red Raiders, on-campus recruiting, and career fairs, to help Texas Tech students obtain meaningful employment. As an internship or job seeker, you have various rights and responsibilities surrounding the interview process and acceptance of job offers.
The University Career Center is pleased to coordinate on-campus interview opportunities between employers and Texas Tech students.
To ensure the best quality experience for you and employers, please follow these guidelines when participating in on-campus interviews:
- Interview only with employers whose eligibility requirements you meet.
- Provide accurate information to employers during the application and interview processes.
- Prepare for your on-campus interview by reviewing these tips, the job description, company website and literature.
- Upon being accepted for an interview, you MUST accept or decline the interview invitation by the designated deadline.
- Once you have accepted an interview invitation, you are expected to keep your appointment. Not showing up for an interview reflects negatively on you and Texas Tech University. If you must miss an interview appointment due to an urgent situation, contact the recruiter who scheduled your interview or call the University Career Center at 806-742-2210 as soon as possible.
- Bring copies of your resume to the interview and transcripts, if applicable.
- Dress and conduct yourself in a professional manner during the interview.
University Career Center staff are available to advise you about your responsibilities in the recruitment process. Please review and follow these Recruiter and University Career Center expectations when considering an internship or job offer:
- Negotiate and accept an offer of employment in good faith.
- Notify employers in a timely manner of acceptance or non-acceptance of the offer.
- Refrain from further searching for internships or jobs once you have accepted an offer of employment.
- Request reimbursement of only reasonable and legitimate expenses incurred in the recruitment process.
Learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a job seeker.
If you have questions regarding the job search, on-campus recruiting process, or negotiating an offer, contact the University Career Center at 806-742-2210.
Your research statement should not only provide information about your previous research, current research and future research ideas, but also it should demonstrate the significance of your research and how this research will benefit each specific institution for which you are applying. Some of the potential areas that you might demonstrate your ability to contribute include obtaining outside funding for research (through grant writing), your potential to collaborate with other faculty, your enhancing student involvement in research, or your developing new courses or programs. While your CV may provide detailed information about your research history, a research statement should address the following:
- Your motivation or passion to conduct your research.
- Reasons that others are interested in your research.
- An emphasis on the significance of your research.
- Challenges concerning your research and how you overcame them.
- Information about the contribution of your research to the problem you identified.
- The potential application of your research to your field.
- Significance of areas that your future research will address. Include both short-term research projects and long-term research goals.
Your research statement should specifically identify the publications (or manuscripts
in progress) in which you depicted your findings. It is important to keep your research
statement descriptive and detailed and yet remain concise. Pay careful attention to
the terminology used in your research and make sure that it will be easily understandable
by academic professionals in your field. Because this is your research statement,
it is essential that it illustrates your future research goals rather than those of
your dissertation committee members or advisors. Remember that your goal of this research
statement is to highlight the significance of your research and demonstrate the positive
impact that your research and future research will have on the institution to which
you are applying.
In addition to receiving feedback from a faculty member in your field, please schedule an appointment with a career advisor to obtain feedback on your research statement. Call 806-742-2210 to schedule an appointment.
Teaching Philosophy Statement
Teaching philosophy statements are generally 1-2 pages in length and utilize first person present tense. In addition to communicating your teaching beliefs, values, and goals, your teaching philosophy statement should present evidence of your effective teaching style. Your teaching philosophy statement should address the following concerns:
- Your teaching objectives
- Information about your teaching practices--how do you teach?
- Evaluation of your teaching methods that justifies the way you teach
Teaching Objectives. Your teaching objectives should not only demonstrate that you are teaching content areas of your courses, but also it should illustrate that you contribute to students professional and potentially even personal growth. It should depict your ability to assist students with necessary skills to establish successful careers such as critical thinking, reinforce their desire to develop habits of life-long learning, foster independence as well as teamwork, experiential learning, self-evaluation, and more!
Your Teaching Practices. Include specifics (assignments, class discussions, teaching strategies, etc.) about your teaching practices to help the reader visualize your teaching methods/style. In order to capture the reader's attention, make sure that you describe unique, memorable teaching techniques.
Evaluate Your Teaching. Through describing your evaluation process of your teaching methods you will convey your ability to engage in self-reflection and adapt to changes.
Career Closet for Texas Tech Students
Are you a Texas Tech student in need of quality clothing for job and internship interviews? Is your budget tight? Make an appointment to visit the UCC Career Closet where gently worn, like new, professional clothing is donated on a regular basis. By utilizing a Career Center service, such as a meeting for a resume critique or mock interview or attending a job fair, you can choose one outfit per year while enrolled in Texas Tech. There is NO charge and you can keep the outfit!
Below is a list of the types of clothing that are routinely stocked in the Career Closet:
- Dress slacks
- Long sleeved dress shirts
- Dress shoes
- New, dark socks
- Ties, belts
If we don't have your size, please check back on a regular basis. Together, we can help you dress for success and feel confident when interviewing. For more information please contact Toni Krebbs in the University Career Center at 806-742-2210.
Dos & Don'ts of Interview Etiquette
U.S. Dining Etiquette
International Dining Etiquette
LinkedIn Mentorship for Texas Tech Students
LinkedIn has launched Career Advice, a new feature that helps connect members across the LinkedIn network with one another for lightweight mentorship opportunities. Whether you need advice on your career path, are switching to a new industry or seeking best practices for a project you're working on, Career Advice can help you find and connect with the right person who can help.
Below are instructions on how to get connected to Career Advice:
1. Set up a LinkedIn account.
2. Go to the Dashboard on your LinkedIn Profile and click the Career Advice hub.
3. Click on Career Advice and turn on the advice platform.
4. Enter your preferences. To find Texas Tech alumni mentors, choose from my school.
5. Choose the job and industry sector.
6. Enter topics you would like to receive advice on.
7. Read Terms and Conditions and click agree, then click finish.
As soon as the preferences are entered, LinkedIn's matching algorithm will send recommendations for matches. If you have multiple requests out, you can swipe to see all the matches. If you select someone who is a match they will get a message immediately notifying them of your interest to connect. Once both parties agree, use either LinkedIn's platform or take the conversation offline.
For more information please contact Toni Krebbs in the University Career Center at 806-742-2210.
Marketable Skills Campaign
Marketable Skills by Career Cluster
Evaluate your marketable skills by your specific field below:
- Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
- Architecture & Construction
- Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
- Business Management & Administration
- Education & Training
- Government & Public Administration
- Health Science
- Hospitality & Tourism
- Human Services
- Information Technology
- Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
- Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
- Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
Career Readiness Competencies
Call (806) 742-2210 to set up an appointment. Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. View map University Career Center Staff
The University Career Center encourages persons with disabilities to participate in our programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about accessibility, please call 806-742-2210 in advance of your participation or visit.
Are you starting a full-time job? Have you been accepted into graduate school? Are you still deciding? The University Career Center (UCC) wants to know your post-grad plans! Report your Outcome!