Saturday, January 24, 2015

Blog CLXVII (167): Job Hunting Tips: Before Hand

What "dos" and "don'ts" would you pass on to a new scholar going out on the job market.  That is a question I asked a number of friends and colleagues.  The response was overwhelming.  Dozens and dozens of people replied.  These comments come from scholars working at community colleges (Lorain County Community College), small liberal arts colleges (Concordia University Wisconsin), regional state schools (Humboldt State University and Texas A&M University—Commerce), and research universities both public (Ohio State and North Carolina) and private (Brigham Young and Vanderbilt).  They are mostly historians working in academic departments, but some teach in professional programs (U.S. Naval War College and the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University).  Here is part 1 entitled: "Before Hand":
  • Take the long view—Jason Parker, Department of History, Texas A&M University 
  • It is essential to choose a dissertation topic that will prepare one to be a scholar of a series of subjects an one of interest to students.—Steven Reiss, Department of History, Northeastern Illinois University 
  • Do apply at a wide range of institutions. If you only apply at Harvard you will probably be unemployed.—Hillary Gleason, Laredo Community College 
  • Build your network—Jason Parker, Department of History, Texas A&M University 
  • My slim advice would be to encourage people not to overlook at Great Britain in their job search. The salaries are now competitive, and there are many interesting professional opportunities, archives, access to the Continent for those working in European history, research grants, and so on. Quite a number of Americans are now teaching in UK universities, and there are many exchanges with Continental universities.—Doug Porch, Naval Postgraduate School
  • DON'T apply for jobs for which you don't meet the minimum qualifications. If an ad specifies that the successful candidate must have a major focus on the Mongols and your dissertation is on Communist China, don't apply.—Judy Ford, Department of History, Texas A&M University—Commerce
  • Try to get a chapter or two from the dissertation published.—Steven Reiss, Department of History, Northeastern Illinois University
  • REMEMBER you might get interviews before you finish your dissertation, but a degree in hand makes getting more than one interview much more likely, as one of the first cuts search committees make is PhD in hand versus ABD.—William Ashbaugh, Department of History, State University of New York—Oneonta 
  • Our senior colleague, Jim Olson, once told me, "When we look for a new hire, it really comes down to three questions: Will this candidate attract or repel history students? Will he/she be a productive scholar? And, most important, will this candidate be a good citizen on the floor?" That always seemed a good way to winnow out the first batch of applicants.—Ty Cashion, Department of History, Sam Houston State University

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see you back after a very long break.