My friend and colleague (and UW Philosophy alumna) Professor Brynn Welch recently gave this wonderful TEDx talk. I cannot recommend it enough:
Job applicants are often required to submit what is usually described as a “representative sample” of their teaching evaluations. There are many enthusiastic TAs and instructors who are applying for teaching-focused jobs, but who have concerns about their teaching evaluations.
TL;DR – deadlines are not always what they seem, online applications forms are often more work than might be expected, reference requests are not always requests for letters, and being informed, organized, and prepared is usually worth its weight in peace of mine. Also, proofread your online forms before submitting them.
Just as people are different in their personal and private lives, so too are they different when it comes to how they present themselves professionally. So, this post is not intended to coach applicants on how to present themselves, but rather to suggest that awareness and control can be just as important, if not more so, than looking respectable or conforming to social norms. It may be part of one’s cultivated professional image (or not at odds with it) to be seen as especially sociable, lighthearted, fun loving, or silly. It may also be part of one’s professional identity (or not at odds with it) to be politically outspoken, to participate in debates about divisive social issues online, or to be religious, spiritual, or in support or a particular lifestyle. That is very different from forgetting to take down a photo one would genuinely prefer members of the profession not to have seen or to go online on the day of one’s Skype interview to be faced with a Skype name that was invented in a less professionally oriented moment.
Skype is now a very common medium for first-round interviews , but be prepared for a wide range of interview practices. Interviews can differ with respect to their length, the number of interviewers, the topics and questions focused on, the day of the week (including weekends), the time of day, and so on.
When submitting job applications, there may be several reasons to tailor applications to their respective positions. And several ways in which to do this.
Choosing which jobs to apply for and narrowing down one’s list can be an overwhelming task. As the title of this post is intended to suggest, the choices can seem immune to any principle or any sensible approach. It can make applicants feel as though they are at the mercy of fate and a chaotic or deeply unfair job market. Although choosing not to apply for a job may seem like a cheap way to establish some agency over the process, it can help reinforce the attitude that you are the (gender-neutral) master of your own fate. Here are some considerations for deciding whether or not to apply for certain jobs.