Networking for Higher Education Positions

Searching for the perfect job is difficult in today’s recession.  Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment in academic jobs should continue to grow, the reality is that there are several applicants for each potential job.  Jobs in education are there, but finding the right one may be problematic.

One key to help any job search is networking.  Several companies, including academic jobs, now move a job applicant with an internal recommendation to the top of their list.  This may seem somewhat discriminatory; however, every job has some type of selection hiring process.  The method you use to provide references can mean the difference between gaining employment and receiving the nice rejection letter.

Consider this from the Human Resource manager’s position.  If there are 10 open faculty positions within the university, they may receive 1000 applicants to sort through!  It is important to make sure you meet every detail required in the job description in order to be considered for the job, but the networking is one of the more important aspects in securing the position.

Before you begin your job search or apply to any job, remember that the best jobs are in fact a two-sided relationship.  Colleges or universities have their own personalities, just as people have their own personality.  To make the most of your job search:

  1. Research the college well before you send an application. 
  2. Connect with potential colleges on LinkedIn or some other social media site and get involved in their discussions. 
  3. Cultivate relationships within the organization where you’d like to be employed.
  4. Get involved in professional organizations to help meet people in your field.

Do not be afraid to speak up and let yourself shine as a potential candidate.

Dr. Rebecca Sanders has been in education for 33 years, and has experience teaching elementary through doctoral level classes.

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