Six Ways to Improve Your Job Search Odds

  1. Proof your resume and/or cover letter for a higher education job. With spell-check there is no excuse for misspelled words or typos.
  2. Complete the on-line application. Online application systems are tedious and annoying. Deal with it. Universities have plenty of applicants. They don’t need to bother with those who won’t jump through the hoops.
  3. Don't snail mail your resume or complete the employment application by hand. University jobs require knowledge of technology, and if you are so uncomfortable with computers that you won’t use them for the job search process, you will not get hired.
  4. Use a professional email address. Yes, snugglybunny@goohoo.com is an absolutely adorable email address, but it may give the hiring manager the wrong impression. Get a free email account, and use a professional name. Try [first name][last name]@[email provider]. You may have to add a number at the end if you have a common name, so avoid numbers with unsavory associations such as “666”. You could even select a relevant email address such as historyprof@hoogoo.net that may stick in the hiring manager’s mind!
  5. Avoid embarrassing information on social media. Go to your Facebook account and change your settings to “private” so your posts are viewable only by your friends. Yes, prospective employers should NOT be looking at your FB profile and ogling pictures of you swimming in the reflecting pool in front of the state capital, but be realistic. If you put it out there for public view, future employers might see it and form the wrong impression.
  6. Respect the hiring manager. One follow-up phone call shows interest. Two calls are bothersome, and three is downright annoying. Universities are bureaucratic, and hiring decisions can take a while. You won’t force a decision by bugging the manager.

 Dindy Robinson has many years of human resources experience in higher education institutions.

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