The following came across the Ecolog-L (list server for the Ecol. Soc. of
Am.) and I thought it was relevant to much of the discussion of
post-doc/junior faculty that has been going on.
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 18:09:47 -0500
From: Gerald Morine <GMORINE at VAX1.BEMIDJI.MSUS.EDU>
Subject: Advice to Would-Be Professor
Hints for People Seeking Teaching Jobs at
Primarily Undergraduate Institutions Who
Really Want to be the One Who Gets the Job!
Send your letter of application and resume in
as quickly after the advertisement as possible.
Call a week before the deadline asking the secretary
whether your file is complete, i.e., has the needed
transcripts, letters of reference, etc.
Have your references send letters if at all
possible. Provide them with pre-addressed
envelopes, which they may or may not use.
Include email addresses
and phone numbers for your references in case
the letters don t arrive or are misfiled.
The email address is often more useful than the
phone number. Recheck the phone numbers -
the phone company is changing many area codes.
3. Statement of Teaching Philosophy
Rewrite this several times. One page maximum.
Have other people proofread it for errors and for
tone and content. Sound concerned, yet flexible.
Avoid dogmatism and absolutes. You will follow
lead of existing staff in dealing with students.
No politics. Make a videotape of yourself teaching a
class. If it is any good, offer to send a copy to the
prospective employer in your cover letter.
Use your word processor to re-arrange the
order of presentation to emphasize your experiences
relevant to the job. Emphasize classes you have taught
much more than classes you have TAed. Emphasize grant
proposals you have written or helped write.
You must fit the job, not the other way around. Proofread
repetitively to chase out ALL errors from resume.
5. Become informed about the employer.
Read their catalog, especially your department.
Find them on the map. Read about them in Petersons Guide
to Undergraduate Schools. Do they have a web site?
Digest it! Read about current faculty in ACS or CUR or
other faculty directories. Find someone in department
you might collaborate with on research. Call him
or her to become acquainted, ask about research.
A week after the applications deadline,
call the Department Chair or Hiring Committee Chair
to ask if you are in the top ten. If so, assure them
you are still interested. Offer to come for interview
and give seminar at your cost if school is less than
100 miles from your present location.
7. Talking on the phone
Listen carefully to the person calling you. Take notes.
Be mildly friendly and cooperative, but not too familiar
or too eager.
Gerald Morine, Chair, Chemistry Dept.,
Bemidji State University,
Bemidji, Minnesota 56601-2699 USA
Linden Higgins, Ph.D.
Dept. of Zoology,
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
linden at mail.utexas.edu