No Missed Opportunities on the Campus Visit

Today I posted the biggest Job Market Digest I’ve ever put up in the three years I’ve been posting them.  I am so pleased to see how many clients got tenure track and other recurring/full time jobs, both in and out of the academy. Please take a moment to read. And if you have gotten a job, or had some other career-related success (including gaining the clarity to leave the academy entirely, which I view as great success!) please do write me at gettenure@gmail.com and let me know. I just love to hear from both readers and clients.  Always know that total confidentiality is assured.

People who write love to tell me stories of their searches, and I love to read them!  Because of space limitations, most of those stories do not end up in the Job Market Digest. But I read them closely and file them away as reference for myself in my future work with clients.

Here are two of my favorites this week. I love the first because of the “you annoyed me to no end” (LOL) and the second because TPII could help this immigrant scholar gain a small measure of security in these awful times.

TT offer, client, Dance: “I want to thank you for your help. After you had fixed my documents ( CV, CL, TS, and RS), I was back on the market this year got several invitations to campus and then got a retention offer at my current institution! Your methods do work… You annoyed me to no end, but you are a genius!”

TT job offer, client, Psychology: “Your advice was spot on every time and truly invaluable. Throughout my campus interview the faculty repeatedly told me that my application materials were “tight”, so tight in fact, they had almost no further questions! The job talk went well and even when the “intellectual” Dean gave me a tough time about omitting effect sizes (!), I was prepared thanks to your webinar. Your webinar also prepared me for a sticky illegal question regarding my ethnicity–altogether, I cannot thank you enough.

It has been a hellish emotional journey and you are a big part of my making it to the other side. I feel so fortunate to have made it to a tenure track position before they all vanish. I hope you know just how meaningful and important your work is to continued scholarship in this country.”

One of the listings this week included a story from a client’s search. I am going to share this story as a post, because it points to an important principle for the job search, especially the campus visit.

My client wrote that during her campus visit, the Search Committee Chair sent her a preliminary schedule that had blank time spots, and asked if she had other people she wanted to meet on campus to pencil into those slots. My client sent names of people in the Department and people across the campus with whom she saw strategic departmental growth potential. My client got the job.  She also later found out that none of the other candidates had sent names.  She told me, “This was reportedly a major point in my favor.”

There is a large principle at work here.  Just as the question of “Do you have any questions for us” is actually an essential and substantive element of the interview (as described in this post by Kellee Weinhold [and be sure and click through to my Vitae post that is linked]), any opportunity to demonstrate your interest in potential colleagues and collaborations in the department and across campus should be energetically maximized.  It SHOWS your interest in the job and the campus, and it SHOWS the kind of colleague you will be.  This kind of action speaks louder than words.  And so does the refusal.  Saying (or showing), “No, I’m not really curious about you,” is a mark against you that is quite difficult to overcome.

Don’t let any opportunity to demonstrate your substantive, educated interest in the department and campus pass you by.

About Karen

I am a former tenured professor at two institutions--University of Oregon and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I have trained numerous Ph.D. students, now gainfully employed in academia, and handled a number of successful tenure cases as Department Head. I've created this business, The Professor Is In, to guide graduate students and junior faculty through grad school, the job search, and tenure. I am the advisor they should already have, but probably don't.

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