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Author Topic: How much time do you spend on job search everyday?  (Read 6390 times)
Junior member
Posts: 78

« on: March 30, 2012, 4:26:32 pm »

I have a question for follow job seekers. How much time do you spend on job search everyday?

Here is my story:

I spend my mornings teaching and doing research (I am a part time instructor at a university. But I usually do not know if I will get to teach "one" course until right at the beginning of the new semester). I spend two afternoons checking various job postings. I live in a medium-size city and fortunately, there are new positions each time I search online. I spend rest of the time (about three or four afternoons writing application letters and revise resumes tailored to each job).

I feel exhausted, and down almost all the time. If I take a break from job search, I feel guilty. But if I do not, I feel it is very difficult to keep up with what I am doing... I started searching for non-academic jobs about a month ago and applied for about ten jobs. So far, I have not heard from anyone.

There are two reasons I am still doing research. It is something that sustains me, and I am still considering to apply for academic positions, should there are any openings.

I would like to know if any of you have good strategies that you can share with me.
Posts: 106

« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 2:13:35 pm »

If you are writing job letters and revising résumés three or four afternoons a week you might be applying for too many different kinds of jobs.  A more focused job search may be a better approach.  Obviously, I know nothing of your background, but you are probably not qualified to do ten different things; it is likely that you are very qualified to do, say, 3-4 different things (and your résumé shows this).  Accordingly, you should be limiting your job search to those four types of positions.  Applying to those other six is a waste of your time.

I will defy conventional wisdom here and tell you that you do not need to revise your résumé for every single job.  You should probably have perhaps three versions of your résumé: A, B, & C.  Similarly, you should have about 2-4 versions of your application letter (1, 2, 3) each accentuating different parts of your experience.  When you see a job that is consistent with your background and skill set you should immediately think to yourself, “ah, for this job I will want to use résumé A with letter #3” or résumé C with letter #1, etc.  Of course, you will want to tweak each letter accordingly, but that is something you can do in a matter of minutes.  In my view, spending “three or four afternoons writing application letters and revising résumés tailored to each job” is an inefficient use your time—especially since so far, you have not heard from anyone.  

For strategies, read what I say here about becoming Person X. http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,86688.0.html

There may be something substantially wrong with your letter(s) or résumé(s), but because you’ve been working with them so consistently you may not be able to see what the issue is.  Have them reviewed by a critical third party to help you identify any red flags.  Ideally, this reviewer should be someone who sees lots of résumés routinely.

The ramp up faze of a search can be taxing, but once you have solid application materials at the ready a job search should not be exhausting, and certainly revising letters and résumés should not be consuming so much of your time.  Your time will be better spent networking and becoming a known quantity on the campus(es) where you hope to work.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 2:15:16 pm by simplesimon » Logged
Junior member
Posts: 78

« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 8:03:02 pm »

Thank you, simplesimon,

Very sound advice. I hope to continue to get insight from someone as wise and experienced as you.

Here is my background:

I am in my early 50s. I am a naturalized US citizen. I worked as a diplomat, a government official and an intern for US embassy before I came to the US for graduate school.

I moved to another state and had a tenure track position right after I received my Ph.D. But because my spouse could not adjust to the new environment, after a few years, I had to come back to the city where my spouse was born and raised. I have not been able to find another tenure track position because of the geographic limitation.

I recently decided to look for non-academic positions. Because of my extensive professional experience, I have indeed applied for a variety of jobs. They are mainly academic mid-level administrative positions--academic advising, student affairs, academic affairs. I also applied for a couple of jobs in non-profit organizations--program officer at Council of World Affairs, adult programming, volunteer coordinator and editorial assistant.

I am interested in jobs that are intellectural and use creativity. I also like to interact with people, esp. students. I write well, too.

I am going to see a professional counselor on Monday (for a fee), and will get her feedback on my cover letter and resume. But in addition to the fact that I need to work on my cover letter and resume, I wonder if my age is a factor that I have not been considered for any positions?
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