2016 HWW Career Diversity Summer Workshop: The Job Search with Karen Kelsky, The Professor Is In

2016 HWW Career Diversity Summer Workshop: The Job Search with Karen Kelsky, The Professor Is In

Thank you. Thank you very
much for having me. I wanna thank Margarita
and Allison for arranging this visit. Um, and I’m very glad
to be here, uh, please excuse me
for sitting, um, I would normally
stand but I, um, have two torn meniscuses. [in unison]
Ooh. And, uh, yeah, I do-i-d-
it happened all at once, and I don’t really know how,
um, all-actually if you, uh, follow my blog at all
you know that I do a great deal of dancing. Uh, I blogged on that recently
and, uh, I think somehow it just caught up with me,
but anyway. Um, [psk] so let’s,
um, get started, yeah. So I, um, I’mma going to start
by saying a little bit about, um, looking for jobs,
although I do realize- I went through your program
and, um, saw that you have already covered a lot
about looking for jobs. So, um, not much on that,
but, uh-uh, and then move into the issue of your resume
and your cover letter. So, um, but, I-so, um,
Allison already did a really nice introduction,
but I did wanna s-know, how many of you are familiar
with “The Professor Is In”? Okay, so a few
of you are not. Um, so just to el-uh,
elaborate just a little bit, I was, um, an-I was
an anthropologist of Japan. Um, my PhD was
from University of Hawaii. My first job was
at University of Oregon; I got tenure there. I went to University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign and immediately
became department head of the Department of East Asian
Languages and Cultures, which is a humanities
department. So I, um, bridged, um,
the social sciences and the humanities, um,
and my-my style of-of anthro was firmly
in the humanities camp. So, um, I was there for the term
of five years, um, as head and then I decided
to leave the academy, um, in-for reasons that I explain
in m-my book and in a blog post, um, and I started
“The Professor Is In.” And so, um, what I do-
I just really-you guys probably can’t see that,
can you? You can? Okay. Um, i-so I actually work
with clients, um, on, um, [clears throat] uh, editing
cover letters and s’er-CVs, mostly for the academic
job market, and then about three years-
and helping with interview prep, job talk prep,
things like that, um, grant writing,
book proposals. Um, and then about three
years ago I started a post-academic wing. And so I have a team
of, um, about, uh, nine people who help with post-academic
transition, coaching, consulting,
and editing of resumes and cover letters. So, um, so, yeah
I do have a book. And the last part of the book-
the fir-the, you know, like, 80% of the book is
on the academic job search and then about 20% is
on the, um, post-academic. So I drew on the, um, expertise
of two of my, um, consultants, um, Darcy Hannibal who is
an anthropology, um, uh, PhD, uh, and Maggie Gover who
is a communications PhD. And they do
some of my consulting, so I wanted to make sure
I gave them credit. Um, uh, Darcy is a, um,
[psk] project scientist at UC Davis, um,
and, uh, Maggie is, um, the Director of Grad Student
Professional Development at UC Riverside. And she is a total rockstar,
uh, so you, um, should, uh, i-I believe that almost
everything they have at UC Riverside on grad
student professional development is publicly available
to everybody, whether you’re a Riverside
grad student or not, so be it-by all
means check that out. Um, also actually
to tell you the truth the whole UC system does
a really, uh, good job on grads do-PhD
professional development. So UC Davis has fantastic
materials as well, um, Berkeley I’m not so sure,
um, and if-and I think if Berkeley did have it
they’d probably keep it behind a paywall, you know, whatever the, you know. Um, but, uh, but at least,
uh, Riverside and-and Davis are good. And then of course,
um, you-I’m sure that you’ve already
been live tweeting. I assume. I assume. Have you been live tweeting? Okay, well somebody’s live
tweeting because I saw it on Twitter. But anyway [laughter] um,
so this is one of your hashtags,
I know you have two, um, this is correct, right? (female student)
Yup, yup. Okay, yeah. Um, all right,
so let’s get started. Um, yeah so I wanna
start with-[laughter] Um, with the most-what I
consider the most important element of the post-
academic transition, but well-wait, wait, wait. I have to know who
I’m talking to, so, uh, how many people are like
first or second year, like early PhD students? And then how many people
are late PhD students? Okay. And then did-is there
anybody who didn’t fall into one of those
two categories? And-and what are you, like,
mid-mid-range? Neither early nor late? Okay. (female student)
We’re currently in the middle. We’re in the middle, okay. All right, okay, so how
many are middle, again? So middle and late,
raise your hands. Okay, so the vast majority. Okay. Well, um, so the thing
is-the most important thing about this transition is that,
um, is that it’s quite brutal. Uh, it’s emotionally,
psychologically brutal, uh, for most people,
not for everybody. Some people are like woohoo! Dodged a bullet. [laughter] And I think it’s actually
getting more and more that way. Um, eh-five years ago
when I started “The Professor Is In,”
um, it was a different world, um, and so it’s evolving. But, uh, but the fact is
i-in the humanities especially, the humanities is absolutely
the worst for this. Um, the PhD is seen as
this route to a tenure track job where you’re living
the life of the Mind, you feel that you’ve been
trained entirely for that, and if you don’t achieve
that you’re a failure. Um, th-that’s the strongest
in the humanities. And, uh, and the thing is,
is you’re surrounded by people who firmly believe
that mythology. And you’re-the if your peers
in your grad program firmly believe that mythology. And your professors
in the grad program firmly believe that mythology. And, um, i-to break out of it
is unbelievably hard and it takes many years
really, to, um, to work through that transition and the sense
of loss and grief that you might have,
and that is okay. So I’m telling you this
because if you experience loss and grief at the thought
of doing it, or the fact that you are
actually doing it, or you’re in the process
of doing it right now, um, and, uh, that-that is normal
and don’t feel bad, like, just feel-feel your grief
and-and know that it’s normal and most people go th-
do go through it. Um, I really do feel like
it’s a cult-like environment. If you’ve gone through an entire
PhD program in the humanities, you have been indoctrinated
into a-a type of cult. I always call it the world’s
most benign cult, you know. Um, it’s not benign
for everybody, though. It actually can have some
pretty destructive effects for some people but m-
in the most cases it’s-it’s really m-mostly okay,
but it’s very rigid and they vary unyielding
value judgments. And the thing is,
is that when you leave you cut-you cut ties
with people. You cut ties with your advisers, and the people who you may well have believed you were going to go a certain route and t-you know, invested in you
in a certain way, and then maybe some of your
friends in the program who are gonna have to disavow
you because you are representing the unthinkable, you know, the disavowed,
you know, thing. So, um, so having said that,
um, I-I really encourage, uh, PhD students to think entrepreneurial- entrepreneurially,
that you do have tremendous, um, skills
and abilities, some of them come
from before your grad school, some of them you develop
during grad school, um, but, uh, you can mobilize them
in an independent way that is separate from the value judgments that you have been, um, surrounded by
for wh-th-however long you’ve been in grad school. And I like this quote a lot. Um, uh, by thinking more
like-and I like it because of the contrast
he draws. “By thinking more like
an entrepreneur and less like an apprentice,
grad students can better prepare themselves for a range
of fulfilling and meaningful careers.” Because it’s that
apprenticeship model that really puts you
into the subordinate subject position, where,
“Oh I’m nothing, “I’m-I’m just you know a student
of the illustrious, you know, Professor So and So.” And, uh, you know,
I don’t like that model even if you stay in academia,
I mean if you read my blog you know how much I hate
that model anyway, and I’m trying to get people
to throw off that sense of-uh, you know, [hmm]
uh, subordination to their advisors because
I think it really works against you, um, in every
possible professional realm. But certainly, if you’re
leaving the academy, then it’s really,
really destructive. So, um, so today, well,
so actually I just wanted to mention that, um,
one of the things I do when I go around and give talks
on the post-academic transition, I usually, um, after talking
about the searching for jobs and resumes and cover
letters and things, I usually talk a little bit
at the end about the DIY career and being an entrepreneur
and launching out on your own. I am not planning
to do that today, although I did bring-I did
attach my slides at the tail end if there was time to do it
and there was interest, but I-I just wanna preface
all of that by saying that, um, we’re talking about resumes
and cover letters and much of-much of what you’re
gonna do-you seem to be doing in this program-is oriented
toward up-looking for jobs and, u-posted jobs
and applying for those jobs, which is very, very valuable. But I really wanna
encourage you to get out of the “oh I’m going to apply
for a posted job” mindset. You can also be an entrepreneur. You can also start
your own business or your own nonprofit. Um, that-that is another option
and it is a very difficult option for PhD types
to get their minds around because, um, i-the longer
you’ve been in the PhD program, the more-the longer
you’ve been inculcated into the academic mindset, um, you actually get more- how should I put this, uh, become less and less willing to take risks. Um, it is a profoundly
risk averse world and, um, and the weird thing is,
and I speak as a former academic,
and I was really into it, I mean I loved
being an academic. I was totally into it
and uncritical about it for many years, um, is that if you would’ve
asked me at the time, I would have been
like, oh I’m a total risk taker. And I think th-al-humanities
people tend to think oh we’re such free thinkers,
you know, like we think
we’re risk takers. No way! Ev-the risk the realm
of risk taking is like from here to here, you know,
it’s like, you know, I’m going to think
this theory-oh no, I’m going to think
that theory! [laughter] You know, um, like, oh shocking. [laughter] You know, they’re gonna-
they’re gonna brutalize me at the conference,
you know, um, which is true of you,
they may well brutalize you at the conference. So it is a risk, uh,
not to dismiss that, but, um, in the sense
of you know, risk, um, you know, going out
and actually leaving the safety of a known world
and putting your money into and your time into a startup
or something like that. And when I say start up
I don’t mean like Silicon Valley that requires huge
capital investment, I mean just like an id-an idea
that, like, “The Professor Is In”
was just an idea that, um, just create a blog,
offer a service, and it may in fact
really work out. So I’m not gonna talk
about that today because that’s not a world where you
need cover letters and resumes, but I just wanna make sure
that you-you think about it- are you guys gonna talk
about that at all in any of your–? (female student)
Oh, tomorrow, we’re actually having a panel of people
who have done just that. Oh good, I’m so glad. (female student)
And doing-not applying for jobs, but working your own project. Yeah, that’s excellent. There’s an interesting
question of the difference between a freelancer
and an entrepreneur too, there’s someone-Seth Godin,
I think, writes about it. It’s really interesting. (female student)
If there’s time and interest, on everyone’s part,
have at it. Yeah, I’m very open about how
we spend our time today. But, uh, I let me get
through the some-some basic things though. Um, I, um, you know,
the most-the second most important thing after-
about this transition, after you get through
the-the-the-the-the sort of emotional element of it,
is, um, to redefine your identity because, um,
when you are an academic, you’re defined by these now-these categories of nouns. I’m a philosopher. Uh, I’m an anthropologist. I’m a Japan specialist. Y’kno-they’re nouns. And, um, these nouns have
absolutely no currency, um, outside of the academy. They-they’re-they’re CV nouns. Um, and, uh, and so you have
to translate from this ‘n-noun based identity’
into skills. Um, you have to disaggregate
a sing-singular identity into a very large
group of skills. And a lot of the skills like,
um, so Margy Horton who is another of my post-ac
people wrote this slide for, uh, one of her webinars
that she does and I like it so much,
um, because, um, and she identifies
these reasons, um, and the main one that I think-
well I think th-I think they’re all really important, but I think the worst is that
we spend our time with people who have similar skills. So, like a Japan anthropologist,
like, I, uh, spent a career living in Japan, uh,
ga-gaining fluency in spoken and written Japanese, um, doing Japanese cultural analysis, um, and so, but every single Japan
anthropologist has-can say the exact same thing. So I mean I could never
go to the Asian Studies conference and say well,
you know, I-I am fluent Japanese. I don’t like to mention it, but. [laughter] Um, but this is a,
um, you know, but you’d step outside
the academy and this is a huge skill,
and a very, very rare and valuable one. And so you have to remember
that you have all these skills that you aren’t allowed
to take credit for, uh, and then begin
to allow yourself to take credit for them. And then this gets
into the impostor syndrome and women’s especially tendency
to self, uh, denigrate and, uh, fr-and-and the difficulty
that people in general, women in general,
um, have in acknowledging, oh I can do that, I can,
I can, I can, I can. We tend-the default is I can’t,
I can’t, I can’t, or I don’t, or I haven’t,
or I wouldn’t. But no: I can, I do, I will. Anyway, um, and then of course
there’s the world the-of the aspect of-
that we live in a world in the academy that focuses
on critique and the, like, the highest, like,
respect you can pay to someone is a sort of critique them
and their paper, right, but, um, it’s incredibly demoralizing when you’re trying to reinvent
yourself as a person who says I can, I can, I can,
’cause you have the voice in your head saying, y’know,
you can’t. What do you-or what
do you mean by can? [laughter] Let’s unpack ‘can,’ you know, and it’s just very,
um, huhuhu, yeah. So anyhow, okay. So those are preliminary
comments, um, so you’ve already, I’m sure,
done a great deal on this, and you probably know more
than I do at this point. But, um, I-my people-my team
when I asked them what do people need to know
about finding jobs? They said well first of all
you just have to look for job postings at LinkedIn,
indeed.com, idealist.org are the best places to start. N-and again I wanna preface-
I wanna say I’m not an expert on-on details of finding jobs
so, um, in different fields, but I, um, but these-I do know that these three are absolutely, um, great places to look
for p-and they’re great places to look for people like us,
people who are in the academy and who are going to be
oriented toward certain types of, um, you know,
certain types of interests over others. So you can of course, um,
target key employers, um, in your area also, and, uh,
check their job postings. If there’s like a couple
of corporations or businesses or nonprofits that you
absolutely know you’re interested in, you can always check
their job postings, and, um, and then find, uh,
other-like, um, you know, um, listings that are
specific to the field that you know you wanna go into. Um, but, um, well so, um,
they-just like the academy, um, they are really,
uh, jus-you know, if you’ve ever been in one
of my webinars or talks, you know, where I start
on the academic job market is: they wanna reject you,
they want to reject you. Understand that the search
committee wants to reject you, they have to reject you
as quickly as they can because in an academic
job market, we’re talking 300, 500, 900 applications in a field like English,
900 applications not unusual for a single job. And they have to get
to a long short list of 25, so they have to, uh, jettison
775 applications or wait- 875 applications,
if there’s ni-you know, in the space
of an evening or two. So it-and so-while
in the corporate world or the non-academic world
it isn’t that and in-intense, it is nevertheless still
that the bias is we have to, uh, jettison, jettison,
jettison. And so, um, they-so your
materials have to be effective and the-just like
in the academic job market, they have to be effective,
but they have to be effective in a different cultural realm. So these-so what is effective
in an academic realm, and you know I have a lot
of opinions about that, uh, does not translate
into the non-academic realm. Very-in fact, m-most
of the rules that I’ve written about in my book, uh,
do-do not apply. And it’s almost like
the polar opposite so I’m going to talk about that. Um, but the other thing
that my team wanted me to tell you, like en masse
they rose up by email and said, you must tell them,
is that you don’t get jobs from job ads,
you get jobs from contacts. And-have you heard this already? People already hammer this home? Okay, good. Um, so they-and there’s
a psychology of it that hiring manager just wants
to have a known quantity, rather than an unknown quantity. They’re gonns trust someone
that their friend said or there’-you-whoever said
was good. Uh, it’s streamlines
their process, um, and, uh, so the bias is
that someone gets in and then the interview process
and reading the material simply verifies that the person
is in fact hireable for them. [sigh] So, um, you need,
uh, absolutely need a good resume
and a cover letter. But, um, but your network
of contacts is, um, is absolutely crucial. So, uh, and-and academics
you know don’t like to network, as a rule, as-as a-as a broad
generalization. If I hear one thing,
you know, from audiences, it’s like I don’t know
how to network and I don’t want to. Haha. And I understand that,
um, but networking is actually- it isn’t as scary as it seems. Um, it sort of just means
letting everybody you know- well among-there’s a whole
bunch of different ways an-and again this-you-I’m sure
that you have already- or that you have or will have sessions on networking, I assume. Um, so I’m not going
into specifics of this now, but, um, because there’s things
like informational interviews and stuff like that, but,
um, but one of the foundational things about networking is,
um, just make sure that everybody you know knows you’re looking for a job. And that means everybody. That means if you have kids
and you’ve h-gotta have a babysitter come,
make sure the babysitter knows that you are looking for a job
and the babysitter- if the babysitter’s, like,
mom comes to pick her up, you know, make sure the baby
sitters mom knows that you are looking for a job
because you don’t know what your babysitter’s mom does,
but it may be, you know, the converse-little conversation
15-minute conversation, oh yeah well you know
I actually work at a nonprofit. Yeah, I’m the director
of communications. Sure, yeah, I’ll
t-I’ll-I’ll-I’ll-I’ll-I’ll-I’ll introduce you to our,
you know, hiring manager. And you just don’t know,
and so you cannot limit it. You simply-it’s very
multi-f-faceted and i- and unpredictable
and improvisational. Very, very different
from the academy, the academy is so not that. The academy is so linear,
and, you know, predictable in terms of all of its hiring. Okay, so, um, let’s get started
on what is a resume. Um, a resume is, basically,
it’s a marketing document. So you have to think of it,
and I know that you’ve talked about brands, um, br-your
own-developing your own brand. And in a way the resume, uh,
is a reflection of that brand. So it’s get-it’s
a-it’s-m-it’s, again, using this language is getting
comfortable with that, you know, corporatized
neo-liberal language. [laughter] That, uh, that is so, um,
you know, foundational to how
we understand ourselves and-and by the way
just so you know, I use this language
for the academic job market as well, so th-I
don’t see any difference. I mean, you have to have a brand
and you have to market yourself for tenure track jobs. So there’s no distinction-
there’s a distinction in the way you do it, but not in the fact
that you have to do it. Um, but you have to identify
the employer and the position needs. You have to describe
how your background fills those needs. And you have to do so
in a way that’s reader friendly. These are-these three points, and all three of these points
are places where people screw up. Um, people screw up
on the first point because-and this is the classic
job seeker mistake, is that you forget
that the employer has needs. And you are so busy saying
I am, I am, I am, I am, that you forget that your goal
is actually to meet their needs. This is-this document
is not about you, it’s about you
in relation to them. So, forgetting the employer
needs is a absolutely s-an-and-and it happens
in the academic job market, as well. Um, then, describing how
your background ma-meets those needs is a place
where people screw up because, um, you, uh,
emphasize the wrong things b-because you’re too enmeshed
in your academic identity and mindset, and you don’t
realize-you don’t understand how to pull their-your, um,
the relevant aspects of your record out
that will meet these needs. Uh, i-in a nutshell you spent
too much time talking about your PhD. Nobody wants to know about it. I mean even in the academy, nobody really wants
to know about it, so you can imagine
how little these people wanna know about it, right? Um, anyway, so that’s like
classic mistake and then the classic mistake
of a-of a PhD is that you don’t write a letter
that’s reader friendly, you write-you write too much,
bottom line, write too much, um,
and you-you write- your paragraphs are too long, your sentences are
too complicated, uh, they’re too hard to parse,
they have too many caveats, and, um-[laughter] Uh, and, uh…no problem. Um, and, uh, and use,
you know, weird language. That nobody outside of our
little world understands. So those are the three things. So make sure that, you know,
you note those three- they-they see-I’m sure they seem
really rote and obvious, but if you un-unpack them, they are really-they
encapsulate the challenges. So, okay, when you’re
making a resume, you make a master resume
and that resume has everything on it,
but you don’t send that master resume to jobs because chances are that master resume may well be, uh, many pages long, uh, by the time you put
everything on it. But that’s-it’s just a holding
tank for all of your stuff and then you, um, uh,
and then you just, uh-uh, copy and paste into another
document for, um, the specific job at hand. Um, when you, um,
are making your resume, you wanna make sure-
and this is really in bold, use terms from the job ad. And I’m gonna go-and I’m gonna
talk a lot more about this, so just noting that right now. Um, one to two pages max. Two pages is fine, but please don’t go beyond
two pages. Um, and please be aware
that there a-is a thing called an applicant
tracking system. Have you guys talked
about that at all? So that’s a-that’s a thing,
so humans don’t actually look at your resume at- in many, many job search
situations. I can’t tell you
what percentage, but it is certainly
the majority, um, and-at-at company-signifi-medium
or large sized companies and-and organizations, um,
you get passed through an electronic or a digital tracking system and-you and-they-that tracking system does the job of jettisoning, um, the majority of applications. So you have to be aware of this, and I really urge you-I’m only saying a few words on it, but please afterwards,
please google ATS, applicant tracking system,
and do some reading because everybody talks
about it, you know. The difference between
the academic job market e-and the not-and this world,
is that, um, in the academic job market
there aren’t that many sources of advice. There’s “The Professor Is In,” there’s the Chronicle
of Higher Education, there’s a little bit
on Inside Higher Ed, and there isn’t much else, a little bit on some
university websites. But the world-the, uh,
non-academic world, I mean, there are volumes and volumes
and pages and-you know, of-of advice. The trick with that is,
u-uh, figuring out what’s worth following. I mean it, there’s so much
that it’s overwhelming, but in any case,
you can find good advice by googling, um, various things, and so applicant tracking system is something that you should google and find out about. So, um, uh, so they are,
uh, the thing about a ATS is they wanna see certain words, which are cut
from the job ad, and if you do any kinda fancy
weird formatting, uh, it’ll throw them off. And in fact an electronic
signature will throw them off, so don’t, uh, one thing
you might not be aware of is don’t put an electronic
signature in a cover letter for, uh, that’s gonna go
through the system like this because it-it throws it off. Yeah. (male student)
Do you mean like an electronic system that’s
formatted by-by, um, like Adobe, or adding a JPEG of a signature,
or either one? Um…well I-to on the safe side
I’d say either one. Yeah, I’m not actually sure. I-I would say the former
is probably the more dangerous rather than the JPEG,
but, um, but I-I would avoid both just to be
on the safe side. Um, so r-resume element,
um, is, uh, you know, your-you start of the top
with your name and contact info and have your LinkedIn URL
up there. Does everybody have
a LinkedIn page? Did you have to create one
to be part of this thing? (female student)
We went to LinkedIn last week. Oh, I think that’s so cool. Yeah. Um, yeah, um, yeah
it-it’s just so c-crucial. It’s just so crucial
to your professional, um, uh, life and job search,
but, uh, your work experience and your education, and education should
come last in general. Although I am gonna show you
two resumes and one of them has education toward almost last
and then one of them has it not last. Um, a-and, uh, and we can
talk about that, but in my experience
and my observation education on a non-academic
resume should go last or second to last. And then you might have
certifications and a skills list. Um, there’s some-so resumes
are interesting because they have fads and trends
just like anything else, and so there are things
that you-I want you to be aware, I want you to use
your research skills. I really do wanna urge you
to do some research for yourself on resumes. Don’t just listen to everything
I have to say, you take that as a basis
and then move on and-and because what’s interesting is that people put a lo-a lot
of really smart people put a lot of thought into resumes
and cover letters, and they are adapting
their advice to conditions as they evolve. And so years back
having an objective, like my objective is to have
a high powered career in the exciting and dynamic
world of, you know, accounting. You know, um, uh, that had-
I never liked those, I never li-I was like,
what is that? That is such BS. But finally the world
has caught up with me, and now people don’t like
the objective anymore. And so you might see models
that will have an objective, it’s good for you to understand
that that isn’t necessarily what you should follow. So don’t have that. Um, and so-so Liz Ryan
of the Human Workplace, she, um, she writes on these
issues and I really like her; she’s smart,
she’s, uh-uh, very current; she’s funny. And she has a, uh, um, uh,
a-a blog-a post called “Five resume rules
you’ll be glad you broke,” and she explains why,
so I’m not gonna go into breaking those roles
because you know like everything you hafta walk
before you can run. So I don’t want you to start-
I don’t want you to go in with the idea [high pitched voice]
“I’m gonna break all the rules!” No, first you need to
follow all the rules. Follow the rules and then-
and then begin to see how you can nuance
them after that. Yeah. (female student)
Um, just kinda going back to the applicant system thingy- Yeah. (female student)
It’s like, not liking irregular formatting. What counts as irregular
formatting? Like, just, like, not using
Times New Roman, or, like, putting in a column,
like, what? Yes. (female student)
Yeah, so just- Um, columns, borders,
funny fonts, um, uh. (female student)
So, like, not Calibri, so like, Garamond, like? Oh, the font-no-oh, oh,
funny fonts like script. (female student)
Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah, no,
not-not-not the basic professional fonts
of-yeah, no that’s fine. That’s fine. (female student)
So what about Letterhead? Um, Letterhead, uh, is,
um-um, can be problematic. Yeah, yeah. So it is, um, best not to use
letterhead for this for these purposes. Yeah. Okay. All right so let’s see,
I hope they-I realize this is small, um, but I wanted
to show you, um, how a, uh, cover letter was written-
I mean a resume was written, um, that drew-that spoke
to a specific job ad. So this is for a bilingual
content editor in Spanish, for a Spanish, new-uh,
national website. Um, and so as you can see
highlighted here are “write stories and curate
published material,” “new media and video,” “deep knowledge of Hispanic
community’s interest information needs,” “ability to see and produce socially sharable content consistently,” “writing each day,” “differences in writing
headlines for the web and social media,” “bilingual,” “write and rewrite and post stories in Spanish,” “writing styles and grammar
in Spanish.” Um, and then there is beginning
to get kind of redundant, heheheh, uh,
at this point, yeah. So and so, this is-this is our,
um, this is our job ad, and, uh, and then it
expi-on the second page, it explains the, um,
the business a little bit, and then it says,
“we hire individuals who help us accomplish our goals
with speed passion and courage.” So, um, okay. So one thing,
when you see a job ad, uh, have you learned
about word clouds yet? You have? Some of you are saying no. (female student)
Just like, in life, not in- [laughter] In life. Well, word clouds are very
valuable for the job search. They’re, uh-uh, absolutely
useful technique because they help you to qui-
they-you take an ad, you run it through wordclouds.com and it generates this word cloud
and it really helps you, instead of-you could
have probably done this, actually, you know,
people who work with words the way we do, we
could probably do it without a word cloud,
but in any case, it does make it very immediately obvious that the major, um, terms in this ad are:
media, um, knowledge, writing, Spanish,
digital, and so on. So you can print this out,
and have it there next to you and make sure
that you use these words in your resume. And that you use these
words in your cover letter. Um, so, uh, you-and-and I
actually think this is quite useful because again,
the biggest challenge for PhDs is that we are
self-absorbed. We tell a story about ourselves
that is about our life as an academic
and a scholar, and we forget
that others exist, and other values and priorities
and needs exist. And so the-having it
the word cloud helps you to do that. Also it’s-also-e-j-the
word cloud’s also really helpful because this particular
job is a pretty common- is a pretty understandable job
for someone coming from an academic perspective,
but if you’re going into like, um, HR, or development,
or, you know, maybe worlds that are
more distant, you’re not gonna know
their vocabulary, and so this is a great way
to instantly, uh, see your way through
the thicket of jargon that you don’t understand
and-and identify what are the most important jargon words
versus the less important. So here is a-a resume,
um, that, uh, is, um, useful for that,
um, that it has been created-oriented-this is
a person who has a PhD in linguistics,
wh-that they created in order to meet this job ad. Now I realize this is small,
so can you guys see it. [murmuring] Hmm, I wonder what we should do. (female student)
I mean, if you don’t mind, I can actually email it
right now so they can pull it up on their screens. Yeah that’s fine. That’s totally fine. What a good idea. Do you need me to pause
while you do that? Yeah, I’ll pause because then
everybody can look at it while I’m doing it. A-anyone have any questions
at this point while we’re pausing? Yeah. (male student 2)
I have a question about the master resume. Uh-huh. (male student 2)
Is it-do you think it would be okay to put something like a
master resume on your- on your LinkedIn
Skills and Experience? So I-I guess my question is
more about sort of what to put on LinkedIn,
’cause it’s just a one-time shot rather than– Mmhmm. (male student 2)
You don’t give, like, one LinkedIn to one employer,
it’s just there. So like, what to include
and not include in that section on LinkedIn. That’s such a good question. [sigh] I think on LinkedIn,
it’s fine-it’s fine to have your full work history. I think th-that’s fine. Um, I do think though that you
wanna do some pretty careful molding and crafting
of the oth-of some of those other sections where you’re sort
of explaining yourself in a narrative form
because, um, because you wanna look legible. I mean the thing
about the job search, and this is true
in the academic and the- and the non-academic realm,
is that people are rushed and they wanna know you quickly, as “oh he’s the guy who does” and have that be very tangible, and so what you don’t
wanna look is scattered. And, um, and so I think
that in this day and age, people have a very winding,
circuitous job history, so I don’t think naming
all the different jobs you’ve had as you’ve gone through your life is p-will-will detract from your identity,
but the way that you use that critical-that first line
up under your name, that it’s like-it-was is it,
like two lines long, you get two lines up there
or something like that, three lines, it’s not very much. And then-and then the slightly
longer elaborated one, I would try to make
that very powerful and targeted. Yeah. Yeah, oh, wait,
someone over here had their hand up before. Okay, yeah. Um, I have a question. So, um, one of the things
that I’m sure a lot of us have on our CVs are, like,
awards that we’ve gotten, grants that we’ve received,
and like, workshops we’ve participated in,
like this one. Does that all just go,
like, out the window? Yes, it does. For the resume? [laughter] Yes, it does. [laughter] Yeah, um, I’m going to get
to that later, um, I have a-I have
another example of a- of a traditional CV and a-
and a resume that was evolved evolved out of it,
but yeah basically you’re-I mean I-no-I mean, I
made a flat statement, but, um, you know, there will
always-one can always find exceptions, um,
for example, let me look at this…
particular one. (woman)
I emailed it, um, should be able to pull it up. (Karen)
Okay. Um, if you won a, uh, a FLAS
for Spanish, you know, I’d probably keep
that in there. So, uh, for this job,
so-or some other major, uh, Spanish language-
Spanish training grant. So I wouldn’t say
that-that in-inherently needs to be removed. Uh, I mean that-that
as a blanket rule every single word needs to be removed. It’s just that
as a blanket rule, awards as a category
has to be removed, and then you have to study
if I wanna-if there’s an exception that one of them
might be pulled back in because it covers the content
of the job, that’d be okay. Thank you. Yeah. (female student 4)
Oh, I was just gonna, um, this is, like-like, if you’re
applying to sort of like nonprofit fund
raising, like, having won a lot of grants
and awards- Yes, of course. If you are going for a
fundraising grant writing, uh, situation-job, um,
then yeah your success in grant writing would be good,
uh, to highlight. Absolutely. So I think that in that case-
now, th-e-e-with a caveat. Those were grants,
most likely, given that you’re
in humanities, um, these are grants for your
own personal individual work, they’re not programatic
or institutional grants. So, just because you got
individual grants does not necessarily mean they’re
gonna trust that you can get ins-wait a minute-just because
you got individual grants doesn’t necessarily
mean you can get institutional grants. And so, uh, it will be valuable
to a degree, but it won’t answer every query
they might have about you. Okay, someone, you had
your hand up back there. (female speaker 5)
This is kinda back to the networking question, um,
in terms of kind of letting everyone know that we’re
looking for a job, so I’m interested
in the nonprofit sector, and I do have, like,
three friends that I studied abroad with years ago,
who are in the nonprofit sector. Is it appropriate
to be like, is your organization hiring? Sure, yeah. But you guys know about
informational interviews, right, okay so you know you
never ask for a job at an informational interview. So if you were-I-so I’m not sure
how good of friends they are and what the nature of your
conversation with them is, but if they’re really friends,
um, then yeah you could just say is your organization hiring. Um, if they’re not
really friends, they’re more distant
acquaintances, and says it’s more like
an informational interview, than it’s not so-you can’t
really so much say-you can’t come right out and ask that,
but, um, but absolutely they are s-major elements
of your network and utilize them. Yeah. Okay, does everybody have
the-their resume-the resume pulled up? Okay, so, um, as you can see,
um, the education- the most important thing is
education has been moved down, past the relevant work experience. As you can see there
is no objective: [high pitched voice]
“seeking a high powered position in Spanish language media.” None of that. Um-um, you’re starting
with your, uh, work, you’re going to your degrees, and then you have a substantial
section on skills. And skills are
absolutely critical. Um, you know what,
I passed over the skill question pretty quickly, um,
b-when I do-I have a webinar that I offer pretty regularly
and I talk, um, and-and it goes
into more details about the kind of skills,
um, that PhDs in the humanities have, um,
so I’m not-I’m not going to go into that right now,
um, but I wanna make sure that you thoroughly explore
that question. That you grasp that
there are-so-so Margy Horton, one of my post-ac consultants, she gives a webinar, it’s called “targeting your skills
for a post-ac career” and it’s available-the recording is available, um, on my website, um, I think it’s $50. And what she does in that
is she-first of all she talks to you for an hour through figuring out what your skills are, and then she provides a list
of 100, uh-uh, skills that people with, uh, humanities PhDs tend to have. And it’s really cool
because it really helps you to think outside the PhD box
on what it is that you can do because it isn’t just writing
and editing and public speaking
and grant writing, um, which of course we all have,
but it’s also, you know, types of analysis,
it’s think- it’s identifying problems,
it’s, um, you know, all of these all of these
different, um, uh, things, uh-uh, managing
a team sometimes, depending on the type
of work that you do. So I wanna make sure that you
don’t give short shrift to the question of skills,
you ne-w-the most important thing you do before
you write a resume, is figure out-is make
a master list of your skills, and it should have
like 100 elements on it. And if you can’t get to 100,
then you need some help, sa-you know, ah-ah-d-because
you all have at least 100, it’s just that you
aren’t used to thinking abo-of them that way. And by the way they can also
include your pre-PhD world, like, you know,
when I started, uh, launched-realized that I was
unhappy in the academy, I didn’t start
“The Professor Is In” right away, I started
a jewelry business. I don’t know if you know that. And, um, and I made jewelry
out of Japanese paper, which was a hobby I had
from living in Japan all those years. And that was my skill. My skill was origami. My skill was jewelry making. My-these-there are all
these other skills that I developed
as a result of that, and then those skills
f-fed into other skills. So make sure you
list all your skills. Okay that was a little-that
was a little digression. Yes. (female student 5)
Um, so in terms of relevant work experience. I don’t know if anybody
else is in this boat, but-but for me, having,
I mean, all my relevant work experience is basically during my PhD. Mhmm. (female student 5)
So, would I put there like individual courses
I’ve taught during my PhD work? Do I put a blanket, like,
here’s all the stuff I did as a Research Assistant,
or Teaching Assistant, or how should that look? Yes, uh, you do that. Um, you-so what I like
about this particular example, is that it shows how,
um, this person, um, took work experience
in the, um, in the, um, department of linguistics
at U of O and University of California
Santa Barbara, and made them useful
for this purpose. So, um, uh, [psk]
uh, advanced courses, and, like, “teaching advanced
courses in linguistics, “supervising teaching
assistants, um, “conducting research on Native
Mezzo-American languages “to understand
how language is used to construct ethnic identities.” You know, that’s actually
a pretty interesting way to reframe her doctoral-
it is her doctoral work, right? [mumbling]
Yeah, her doctoral work, um, to speak in a very, very
brief concise way to the demands of this job. (female speaker 5)
Right. But, like, if that’s the only
work experience I have if I don’t have this
like, self-employed, and everything that they have
on the first page, like– Right, right, right. Yes, then you have to do
whatever you can to frame, um, so did you say what kind
of work you’re interested in? (female student 5)
Um, I’m interested in, um, governmental or NGO work. Mmhmm. Yeah, then it becomes
an issue of-of extracting what you learned, you know,
what-what skills you gained in the process of doing grad
school and pre-grad school. Um, and then of course also
stuff that you proceed to learn now, know-how-are
you early mid or late? (female student 5)
Mid. Mid, okay. So you have time-and I assume
you are intending to finish the PhD? You’re not, like, planning
to bail in the middle, okay. (female student 5)
I just did comps, I’m not going through comps
and not getting something out of it. [laughter] Yeah, fine either way. But, uh, yeah, so
basically then, if you know that you’re
in a program and that you have a few
more years in that program, you’re actually in really
good shape because you can start to, uh, f-uh, experiment
in gaining different skills, um, as you progress
through the academic route. You can say, you know,
since I’m really interested- you can start reading
the job ads now, looking at what
they’re asking for, the fit-looking out
at your PhD and thinking well, I’m just not gonna get
that in a PhD, but I can get it by volunteering
at this place, or doing a class
at the Chamber of Commerce, and getting a certification,
you know, that’ll take me six weeks. Or there’s a lot of stuff
you can do very, very quickly the rest of the world
moves much quicker than the academy does,
and you can gain all kinds of extremely credible expertise
very quickly by taking little classes and
doing a little online, you know, this and that
and the other thing, um, and then building
up a record. So what I would say is
first of all-so it’s sort of a two-prong process,
extract all the skills that you actually already have
that may be invisible to you until you really sit down
and think about them, and then also really look
directly at your gaps and then start to fill them
because you’re lucky you have a couple
of years to do it. All right, so as you can see
looking at this resume, the first thing you notice
is that it starts with work experience,
that it lists a, uh, job and that it can be
self-employed, by the way you can be
self-employed, too, you like do a side gig. (female student 5)
Do you have to make money at it? (Karen)
Yeah, yeah, make money– (female student 5)
No, but like, if you do something but don’t make
any money– Ayayayay, yeah, you can still call-of course. Absolutely. Most businesses
don’t make any money for the first three years. [laughter] It’s true, so, um, yeah you can call yourself
a self-employed content editor. Hehe-anyway. Um, uh, yeah, um, so, um,
and then as you can see the bullet points. Bullet points are your friend
in the nonacademic resume. Now you know if you
read my thing on Dr. Cairns Rules
of the Academic CV, I hate bullet points. I make everybody remove
all bullet points from their CV. It’s just convention
there’s no real logical reason, we just don’t use
bullet points in CVs, we do use bullet
points in resumes. So feel free to use all
the bullet points you want to, um, notice the use of verbs. Verbs are important. Verbs are not in academic CVs. Academic CVs, um, typically
are verb-less. They, uh, they just-they’re
just-they’re just-I don’t know, nouns I guess. They’re just, uh, you know, Journal article, title,
date, uh, year. Uh, grant, uh, foreign language
blah blah blah. Award, year. Um, but in a resume you
use verbs and I’m actually gonna take apart the verbs
more in some slides that are coming up, but,
eh, uh, righ-um, uh, “published a three-part series,” “reviewed three articles,” uh, “wrote and published,” “promoted content.” Um, and then the one,
um, below, uh, “edited content, “corrected errors,
check factual statements, made recommendations,
check special formats.” Um, it is okay to use, um, with
this particular example, I am a freelance
content editor, I edit the content and style, I was the instructor
for Spanish language courses, um, that is called-what was
the name of that, um…what? It’s the human-there’s
a name for this. It’s the-well it is
a personal voice, but it’s actually-there’s a name
for this resume, it’s like the human
centered resume, or human voice resume,
human something resume, can’t think of the middle word. And it’s really like
recuperating the fact that you can say “I was,”
“I did,” “I made,” “I wrote.” Uh, it’s putting the “I”
back in the resume, which i-that-the “I”
got taken out of it for a very, very long time. So anyway you can do research
to see if you’re comfortable with that format, it’s a relatively newer one,
but you can use it. This one uses it. All right, and then the skills,
um, at the end that really pull out
what it is that you- it’s basically restating,
in single, uh, in much shorter f-form what
it is that’s implicit in all of these-this work
experience that you have. So, uh, Spanish
first and foremost. Writing-so if you remember
the word cloud? I mean it was Spanish,
writing. Heheheh, um, rewriting content,
content editing, style editing,
developing headlines, promoting stories,
translating content. All right do you have any
questions about this resume? Y-yes. (female speaker 6)
So, going back to, like, the six seconds you have
to like get someone’s attention, what about this resume,
like, where and what would be the-the-like
that sort of six second grab, tha-that first grab? To me, it would be
the combination of the continual re-recurrence
of the word editor and writer and Spanish. That’s what would
get-get me through. Yeah, but I mean I’d be curious
to ask what you guys think. (female student 7)
For me there’s a lot of white space,
and that makes me wanna read it more, so li-just
knowing that I’m sitting there and not being bombarded
with language, I’m more interested
in seeing what few word are actually there are saying. Thank you for mentioning that,
um, because I don’t I-I-I meant to say that
and I didn’t, um, just like
with an academic CV, um, I’m always hammering
with academic CVs, do not bombard
us with verbiage, do not cram everything
on there in 10-point font, um, it is-you know-we-
our eyes can’t track it, uh, we need white space. Same thing here. You need white space. Same thing with a cover letter, academic/non-academic, you need white space. The eye needs a break. Um, desperation makes you do
the otherwi-otherwise, it makes you do-it makes you
over-uh, try too hard, write too much,
and it is cut-and you think it’s gonna be better
and it’s worse, it’s counterproductive. So yes, this is also, um,
acknowledge-there’s this-s enormous amount of confidence
that is communicated through limited content. But of course, it’s
a delicate balance because sometimes people will,
um, and I know this from working with clients,
people take this way too far and they’re like-I say you need
a short cover letter and they say-and then
they send me something, like a client,
and it’s like three quarters of a page. And I’m like, no,
that’s too short. Um, hehehe, do-I said a page
and a half so full-you know get- use the whole page an’a half,
so we need two pages, but, ah, but this is
a good two pages. Anyway. Anything else? I wouldn’t say that this is
the world’s best resume, uh, for this particular job. I don’t think-I mean I don’t-
I don’t know that this candidate is the perfect candidate, but I think what they’ve done
and the reason this is valuable for our purposes here today, is they’ve taken a classic
PhD in linguistics resume, and they have reworked it
to make a really credible case for that job. I’m not saying they’ll
get that job or that they’ll get interviewed, but they’re making
a very, very credible case. They have used the vocabulary
as well as they possibly can, they have extracted every skill
that they have, and they are putting
their best foot forward. Yeah. (male student 2)
[clears throat] What about–
[clear throat] –excuse me, the nitty gritty
of formatting? Mmhmm. (male student 2)
Um, I was in a resume workshop a few weeks ago,
and we got really into the weeds with, like, here’s how you set
a right tab because the date should be here,
and I’m thinkin’, that seems awfully- Yeah. (male student 2)
So, eh, [clears throat] things like that, is it-
do they really matter in terms of how it’s physically set up? [sigh] I mean i-is someone gonna
look at this and say, well, his dates aren’t
right aligned, so we’re gonna skip this resume. Mmhmm. Um, I don’t think so. I don’t think so. Uh, to me, um, especially
with the issue of the applicant tracking system
and the fact that the more of those b-boxes and columns
that you put in the more likely it is
to get-you-I mean, you brought guys have
probably had this experience of when someone sends you
a document as an attachment and it has a bunch
of formatting in it, it often ends up
really messed up. So to me, I would keep it
absolutely simple the way this one is,
and would not get absorbed in that kind of thing. Um, that’d be my advice,
but you know I’d be interested in-I mean if someone else
made an argument. Eh, and then there’s
the issue of like, where do they come from,
if you’re applying for, God forbid, you’re applying
for a design job, um, then, yeah,
it’s gonna matter hugely, your resume is
your calling card, your resume is your portfolio. They will not hire you
if you don’t have a-a-a resume that-that
represents, uh, you know, fantastic design elements. Um, I am not qualified
to talk about that, uh, but I know it’s true
because I work with design folks on the academic side
and I know how-I know what their CVs
look like, and, uh, and-and-and, uh, but,
uh, so-so, but I think that in any of the, you know, types of jobs that we’ve mentioned here today, no I don’t think it would
be worthwhile to spend your time on that. Yeah. (woman)
So I-what I notice by looking at this is that they go
from 2011 to present and then jump down to 2007, and that gap is filled
in in the Other Work Experience, um, I sort of had it hammered
into me that there should never appear to be a gap in that way? (Karen)
Yeah, yeah. (woman)
But this doesn’t– (Karen)
No. (woman)
This seems appropriate. (Karen)
It is appropriate. And that’s the-that’s a CV. The CV logic is never
have a gap, every-everthing has to be
accounted for, um, and in resume world
that is not the case. You ju-you-that’s actually
the point is you’re pulling out the, um, relevant content
to this job and there’s an understanding
that you may have done other things. This is new of course,
I mean this is reflective of the world we live in,
where people switch jobs and have a much more,
you know, uh, y-ah, I don’t know
what the word is, not a linear-not a linear
work trajectory. Yeah. Yes. (female speaker 6)
Going back to the do you have to make money in order
to put it on your resume, would you put things that are
volunteer things, like what you’ve done on boards, or work you do that shows
a lot of skills you have, say leadership, but is, um,
volunteer that you never would make money? (Karen)
Absolutely. Absolutely. (woman)
And that would go under work experience? Um, I don’t think it can go
under work experience if you weren’t paid. Uh, you can put it
under community service. Um, you can put it
under volunteer. (female student 9)
Where would you put that on, like, this resume? I would put it
after work experience, um, mmhmm, before education. Absolutely, yeah I mean,
the fact is for folks who are in mid-career reinvention, your volunteer experience
may be the most valuable experience you have. Uh, it’s where you get
your foot in the door for anything and you too,
I mean everybody who’s trying
to reinvent yourself, just get yourself on a board, get yourself-get-you know, do whatever it is, you know,
as free labor. You can do it-I always say,
you know, it’s-the internship economy
is an exploitative economy, of course, um, and-and-and you
can’t run it-your life this way long term,
but you have to-you may have to work for free
to gain some skills that you need in the interim,
you know, for a few months at a time. Yeah. (male student 3)
I mean, since many of us are in this boat of maybe not
having-have paid experience, right, but we have lots
of different, you know, volunteer-whatever,
service positions, you know, coordinating at a conference. (Karen)
Yeah. (male student 3)
Wouldn’t just-or some rhetorical kung fu here to be-just to write
“Relevant Experience” and leave out the word “work”? (Karen)
No. No, no, the post-academic-
non-academic world does not work that way. No they-they wanna-they wanna
see work. (male student 3)
Okay. (Karen)
They really wanna see work. (male student 3)
But I mean if you have a title, right. (Karen)
Well, I would say-suggest to you that you might be able
to call the thing- some of the things
you just said work. I mean there are work. I mean you didn’t get paid,
but they were part of your work as a graduate student,
and you were funded as a grad student I assume,
right. (male student 3)
Yeah, I mean, I’m just thinking about these volunteer
posi-y’know, if you were, right,
uh, whatever, the event planner
for your local- but it was all volunteer. (Karen)
Well, tell me what- the event planner for what? (male student 3)
I-I-ne’know. I need an example. ‘Cause y-it has to-you have
to have z-a gets down to the specifics. What is it that
we’re talking about? So you planned
an academic conference and you planned it for…your…department. Um…I w-that’s work. That’s work. That’s not volunteer. Yeah. So I would call that, um,
I would put that under work experience. Yeah, even though you didn’t
get a-a salary for it per se, it is-it is included
as part of the, um, of the-the- (female student 9)
Professional– Yeah, the professional expectations that were included in your, uh, in your status
as a graduate student employ-in-b-in that department. So I think that that’s how I
would-that’s-so I would just stick it
under work experience. But I would not remove
the word work in order to do that. Um, uh, let’s see, I think-
I don’t know who had their hand up first. (female student 10)
Um, well, I kinda have t-two questions,
but one is off that, which is: what about, um,
for example, I know several of us have
kind of been heavily involved in efforts within our own
graduate programs to improve a problem
that we experience as employees. (Karen)
Mmhmm. (female student 10)
Um, and it’s not formal, right. Like– (Karen)
Hmm, mmhmm. (female student 10)
It does demonstrate leadership, but it’s also, like,
a little bit adversarial for your employers, so,
is there a place for something like that, or is there like- (Karen)
Well, can you give me- can you be more specific? (female student 10)
Um, yes. Um, I would say that I was
part of a small team of graduate students who
pursued and succeeded in, um, correcting a-a pay problem. (Karen)
Uh huh. (female student 10)
In-in other word, we, like, our-our department had-
our university had started assigning us as adjuncts
during the summer during teaching instead
of graduate associates– (Karen)
Mmhmm. (female student 10)
And so those students were getting $1,000 less
over the course of the summer term
than over the course of the spring or fall term. (Karen)
Mmhmm. (female student 10)
And so, a few of us went through the process
of organizing an argument, collecting the evidence
and-and making a change. (Karen)
Mmhmm. Are you unionized? Yeah- (female student 10)
We are not unionized. Oh. (Karen)
Mmhmm. (female student 11)
We are unionized, so I would have, like,
a similar question, but like, you know,
there’s a lot of-not me, but other graduate students
in my cohort, um, have, like, jobs,
but in the unions, they were like steward-
or they did, like, barg- like being a good
negotiation and bargaining with union bargainers. So. (Karen)
Okay, um. (female student 12)
I-I put that under serv- ’cause I was the Vice President
of my union last year, I put that under Service
and Activism on my CV, I don’t know if it would
fall in the same category on a resume. No, it wouldn’t because
there is no such category of service and go-
and certainly not activism. Well, I mean there’s activism, I mean it depends on the job
you’re applying for. I mean if you’re applying
for a union job that’s totally fine,
but most jobs are not going to want to say-I mean
the conservative bent. I mean they’re not going
to wanna see evidence of activism, in general. I mean, I think you guys
can all figure out which jobs would wanna see it
and which jobs would not, but anyway, um. (female student 13)
I remember thinking about that- (Karen)
Well-wait. (female student 13)
For me, they told me, you know, Greivence Chair was a little
bit scary to read on my CV. It is, it is. (female student 13)
But, like, leadership committee member was a little bit- Uh huh, yeah. Yeah although you know
grievance committee as a- is a committee that is-
exists in all departments, or should-is supposed to exist
in all departments, but I-I know
what you mean, yeah. Um, so these are all really,
really good questions. Um, I would include
all of this on-well. So. Um, in a situation-you wanna
make an effective c-uh, resume. Um, you may have a completely
effective resume without this. It may be irrelevant. It may just not be necessary,
in which case, don’t put it on because,
uh, w-if it’s not actually helping you for that particular
job there’s no particular reason to put it in. I mean it was important to you. It’s important f-
in certain contexts, it’s not necessarily important
for this particular job. Um, but if you feel like
you-like it is-it is-it does incorporate something that is
essential to this job, and you also feel like
maybe you don’t have a lot of other content right now
so that you’re really trying to cull everything
you can, um, then, uh, then I would just do it,
uh, by massaging the words. So, um, I would,
um, you know, I would neutralize the terms,
in terms of yours, uh, you know, uh, um…so first
of all did you do it as- were you-so were you, uh,
a paid TA in the department? (female student 10)
Yes. Okay, so [coughing]
in my opinion, like the previous answer. This falls into professional
obligations that are included in that work position. So you could include it
as a bullet point under that listing
of your TAship and you would say, uh,
member of-or if you wanna do a verb instead of a noun,
um-um, organized, uh, team, uh-uh-uh, rectifying, uh,
pay schedule issues. Or something like that. And you know that does justice
to it without-and puts it in a visible place
on the resume, too, y,know. I guess, um, so we are-
we are at an hour, um, I’m happy to keep
answering questions. I c-wanna use this time
however is most useful to all of you, um,
but I do have a little bit more to say and with-a little
bit more-a few more slides and another example. So what would you-ho-what
would you like to do? (woman)
I think let’s get through diving and take a break. Okay. (woman)
Come back and workshop the next questions. Alrighty. Okay. So we’ve already
gone through this. Um, uh, so I jus’ wanted to,
um, just alert you, like the good humanities
scholars that we are, that language matters. And so you ha-one of the things
you have to do is get used to resume language. And so, um, these are-
so I actually have four slides on this,
so this is not- this is just the first
of-of-of several. Um, [psk], um, we wanna
make sure that we use really vivid action verbs,
um, developed, identified, calculated, defined,
created, imagined, organized, gathered. Um, these are just examples
of course, there are many, many others. Um, in terms
of human relationships, uh: cooperated, delegated,
represented, conveyed, asserted, provided,
motivated, shared, counseled, also developed
really-did I say that, already developed
relationships. Um, and there’s an adverb
that is in here, sensitively where that
might be relevant to the particular situation,
the particular job. Um, and then there’s,
uh, management, uh, related things like:
coordinated, managed conflict, enforced,
promoted, met, and you always wanna
meet goals and meet quotas. They love the meeting
of goals and quotas. [laughter]
heheheh And on another note-another note
and this is a slide I had in the previous version
that didn’t make it in here, when-well, yeah, this is for-
it is relevant for both resumes and cover letters. Um, if you say
something like, um, let’s see you have a job
in one of your bullet points is, um, increased funding,
uh, or increase-you know, so you could say bullet point increased, uh, department
funding. You could also say, “increased department
funding 27%.” Which one is better? The second one. You could also say
“increased department to-e- increase department
funding 27% in 2 years.” You could also say
“increase department funding “27% in 2 years by leveraging,
uh-uh-uh-duh, support from, um, multiple, uh,
programs on campus.” These are just like-
I’m improvising here, but the point is you are
weighing two competing issues: length, you don’t wanna-
again don’t wanna be that blalala thing that we have
a tendency to do, but you also wanna make sure
that you are giving specifics, name figures. The nonacademic
world loves numbers. They wanna hear dollar amounts,
they wanna hear percentages, things like that. Quantify, quantify. So, uh, give specifics. I think you had your hand up
and then you had your hand up. (male student 4)
Uh, one question about that specifically in terms
of fellowships and grants, do you l-would you suggest
listing the amount that you were given for an award
or fellowship next to the award? (Karen)
Well, you know that’s a CV quest-I mean that’s like
as-I mean-I wouldn’t b-well, [chuckling]
I wouldn’t for a resume for humanities people
because our amounts are so pitiful, you know
it’s like $500, you know, I mean that’s not going
to impress anybody. Um, uh, to-I mean to be honest,
I mean. (female student 14)
If it’s a larger amount- (Karen)
If it-yeah. (female student 14)
Over 10 thousand. (Karen)
Yeah, if it’s-yeah, if it’s a larger amount, um, yes, yeah,
but-the-here’s the trouble if you list one amount
you have to list all amounts. It really doesn’t look-
you-really looks crappy, and it looks like a typo,
it looks like, um, error, to not do you-either have-
you know, you have to be consistent. So it’s all-all amounts
or no amounts. So I would leave
that up to you, as to whether you have like
five $500 awards and then 1 that’s 20 thousand,
then you have to make a decision w-which way you’re
gonna go with that. But if you have a bunch
that are 20 and 30 and 15, um, then, yeah, go ahead
even if you have a couple 500s in there, too. That makes sense? Yes. So my question is about
the entrepreneur spirit that you were talking about. How does, uh, resumes
and CVs apply to that type of goal? [coughing] Would you be, I don’t know. I’m just trying to figure
out how that works? Well-the thing is, I mean
I-you know-I launched my own business and I never
needed a resume ever again. [pk] I never had-I never
sought funding from anybody I never sought
any investments, if I had I would
have needed a resume. If I t-sought a business
loan I probably would’ve needed a resume,
but I didn’t. Um, not because I had a-all kinds of money of my own but rather because the business
cost no money to start. It’s-I needed-I got a-I went
out and I got a-I got a name, I paid for a domain name, and I bought a box
of manila folders. And I never used the folders. So it was the cheapest thing. Business-in the age
of the Internet, businesses are so cheap
to start. Um, some businesses. Some are not. Some are expensive. But, um, anyway. So, uh, yeah, in that event,
um, you have to-if you do need capital investment
to get started, then yeah you are going to have
to create a resume that shows that you are credible, um,
in the field that you are- that you are-you are
seeking to engage with. And that may be-that may mean
that you have to do a bunch of-you know, um, you have to do
a little work for free for a while to show
that you have developed this-this following
or a credibility or consistency. Yeah. Okay so here is a, um, so do you
guys have this one as well? Okay good. Um, so this is a classic,
uh, CV, um, Sociology, Riverside, um, with-
very nicely done on “The Professor Is In” model,
yay. Publications first,
presentations, awards,
teaching experience. If you’re writing a CV,
this is a good CV for you guys to follow. Huhuhuh. Uh, this is the third page. Um, so this is the job,
um, mental health educator, liaison between
the Student Wellness Center and the Counseling Center
at the University of Seattle. And basically what she did,
now this was done through the help, uh, under-with the-
working with, uh, Maggie Gover. So the first one was done
with Darcy Hannibal. Um, Maggie Gover believes
in having a summary and education up front, um,
Darcy Hannibal does not. I also prefer not to have
a summary and education up front. I-but I’m showing you this
example because Maggie Gover, who’s the person
at UC Riverside, is very effective at getting
her PhD’s at Riverside into all sorts of non-academic
realms, uh, jobs. So I’m showing you
both as examples. I would-again I want you
to do your own research, I want you to explore
further what you wanna do for yourselves. And, um, and there are
resumes really have a- are really variable,
really, really variable. So here is one, um, that, uh,
was effective, and, um, [psk] so, uh, so this is
how this person, uh, changed their, uh,
their e-academic record for this job. And as you can see, uh,
by the highlighted elements, um, and this is really
worth studying. S-um, she was
a graduate researcher in the sociology department, but look how she, um, took-
so some of her actual research was specific to mental health and that’s a huge assistance to applying for this job, but she also did some
other things like, um, she was in the advisor
to Sisters in Strength. I actually am not 100%
sure whether advisor was paid or not. You know what I mean? So in a sense this is going
back to the question that he had: do you have
to have work in here, and she does not have work
in here she just has a generic experience
and so perhaps I’m-I can’t tell you for sure
whether advisor was paid or not, so I don’t know. But, um, but basically
it’s, um, as-it’s using that stuff from that position
to speak to this job, um, but what I also really like and this is speaking
to the question that you had before,
she was a teaching assistant in the sociology department
and she maintained a confidential student records. Um, that is something. Like-that’s not immediately
apparent that that would apply from that world over
to this world, but it does. Um, and then, uh, coordinator
of a-of a conference this is just like the question
that you had- the guy had earlier. Um, maintained event budget
of $12,000 so I-you know, I managed a budget,
I ran a conference. That you-again,
not immediately apparent that that would be relevant
to a mental health position, but it is. So, I like this really a lot
for the-to show you the translation element. Yeah. So, my question related
to sort of fudging, or not exaggerate,
but, you know, if we describe the process– Mmhmm. –how much-okay-lemme-e-e-this
is what prompted it, when you said maintain
confidential student records, in our department, to work-if you do any sort
of administrative work in the department,
you have to do like this tiny little seminar
in FERPA stuff. (others)
Oh, yeah. It’s very minor, you have
some situations that are totally obvious, like,
Joe Smoe walks in and wants student records,
do you hand ’em over or not? [laughter] And you say am I FERPA trained? Right. Yes, you are FERPA trained. So, okay, so-bei-does it matter
that it took you 12 minutes to get through and you’re
watching YouTube for 9 of ’em. [laughter] No, no. I’m so glad you asked
that question, yeah. Yeah, I mean that three minutes
that you spent thinking about it is more than-than
everybody else. I mean it was thought
about FERPA for three minutes? (female student 14)
-FERPA, so. Oh. See? Yeah, see, see, that-that
was such-that is such a PhD question. That is such a PhD question. PhD people-with PhDs always
ask questions of that nature. They-and-and-and I really
wanna-I really want you guys to to-to think i-to mark this,
to note it. Make a note in your notes, yeah. It’s-it’s our tendency to say
whatever we did isn’t legit, isn’t real,
isn’t enough. And there’s a reason-I me-
there is a reason because what is ever enough
in a PhD program? (female student)
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing is ever enough. Ever. For your whole academic career. It is the foundation,
it’s the gas on which this industry runs,
is not enough. And you haven’t read enough,
you don’t know enough, you haven’t written enough,
you haven’t gotten enough money, you haven’t spent enough time, you haven’t lived
in Japan long enough, you haven’t-you know
whatever it is, it’s never enough. And we immediately take
that mindset and we apply it to everything else,
and it’s like, well I only did two years
of blah blah blah, that’s not enough because
for a PhD two years is hardly anything. But k-but you forget
you’re not comparing yourself to other PhDs. You’re comparing yourself
to the world at large. And so the 3 minutes
that you spend, well technically 12, um,
is 12 more minutes than anyone else has spent, who you’re likely
competing with. So that is a great thing
for your resume. So this might be a good moment
to-on-to pause and have a little break. Oh no, so wait, what were
we talking about? [laughter] We were talking about grants, and the importance of listing the-the prostegious grants-
the grants that matter for your field. Right. So you’re appling
for a consulting job- Consulting job versus a-
so she had asked me t-t-whether to list grants
when applying for a- (female student 15)
Consulting versus an NGO. –an NGO, and, um, that
she had been in a interview where her Fulbright seemed
to-v-had a lot of effect, good impact, and so she
wanted to list it and it was like 21,000,
and then there were, in addition beyond that
there was a lot of small grants, and I said in that case
if you’ve already have evidence that it’s effective,
then list-list the 21,000 and the small grant figures
as well, and be consistent, list the dollar amount
for everything. And then she said, yeah,
okay but what about for r- a resume
to be a consultant. Do I list the dollar amounts
for that? And I said, you know what,
the dollar amounts are much less significant then,
than are the names of the grants.
The grants themselves w-we need to know that
those grants are, you know, that they demonstrate your,
uh, augmented credibility and expertise in this field
that you’re claiming to be a consultant for. So in that sense, um,
it’s, you know, so-so, the princ-the reason
I asked her to remind me to say this to you,
is that there is a- there is a logic
to these documents, that isn’t cut and dried, um,
there is-there is a judgment. You have to constantly
be making judgments. Um, and this is why having
good advice and good advisors is helpful because
they help you, so I’m glad I’m giving
you advice. I hope you also have
other people, you know, who can also advise you
and this is why informational interviews
and having a network in your desired fields
is so important. You need to know
how do they think because how they think
is not how you currently think, and it’s not how
your professors think, and it’s not how your at-
grad school peers think. So, uh, you have to learn
it’s a new culture. You have to learn thei-
the words that matter to them, the evidence that matters
to them. And so in this case,
you know, the distinction
between dollar amount versus the nature of the grant
is something that, um, would to-to my mind
would be significant and the similar judgment calls
will be relevant for every single thing you do,
as you build these resumes for specific jobs. So that was the example
that I wanted to give. Um, there was one last slide
on resumes, um, you, uh, do not put r-references
on resumes, um, the way you do on CVs. Um, you-uh, please get
your academic stuff off there. So I know that you think
that your committee members are so, so, so important
but nobody cares. Uh, take your dissertation
title off, nobody cares. Um, uh, publications,
nobody cares unless they are relevant,
like you wanna be a consultant in a field and you have
published in that field, then of course you
would keep them on. So again, judgment,
you know, use your-use your best judgment. What is going to build
your credibility? But if it’s just that
you-you’re-you are trapped in the box of academia,
and cannot imagine your value in the world outside
of your three publications, um, but you’re applying
for, you know, a, uh, you know, mental health professional job
and you published on Freud or no actually Freud
that might actually be better, uh, you published
on, uh, you know, Jane Austin, uh, no,
you have to take the Jane Austen
publications off. It’s not going to help you. Okay. And then, uh, pictures,
graphics, borders, and special paper
do not need to be in there. All right. So, here’s my question,
okay, here’s my question: we can workshop your resumes. You can all send your resumes to-have you already sent
your resumes? Okay, I haven’t seen them yet. So I have to figure out
where that drive is, and look at them,
pull one or two up. We can talk about them,
and-or-and, um, then you can also live edit
them right now. We can take 20 minutes
and you can just do that. And that is a valuable
use of our time together, and then we can-I can go
around and I can just answer all your questions and look
at-look over your shoulder. And, uh, that’s what
I expected to do. Um, I can also, um,
so that’s one option. The other option is that I run
through cover letter stuff and then we, uh,
do the workshopping as we have time after that. So what would you prefer to do? Let’s say- [everyone talking at once] Really? (female student)
You rarely do a cover letter when you’re applying
for academic things. You do personal statements
or research plan. So this is something
that I’ve never written in my life…a cover letter. Um, okay, so first of all
I have to correct the idea that you don’t do a cover letter
for academic things. You do it a cover letter
for every single academic job, and it is absolutely
the-absolutely most crucial- (female student)
That we’ve applied for thus far. –document. Yes, true for grants you don’t
write cover letters. [coughing]
Um, also have to be clear that, um, the cover letter that we’re
gonna talk about for this is totally worthless
for purposes of an academic job. I mean this is a place
where the two genres are literally opposite extremes. So please don’t think
that anything I’m about to say about this has any relevance
whatsoever for-fer academic cover letters which are very
rigid-very-have extremely, really strict rules about what
should go in and not. And so-but I’m very happy
to do it, so absolutely. Now, there-one
of the reasons, well-you had a question. I just had a quick question. So I’m interested in fashion,
so you were talking about no, like,
pictures or graphics. Is there a way that-it’s, like, that’s like so important to me. Um, and I think hopefully
for the people I’ll be working with
or working for. Yeah. So how do I-is it like,
my website or like a Tumblr, or lik-I don’t know. Well, so this is pictures
of your work, though, yeah. So that doesn’t need
to go in your resume. Um, now, so I wanna say to you that you-someone working in fashion,
like someone working in art, someone working in design,
you may-you need to talk to people in your field. You need to get
examples of resumes that are effective resumes-
by the way when you guys seek examples of resumes
and cover letters, don’t just see them
from your unemployed friends. [laughter] You know, like,
oh, this is great, yeah, you don’t have a job. No, you know you have to get
resumes and cover letters from people who have jobs
and preferably have had many jobs successfully
using these documents. So please find people who-
in your field, and find out what they do. And what-and if what they
do contradicts some of the stuff that I said,
you should do what they do because those are
distinctive fields. Um, and I’m only giving you,
like with any advice on any job doc,
I’m giving you something that’s going to get you
in the ballpark and make sure that you are credible and reasonable, but there may be refinements that are specific to fields that you have to learn
on your own. Um, so, um, so wait,
that was your first question. And then, yeah, but in general, um, of course you’re gonna have Tumblr, you’re gonna have
your own website. I hope you guys all
have your own website. [audience murmuring] [laughter] (female student)
We’re aware of them. [laughter] Well, particularly for anyone
in an arts field, you simply-it is-you-it is
indispensable. You absolutely have to have
your own website. Um, but, uh-uh, but in general
when I give talks on the academic job market,
um, and since I know a lot of you guys are interested
in the academic job market as well, I say have a website. And-but the website can be
academia.edu, if that’s all you can manage, um, or you can just
do a Wix, or, like a Weebly, you know, cut copy and paste-so,
you know, drag and drop. And they’re really cute websites
and, uh, you just have a picture of yourself
in-a professional picture and, um, this is not-speaking
on the academic side briefly, your, um, you know,
a one paragraph summary of your research and your,
uh, then a link to your CV, and a link to your publications, and a link to your
conference papers, and maybe a video of you
teaching or a video-you know, if you have videos,
if you don’t it’s fine. Um, but basically
just a place where, when they pi-when you-when they
get your application they will google you
and it is best that you have controlled the narrative. Yeah. So, you know, in-in theory,
not in theory, probably will have a CV
for academic jobs and a resume for non-academic jobs– Yes. But our websites obviously
be a big pain to do two. Yes. So how do you address
that with-where its appropriate for those audiences because mine
is pretty heavily academic, so- Yeah, yeah. So what do you do with that? Um, you know, that’s a really
good question. Do you have a very
firm trajectory on the non-academic side
at this point? Nope. Okay, I wouldn’t worry about it. I wouldn’t worry about having
a non-academic, uh, website yet, Uh, I would wo-I would
commend you, you should have
an academic website. If you know you’re going
on the academic job market you should have the website
like I just described. Um, I gave a whole
thing-actually I gave a thing it’s called Developing
Your Digital Identity and it’s a chronicle Vit-
you know, I wr-I-I-blog
for Chronicle Vitae, I have a regular
column every Tuesday. And I also do a free webinar
for them, uh, regularly once a month and
the very first one I ever did was called
Developing Your Digital Identity and it’s still archived there
on the Vitae website somewhere, I don’t actually
know how to find it. It’s a total mystery to me
how that website is organized, but in any case I know
they have it archived there, and it is free
so please look for it. Kelsky: Developing
Your Digital Identity. And it talks all about
why you need a website, how to make a website,
what the risks if th-you know, small risks are of Websites
of a digital life and Twitter and Facebook
and stuff like that. Okay. Anyway, so yeah, do that. And then basically,
I think at the point where-if-but at the point
where you are 100% certain- so then at the point where you’re beginning to maintain two identities, uh, people often
have on their main website they’ll have my academic profile, like links, and then they’ll have my, um, you know, surf board they could like-I-there’s some
academic who makes surfboards, I forget his name,
but anyway, you know, and he has his whole surfing,
you know, thing and you-and there-you can just
access both from the website, from the different pages. Um, or if-if his surfboard
making business really developed into
his main thing, then I-yes, I would say he should indeed
make a whole separate website just devoted to that,
and then link, you know, if you’re interested
in my academic profile go here, but, you know,
so it will evolve over time. (female student)
When you have two different profiles,
one academic and the other, do you put non-academic profile, is that a thing? Like, when you– I would actually give it a name, like my, uh, consulting profile, my jewelry making profile,
my, you know, I would you know try
to use m-remember this is all marketing,
all marketing, marketing,
marketing, so make it appeal to-use words
that are meaningful to others, nonacademic is not a term
that is meaningful to anybody outside of people like us. Alright, oh, woops. Okay-okay, so the reason
I expressed a little bit of surprise about the cover
letter is that, um, is that in the nonacademic
ground cover letters are not very important. Um, they are hugely important
in-they are they are just humongously important
in the academic realm. They are absolutely
make or break you. It’s why I am obsessed
as-as obsessive as I am about cover letters
at the “Professor Is In.” Um, in the non-academic realm, they may never get read, uh, they may go straight
to your resume, they may skim the cover letter
only to confirm, you know, that the stuff
on the resumes really make sense. Um, they, uh, really
just want the cover letter to just give a sort
of just a narrative gloss over the content
that’s in the resume. Uh, you want it to be, uh, short like one to one and a half
pages. And this really is
a-even more important than the academic side,
that it’s be-that it be- have a lot of white space,
that it be in sizable font, sizable font, like 12, 11.5,
don’t go smaller than that. Don’t go smaller, okay? Don’t think that you’re
gonna like game the system and squeeze more content
in there by having 10-point font and half inch margins
because it’s just really alienating
to middle-aged readers, who don’t-who won’t,
I can tell you, we won’t. It’ll just be like,
‘I cannot read this shit,’ and just like set it aside
because our eyes cannot see small font, so,
um, so it needs to have a lot of the white space
that you were talking about. Um…okay. Just like with the academic
cover letter where I always urge people
to do some research, to find out if you can
find out who the head of the search committee is,
and find out who’s on the search committee,
it’s very helpful. Do some research. Certainly research
the department, even if you don’t know
the actual individuals you wanna know. Same thing with nonacademic
hiring, research before you write. Find out-and if you can find
out who the hiring manager is, um, use their name
that is just a courtesy. It’s not make or break,
but it is a courtesy that helps. Um, and, uh, as Darcy was
at pains to tell me, uh, public institutions often try
to make this impossible. And they do that-and she works
at a-at a public university so she is familiar with this, but basically and the reason is, is that they’re actually trying
to preserve, um, fairness. They’re trying to stop people
from having that insider knowledge
or insider connection. So it’s coming
from a good place, but it makes it more
stressful because you can’t- they’re-they’re hiding
the people who are involved in the decision making. So I’m gonna show
you some examples, um, in a second, but this is walking
you through the elements. Um, you have your salutation. Um, you have a very short
first paragraph that explains who you are, um,
what you can do, why you’re interested. Um, y-paragraph two, uh, will,
uh, explain the, um, most critical element
of the job and, um, how you, um,
how you meet it. And you will have identified
the most critical element of the job through, um,
either having talked with the hiring supervisor
or just re-reading the job description. And, of course, you’ll have
done the word cloud of the job description,
so you’ll have a very good sense of it from that as well. Um, and research
into the general industry, and we hope some maybe
informational interviews with people in that industry. So that you have educated
yourself about this world that you are trying to enter. Paragraph three, um, then points
to the evidence on your resume that shows that you can
in fact do these things that you’re claiming you can do. You may, ah, there may be
a reason for a fourth paragraph, but don’t assume that, um. And then closing is just,
uh, very, very short, just basically,
thank you, um, pleasure to join your team, look forward to learning more. Okay. So there are-currently
there are two kinds of cover letters
broadly speaking. There’s the traditional one, which I basically
just described, where all the cover letter
does is very, you know, narrativize the bullet points
on your-on your resume. And then there’s
a problem focused, uh, cover letter where
it’s called, ah, someone I think
that Liz Ryan person that I mentioned earlier,
she calls them ‘pain letters.’ Um, because you’re looking
for the pain point, like what are they-what-what
is-what are-what is painful for people in this industry? What are they stressed about? I mean if you were to think
about pain points, I don’t know, it’s kind
of an interesting exercise, if you were to think about
pain points like in maybe an alt-ac area
like student advising, like I can think of a-I can
think of a pain point. Can you guys think of a pain-
undergraduate student advising, like for an alt-ac job? What do you think
a pain point might be? (female student)
Recruitment, like? Mmhmm, yes, like diversity. like r-recruiting diverse
student popular-absolutely. Yes that is a-that is a probably
the main pain point. Um, others? (female student)
You said for undergraduate advisors? Yeah. (female student)
I mean, s-someone was here last week talking about this,
and she said there was a lot of, like, mental health– Yes! –complications. Ma-major pain point right now. Yeah, emergent in terms
of how do-how do campuses provide mental health support,
uh huh. Um, retention. The incredible attrition
that happens after the first year, and the fact that
in a tuition-dependent situation the loss of students
after the first year is a massive loss
of tuition dollars, uh, and impact on the budget. So how do you keep
under the vulnerable freshman enrolled, like that’s
why they have all those things like freshman interest groups
and stuff is to try to get them into a cohort so that they
feel the investment. So those are three pain points
right there. Um, you would probably pick one. Um, and, uh, and pro-possibly
take a, uh, cue from the elements that were
mentioned in the job ad itself, like, you know, special
attention to recruitment, well that’s their pain point. Um, so, uh, anyway. So the-the pain
per-focused letter, the problem focus letter
is one where you go directly to that and figure out
how that you can soothe it. Now emotional language
is allowed in a nonacademic cover letter, and I don’t know
if you guys know how much I hate
emotional language. I hate it with a hot hate. [laughter] Um, and like the word passion, we don’t even-at the professors
in we call it the P word, like you’re not even allowed
to utter that horrendous word, um, but in a nonacademic
letters? Yeah, they use these words,
but we d-but you-but you do have to-you still
can’t over use them. So Darcy suggested one time
each in the opening, middle, and closing paragraph
is a good limit, um, but if you remember-if you
remember that, uh-uh, the Spanish language media,
do you remember they said at the end,
they said s-w-w-w-speed, passion and courage. So if they’re gonna stick
that stuff in the job ad, then you can assume that they’re
going to be interested to see some evidence of that
in the letter as well. All right so, um, I, uh,
so like I said, the traditional cover letter,
um, is just interpreting the evidence of your resume,
so, um, you might have language like my x-my success obtaining blah blah
thousand dollars through the blah blah
granting institution, gives me the experience to fund the blah blah nonprofits project. So again that’s just
what-just what we’ve been talking about. Your success in-in gaining fu- in grant funding speaks to grant funding. Um, you do have to edit
and this is something that is difficult for everybody,
everybody, all the time, in every job
search situation, because everybody’s
desperate and anxious, and again you oversell,
so edit, edit, edit, don’t speak to every-every
skill you have, speak only to the three
or four that are relevant to this job. Prioritize the, uh,
the-the hard to train- the hard to train
qualifications, the-the ones that take
the most years, uh, language fluency,
obviously, you could-nobody can
come off the street and be fluent in Spanish. Um, and this is a thing
that, you know, without, you know, a solid five years
or more or a childhood spent in a bilingual family
or something like that, um, you, you know, the-the-that kind of thing is, um, is what you absolutely
wanna emphasize. Um, okay, so again, please pull this cover letter example up. Um…so this is again
for that previous ad, the MundoHispanico, and, um,
so-do you guys all have it up on your screen? Okay. So we can walk
through the first paragraph. Um, this is very, very clear. I, um…first paragraph
is a summary. “I’ve written and edited
news content in both English and Spanish languages for both
print and online media.” Um, “I can provide a quick
and diligent turnaround and I’m excited
by the opportunity.” Uh, and then, um, she gets
immediately into the, uh, it-and if you can see,
she’s really interpreting, she’s-she’s directing the eye
to certain things on her resume. So “the content I write
on my news analysis blog as a self-employed content
editor and writer,” and it’s actually interesting
because I didn’t necessarily get this message
from her resume, so, um, s-that she’s-she’s actually
writing, um, news analysis as a content editor
on her own blog. So that’s interesting. So that’s actually a really
good example of someone who’s doing something completely
for free, most likely, unless she’s getting some
ad revenue from her blog, hard to say, but you know,
we don’t know. But this is, you know,
there’s a certain amount of smoke and mirrors. The Internet allows
us to do that. [chuckling] I have a daughter
who’s a junior in high school and she’s applying for colleges, and I’ve been reading these books about how to get
into Ivy League colleges ’cause she wants to go to Brown, and, um, and-from these people
who’ve been successful at getting their kids
into college. And they said, you know,
you have to create this impression and, um,
so, you know, obviously it’s not enough
for people to have a 4.0 grade point average,
right, ’cause, like, who doesn’t at this point. And, um, uh, you know,
and that they play the violin, and that they, you know,
are student body president, like who isn’t, right,
who applies to Brown, right. So you would have to have
this crazy…profile. And they said, you know,
one of the things that you wanna show
that you’re well rounded is that you do something
like you-you do photography let’s say, but so you-but you
don’t wanna just do photography, you have to show evidence
that you have displayed and exhibited your photography,
we-how do you do that? Like you’re a junior
in high school and your photography sucks,
how do you do that? Well she said, all you have-
this mother-now I’m not saying- I didn’t actually do this
’cause I think it’s insane, but I think it’s actually
a really interesting example of smoke and mirrors. Um, you call up
your local coffee shop. Coffee shop is always looking
for stuff to put on their walls, and you say, um,
my daughter has a, um, you know, a-a-a selection
of photographs of, you know, the, you know, Mackenzie River
like in Eugene Oregon, where I’m from-very beautiful- you cannot take an ugly picture of the McKenzie. You cannot. So, um, I, uh,
and-and they’re framed, and they’re ready
for display, do you think you might
have a-a open spot on your calendar? And they’ll be like, of course,
yeah, like, yeah, we’d have a week in, you know, November that we don’t have anything. And you-you get it up
on the wall. You go, well we’ll bring it in
and put it up. You bring it in,
you put it up, and then on the child’s
resume you say she has exhibited her photography. This is-I know it is insane. It’s insane, but the point is-
the point is-it just made a really big impression on me,
that the-that this is how we manage impressions in these
times where we’re trying to get through the door. And so translate
that as you will, into your own worlds,
but to me, someone making their own blog-
a blog is a perfect example of this. Suddenly everybody’s an expert,
right. You have a blog,
you’ve been writing, and you begin to get readership, your readership is evidence
of a certain audience share and you might get some
advertising, whatever, we don’t know how you’re
going to grow that blog. But I’m a person
who grew a blog, so I can tell you, a blog is a-amazing step
to a whole bunch of stuff. Um, and this is clearly what
this person is doing here. So all of you who
are wondering what your next steps might be? This is, like, your photographs
on the coffee shop walls and a blog. Those are the two things
you should start looking at. Anyway, okay. Um…okay so then in her
third paragraph, she is, um, looking at, um,
uh, specifically pointing to a three-part series
in the Seattle Weekly, um, and look at-look what
she’s doing here, “connecting historical
events to current issues related to the fishing economy.” This is not Spanish. It’s not Spanish stuff, but she’s showing that
she can do a three-part series, which is not nothing,
not incidental, and that she is doing
current events. So, again, everybody-you have
to massage your record, nobody’s perf-you’re usually
not perfect for everything, you have to massage,
you have to think outside the box. So that’s what she’s doing. Um, and then look what
she’s doing in that paragraph as well, I also served
as a reviewer for three professional journals,
editing the content of three articles on social
and economic topics. See how vague that is? [laughter] Um, and again-again I’m not
trying to tell you that she’s perfect, I’m not saying that this is
what-this is perfect for what they want for this
MundoHispanico job, but it might be enough,
it might be enough. It might be enough to get her
into the interview. Um, and then in the fourth
paragraph, then she gets into her
Spanish language, um, and this is somewhat
more persuasive that she’s clearly
very good at Spanish. And, um, and she
supervised three to five teaching assistants,
which is good because she’s gonna have
to manage a team in that job. and then she signs off and boom,
she’s done. Yeah, you had your hand up? (female student)
Yeah, I have a question about the, like, vagueness. Mmhmm. (female student)
Um, especially in the second paragraph when she’s talking
about her blog with a wide readership
that is growing consistently. Uh, I guess to, like, uh,
personalize and be specific, like I have, um, been
the l-literary manager for a small theater
company in Chicago, and I am c-I’m torn
about saying things like “reached an audience”
without having to say, like, the exact size of the audience
because it’s a small storefront theater company,
and dozens of people enjoy our work, uh. [laughter] So I-’cause this to me feels,
like, feels fake, like, my-my blog reaches a wide
readership of my mom and- [laughter] So what, uh, I don’t know
if you can speak to, like, how vague to be and still
make it feel, uh, like real experience. I would be as, um, so one thing
that I have noticed is that the world
of nonacademic, of corporate or whatever, uh,
cover letters is much more forgiving of somewhat
unsubstantiated claims, than academia is. Um, they-the-your intent
and your enthusiasm go further in this world than they do
in the academy. So, I-don’t be as-I wouldn’t
show this if I didn’t believe that it was okay,
and I wouldn’t show anything like this for an academic
cover lette, r where I don’t-never allow any claim that
is not substantiated. Uh, but-but-but I
have seen enough nonacademic cover letters, seen enough of my clients
succeed with letters like this, to know that this works. Um, I don’t know why
it’d be an interesting anthropological-anthrographic
question to know why, but in any case. Um, so intent and enthusiasm
count for a lot in this world. Um, but, uh, if you
can clarify ‘wide,’ obviously that’s going
to help you. So I don’t know what
the readership is-of this- of this person’s, um, blog. Uh, and, uh, but I would only-
all-I-I would only urge you, again, I worry that you’re doing
a little bit of what he did, which is you know
you’ve reached dozens of people, I’ll bet it’s hundreds- (female student)
Sure. -and it might be more. And e-you know, there is again
that tendency, oh, what I do is so small, it’s so small,
it’s so small, um, it isn’t that small,
you are doing it, you do reach people,
you have done the work, you have marketed,
you have-I mean I don’t know what all the elements are
of the work that you do, but you’re doing it,
and it’s more than anybody else in this room probably has done. Right? (female student)
Mmhmm. So there you are. You’re more qualified
than everybody here and we’re all super qualified, you know, we’re like very
high-powered people. So, um, so I just don’t want you
to g-again do that PhD thing of, well, because I can’t claim
it’s 10,000 or 100,000 that it’s
not meaningful. And-and having said that,
flipside, any specific number you can give
that is impressive obviously do stick
in there and give. Just don’t be too hard
on the l-bar-borderline of what’s impressive and not. Yeah. I-I like to think of it
as presenting a panel for one person counts. And you still presented. Yes, you did. –the material. You still did
the presentation. Uh huh. It is still valid,
even if one person is sitting in the audience. Yeah, that absolutely true. You got accepted
into that conference, I mean, it’s all of those
other things that qualify that as an event. Yeah, I mean you had to get
hired to be that person, or put yourself, um,
in the right place at the right time. I mean I don’t know how
you got into this job. but whatever it doesn’t matter,
you did it and I no-none of the rest of us did it. (female student)
-Like, I want that job. I want to reach
dozens of people. [laughter] I want to reach
dozens of people. I know, I mean we all
start somewhere, so, um, sometimes you can be
completely untested and just come in with a good
idea and enthusiasm, and you’re beyond that. You are not just enthusiasm
and a good idea, but you’re also tested
and, uh, and so you can bring- you this is legitimate evidence that you know what you’re doing. Yeah. Um, how do you feel
about the redundancy in this cover letter? Mmhmm. So she says the exact same,
um, uh, “as a self-employed content
editor and writer,” at least twice. I think-I thought I saw it
a third time, but I only see it twice now. So ha. In, ah, s-ah, second
and third paragraph. I see it, yup. Um…I might remove
the self-employed the second time. Um, because that’s
not helping her. Uh, I-I’d use it the first time
because it-i-it links to the resume
in an effective way, we know immediately which
element she’s talking about, but I wouldn’t not use it
the second time. You’re right. Uh, but I would use
content editor and writer again because, again, that-in our
word cloud those were major, major elements. So in that sense, yes, um, uh, s-so I’m glad you asked that. Redundancy is actually
pretty good, when it’s the major words
from the word cloud. Yeah. Yeah. (male student)
Um, I was wondering in terms of those of us who have
non-academic work experience. Uh, and it’s kind of a little
far back, um, how relevant would that be
in, like, you mentioned in a CV and also, um,
does it make sense to have people
from that part of your life as references at all? Well, [ahhem] um, so, um,
so this is a version of a question that you asked,
um, and so there are different ways answer that. Do you have other more
recent work of that nature or has it all been-has all been
the academic stuff since then, so you’re reaching back there
for your only non-academic work experience? I worked in the media sector
in India and I kind of transitioned into being
a filmmaker here, and so it kind of connects. Media, then filmmaker
and then-and so in terms of your nonacademic job search,
what might you be looking at? Um, I’m looking at nonprofits
and, um, you know, media advocacy,
things like that. Um, so the short answer
is that yes, one would include those,
absolutely. Um, I don’t know that having
a lot of reference that is that old
is gonna help you. That’s pretty old,
um, on the other hand, if it’s the only media-
and it’s probably- it’s from India? (male student)
Yes. Yeah, I-I think the combination
of the fact that it’s old and it’s from another country
would be problematic in terms of its usefulness
for a job in the States right now. Um, but def-but in terms
of listing that, like you’re going-you’re looking
for a media job and you have this fantastic media experience, I would absolutely list
that on your resume. Yeah. Well I mean I just
list anything. I mean if you have it. and it was in your career. as an adult,
yeah list it. I mean there
is-it’s-it’s-it’s-it would be pref-preferable
that the experience is newer, but the fact that it’s
there at all, again, is very significant. You had this experience,
you gain the skills, you didn’t forget them. I’m sure it’s like
riding a bike. You’re not gonna forget
how to do media stuff just because you did bunch
of other stuff and-and frankly the stuff you did was
pretty closely related ’cause it’s filmmaking. So, um, yeah I would
absolutely include it, but I wouldn’t use really,
really old references. References do have
to be pretty recent. Yeah. Okay, so let me show you now,
um, the problem, you know, that we-were talking
about the pain point, um, so, and the oth-you don’t
know what the pain point is, you-we-you might know it
from the job ad, but chances are it’s
gonna come from implicit cultural knowledge
of the field. So you’re gonna get
better and better and better and better. Like for example you guys are,
being experienced in academia, you can read a job ad,
an academic job ad, and you might be able to tell
the pain point, um, in job ads. Like I can look
at an anthro- cultural anthropology job ad
and I can say, “Oohh, I see where
their issue is. “They need someone who does this because they just lost
someone who does that.” Or whatever. Anyway, see this is a thing
that you learn with time. So, um, here is
a pain point letter. So she’s basically
identifying the pain point in the second, um, paragraph um. Uh, basically how do you
manage social media, uh, multiple sources
of information, uh, witnesses,
civil rights organizations. You know the video-videos,
of course, I mean where do you, uh,
how do you substantiate them, how do you use them,
how do you analyze them, um, uh, and integrate different
interpretations, um, into content that is
both accurate and compelling, you know, and is gonne grow
your readership. Um, it’s really
an interesting question. I don’t know, um, I don’t
love the…it’s a little wordy. I-I would-I would edit this
to make it more vivid, but in any case-but she is
certainly identifying a pain point and it is
a really-it is a really, really significant pain point
for all media right now. Um, and then she goes down
to her third paragraph and, um, “as a self-employed
content editor and writer, “I do blah blah blah
and I do this and that “and I use analytical tools
and I track the content “and the shares of my stories
have grown, uh, consistent “with it-consistently over
the past year from about 200 to nearly 2,000.” So there’s some numbers,
I like that. She should’ve put that
in the previous letter as well. Um, these are not huge numbers
by online standards, these are quite small,
but she-but they’re not nothing. They’re not nothing. Anyone starting out on a blog
would be thrilled to get 200 and re-even
more thrilled to get 2,000, so it’s-it’s good. Um, and-and she’s
actually-there’s also meta, err, sub-is it metatext,
is it subtext? Um, but the point is,
is that she’s actually saying that she understands
how to track readership, ’cause do you guys kno-who knows how to track readership
on a blog. Like not, yeah, like I do,
you do. You know I-a couple
more of you do probably, but most of you probably don’t. And so this is another thing
they don’t wanna have to train somebody to have
to go in and read the back analysis, you know,
the-the-of-of the readership, so she comes in with-showing
that she already has that ability. Um, and so, uh, and she finishes
“I can help, uh, “your organization keep up
with the growing ever changing “news content in this area
of increasing interest to Hispanic audiences.” There’s an error in there,
it should be Hispanic. Um, okay, so questions
about this. Yes. (male student)
Would this cover letter, so a problem fo-focused cover letter versus, like, a traditional cover letter? (Karen)
Mmhmm. (male student)
Um, depending on which one you use, would that change
like the organization of the CV? Or would that reflect
or correspond to a certain order of how you place things, or what you add to the C-
I’m sorry, the resume that you-? Well you know, my-I was
going to say no, that you’d just use
one consistent resume, and then the-the letters
would interpret it differently, but actually I can kind of
think of…I can kind of think of ways that it would
subtly-you could subtly shift your resume to push some of this
a little bit more. Um, telling us-I mean
once you’ve identified this pain point,
how do you m-manage and integrate all of these disparate news sources, some of which are authorized
and some of which are not? Um, that actually is a whole
other skills-and by the way speaking of skills you don’t
know you have? That’s a s-that’s a skill
that she probably didn’t initially know she had. She had to figure out
that she had that skill by doing the work itself. So anyway this is just
an ag-nother example of skills that we don’t know
we have. So, um, I would probably
maybe add a bullet point, um, you know that might say
something about, uh, um, uh, engaging with social media,
um, engaging with witness video, uh, um, you know, uh, or,
uh, content t-you know, responsive-writing resp-content responsive content to, uh, witness video
in the blah blah blah case, for example, and I would get
really specific about that too, and it-especially if those
specific cases were relevant to this particular
news organization. That make sense? M’kay. Alright, so just some general,
um, points about brainstorming, um…you have to show-these are
really things that are- the emphasis is so different
from an academic cover letter, um, it’s really much more
individualized to this company to this job. Um, the academic cover letter
is so much more about bleh, this is my record. And then you only tailor
it really at the very, very end, but this is very much
a here’s what you do and here’s why I like it, and here’s what you do
and here’s why I’ve done it, and here’s what you do
and here’s how I can help you. So really conversational,
really dialogical. Um, so these are questions,
uh, to think about. [fsk] And, um, also then, if there are gaps
in your resume, um, that you feel
are really significant, um, you might wanna
explain them, but I hesitate to write this,
frankly, because again, well, why do you think
I hesitate to write this, after you’ve listened to me
now for a while. Why do you think I’m hesitant
to talk about gaps? (female student)
Because you’re probably over emphasizing- (Karen)
You’re overemphasizing the gaps. You’re like, oh I’m s-
I didn’t-I didn’t-I should’ve. You know, you’re fine,
you did plenty. Um, so I worry about it
because everybody spends so-so much time stressing
about gaps. And it’s just like people
are not looking that closely. Everybody has weird lives. You know? Um, so, uh-uh, but, um,
the changing careers thing. Now I wanna speak
specifically about this overqualified thing
because PhDs are always going on and on about how they think
their overqualified. Um, and- [laughter] and
I am here to tell you, that you-it is very unlikely
that you are overqualified [chuckling] for any
of these jobs. Um, and I-that is
not a put down, that just means that your-
that just means that you-you- that your advanced degree
is not necessarily the, um, the-the amazing,
ultra-qualification that-that it is-that it
really is in many spheres, for this particular
hiring manager. They may not see the PhD
as being something, all that frankly, relevant. They-they may not care
that much, if they do care,
th-it may be because they’re concerned about it, um,
because, um, and not because- a-and it’s not so much
because they think that you’re overqualified,
as that they may-and I actually can’t remember if I put the, uh,
think I put the slide in. Um, the issue with PhDs
and nonacademic jobs, is a PhDs do not have a good
reputation, um, in general. And I think you can
probably imagine, well, why-why do you think? Why do you think PhDs
don’t have a good reputation? (male student)
Hyperspecialized. (Karen)
Hyperspecialized. (male student)
Over critical (male student)
Doesn’t play well with others. (Karen)
Doesn’t play well with others, absoulely. What did someone else say? (male student)
Overcritical. (Karen)
Overcritical. Overcritical, yeah. (female student)
Maybe arrogant? (Karen)
Arrogrant. (female student)
Also a flight risk, right. (Karen)
Flight risk- (female student)
-doing this- (Karen)
Flight risk. (female student)
-academic job. (Karen)
Yeah, like they do not believe you’re going to stay. Yeah, they really don’t. Um. (female student)
What about, like, translation issues in terms of having
to speak to a public audience. (Karen)
Mmhmm. (female student)
Yeah. (Karen)
Yeah, use words that no one understands, um, absolutely. Um, another one
that Maggie Gover often emphasizes is,
cannot problem solve. I don’t know, but that’s her
not me. I’m not saying. Um, I cannot problem solve. I don’t know if other people-
I can problem solve some things, but I have-I have to-I do
have trouble. I mean, we often have a mind-
a certain cast of mind, where we live a little bit
in the clouds. I mean, that’s why we love
to do Ph-the work of the PhD, and we aren’t
necessarily the world’s most pragmatic thinkers;
I’m certainly not. And, um, and so bu-running
my own business has been a real learning curve,
and uh, strain. Um, although now
I really love it, but in-but there was
a lot to learn. Anyway, um, so there are
ideas-there are-there is a sense that, um, that there
is gonna be a decision that has to be made
in 24 hours, you know. Are we gonna do this
or are we going to do that? And the PhD is gonna
be like, well…you know, but really what
do we really know? You know. And, you know, and unpack
every single word and it’s like, no, no,
we know. Like, let’s just
make a decision. So this is the problem. So when you’re writing
your cover letters, you want to make sure
that at the metatextual level you are communicating
that you speak really accessible language,
that you play well with others, that-if you’ve done teamwork, not all of us have, but the-to the degree
that you have that you can mention that. That you, um, uh, what else,
that you’re s-truly interested in the job and you’re not
an immediate flight risk, that you’re-this is not
just a holding pattern, until you can get
the tenure track job. Um, anything that you can do
in that letter, that’s what the letter does. The so-the resume
doesn’t do that. The resume shows
your past experiences. Their letter is gonna narrate
your quality of personality and whether they’re gonna
take a chance on you or not. Yeah. (male student)
Okay, so, [achem] but-I know, this is not a question
about cover letters, but in-in an interview
a couple times, I’ve gotten the overqualified
question, and like you said,
it’s not really about over qualification,
it’s about all those anxieties that you just listed,
um, so how-how would you recommend answering that? And-and kind of
assuaging those fears? Probably not saying assuaging,
first, but, um. [laughter] So, like, yeah,
do you know what I mean? I always feel like I’m never-
I can never answer the question- (Karen)
Well so give me the context, so very briefly,
what kind of job and what are they specifically
did they ask you? (Male student)
So communications positions and- (Karen)
At a what kind of business? (male sudent)
Uh, a nonprofit. (Karen)
A nonprofit. (male student)
Yeah, and they asked, um, what was it, um,
how would you feel about having a PhD for a job
that does not require that PhD? (Karen)
Uh-huh. (male student)
I said great. [laughter] Um, because I-I-I wanted-I want
that job quite a bit. Um,so I said more
than that, but. (Karen)
That’s so funny. Um…the way that one
would answer that would probably i-at first blush
I would say, um, “While in my PhD program,
I was taught how to- or I learned-I-uou wouldn’t wanna use a passive voice. “Uh, I learned how to, um,
do X and Y and Z “in the communications realm. “My true passion, and I do
allow you to use that word “in this context,
is in reaching real audiences “to communicate something
blah blah blah-whatever it is “that they do, um,
and I learned quickly “in graduate school that I
was not have the opportunity “to do that
in an academic career, “and that is motivating me
to seek, um, “career opportunities
in a place like blah blah blah “name their-their place,
where I will be able to, uh, “share the, uh, values
of blah blah blah “to audiences like
blah and blah.” Yeah, yeah. You can use that. That make sense? Everybody should really,
um, write-this might be a very useful thing
for us to do with our time, if you want to, is write your one sentence
answer to the- or the two sentence answer
to the overqualified question, but-but only-but as he phrased
it-as it was phrased there. Because really it’s implicit
in everything they ask you. Because they don’t trust you. O-e-again, I’m making
an overgeneralization. If you’re hired for a federal
research position that only hires PhDs,
then they’re not gonna ask it. I mean, well they are gonna-actually they are gonna ask it, because they’re gonna wanna
know that you’re gonna stay there and not bail
for the tenure track position. They do wanna know that,
but they basically trust that you’re a PhD. They don’t-they-they like
that you’re a PhD. They’re not distrusting
your PhDness. But if you are going
for anything outside, you know, that it really-where it is not
a PhD centric world, they are gonna have
some serious questions about all of these things
and so you need that line, that go to line. So, yeah. (female student)
Okay, so I am considering bailing on my program. (Karen)
MmHmm. (female student)
Um, so I guess-the-the way that I asked this question
to someone last week was, what-and I guess I sort of
just heard part of your answer, but wha-what does a PhD mean
to a lot of these kinds of emp-employers? I’m also interested in nonprofit
work, and, um, specifically I-I’m considering like
child advocacy organizations, and um, it is related
to my dissertation topic, which I like a lot,
but hate a lot of the other stuff
about grad school. And, um, I guess the flipside
of the question is, is there-what are-are there
some positive things, in addition to these anxieties
that we just discussed? (Karen)
Mmhmm. (female student)
Or-or, wh-what else does it say to have a PhD- (Karen)
Mmhmm, um you can-so in this- in the building on the way
that I started that initial response, you might say something like, um, while in my PhD program
I learned, um, how to do X and Y and Z, and I, um, learned you know
critical, um, skills in time management,
project management, budgeting,
grant writing, um, public speaking, um,
and-and I’ve rendered all of this into a dependent clause which makes it a little bit unwieldy,
but the point is, is that you can list
all of these things. You know, in the PhD,
I-I really enjoyed my time in graduate school, um,
because I gained critical skills in writing and editing,
public speaking, uh, analysis,
fluency in Spanish, um, whatever the case may be. Um, and I’m excited to take
all of those skills that I gained and use them
in a more, uh, applied context. Where I can have an impact
on real-where I can move away from the world of research, and move into real life,
uh, you know, social impact. That’s what I would do. (female student)
Can y-. (female student)
Can I ask a question afterwards, when everyone’s done,
before lunch? I don’t wanna take up
everyone’s time, ’cause I think-I think I just
might be the only person who in that position. (Karen)
Okay, alrighty. Yeah, yeah. [mumbling] I don’t know, well, ask it
and let me be-l-let’s see how people think. (female student)
-Like what is the difference for a lot of these jobs
between someone with a Master’s and a PhD. Is the PhD-how much
of an asset is it? (Karen)
Yeah, I cannot answer that because it’s different
for every single job, every context,
every hiring manager. Some people really like PhDs. Um, some people have had
great experiences with them, and some people have had
terrible experiences with them. And so I literally
cannot tell you. I can’t generalize. Um, some people have
the b-are a blank slate and have had no experiences
and-and sort of gloss over it and are like, eh, I
don’t know what that is, but in any case,
I know that you can do this and that’s all I care about. So I, um, I just-I would say
that, um, you just need to make sure that you
can narrate all these tremendous gains. Don’t ever criticize-this is
a classic job seekers advice, PhD or non-PhD. Uh, don’t criticize the place
you were before, and in your case
don’t criticize the PhD. Don’t criticize grad school. Because-because
hiring managers, uh, they see you criticize that,
they will assume that you will criticize them. And frankly it’s true, if you’re a critic,
you’re a critic. If you’re a malcontent,
you’re a malcontent. So, um, you want to say
only positive things about the ti-about the PhD. And when you frame
the explanation for why you’re departing
from the academic realm, you frame it in positives
not negatives. So it’s not that, God,
I really hated my grad program, my advisor was asshole,
and you know and there aren’t any jobs anyway, like that’s a complete
negative, negative, negative. Um, they’re not gonna be
persuaded by that that you have a really true
investment in who they are and what they do. So-but you can say
I really enjoyed the opportunity to gain this and this and this
and to spend time doing this, and I’m anxious to take
those skills-eager to take those skills
into this other direction. Yeah, m’kay. Did you have your hand up? Oh you-you did
have your hand up, yeah. Um, so I know we talked a bit
about don’t get too much into your dissertation,
what you study, but is answering the question
of how you would be satisfied in a job that doesn’t require
the PhD a place to go into it a little bit? Say, like, as I worked
on my dissertation, I did blah blah blah,
and it made me realize that X, Y, Z, thus I would be interested
in working here. (Karen)
Well, wait, what do you- what was the blah blah blah
that you did? Oh, so, like the personal
example with me, like, my dissertation looks
at historiography and how it-how historiography
written 500 years ago has still impacted
the way we view things. So can I say something like,
as I wrote my dissertation, I came to appreciate more
and more of the power of books to effect knowledge
centuries down the line, um, because of that, I
realize that instead of a traditional
tenure track postion, I want to be in a position
to help other people be exposed to books
and the knowledge that they can convey. (Karen)
Oh, that’s nice, yeah that works, yeah. Now I want everybody
to understand what has been implicit so far, but I hope,
because you’re all very smart, I hope you picked it up. I kid-no question of this nature
can be answered without specifics. There is no general-
I mean-I mean, we’ve covered
some general rules. Like don’t criticize
your previous place of employment, but when you get
into your own record and the narrative
that you’re gonna create about your record
and your trajectory, you cannot do it outside
of the specifics. You have to know what
is the dissertation, what is the specific thing
you’re pulling out of that, what is the job
that you’re applying for. O-so yeah I get it, books. Books make sense. Books, books, books. So that works for that job,
but it wouldn’t work for some other job. And so you couldn’t
just use it again for a different situation. So that’s why everybody
has to create their own story for a specific industry
or-or area that you’re going into. Um, okay let me, um,
this is super valuable, uh, discussion. Um, so the, um, yeah I-so I’ve
already mentioned all of this. Um, uh-uh…but I wanted
to read you this thing. Um, so Darcy, um, does
an enormous amount of hiring, and, um, in her position
at UC, uh, Davis, ’cause, uh, in the lab, um,
and so, um, I said Darcy, so, you know, you give me
a lot of great suggestions for what to talk about
and stuff, but just now-t-just speak
off the cuff, what bother-what bothers you? And she wrote me these-this-
she wrote me this. So I’m gonna read it to you. There are lots of things
that drive me crazy about application materials,
but most of the ones specific PhDs-specific to PhDs
are part of a syndrome of exhibiting the worst
stereotypes of a PhD: providing too much detail
in cover letters and resumes that are too long, speaking primarily
of their own interests instead of what they can do
for the employer, a resistance to accepting
that the actual degree is not as important
as the work experience and how it translates
into skills. So skills, not degree. I recently spoke with
a potential post-ac client who I’m sure is not going
to choose to work with me, who explicitly said she does
not wanna focus on skills because she finds
it distasteful, and likely to result
in a mindless task-oriented job that she doesn’t want. This syndrome brings to mind
a potential coworker who will spend too much time
getting the details right on a project they’re making
to in depth, someone who doesn’t
play well with others, um, on collaborative projects
because they’re too absorbed in their own interests
and needs, meeting with them will be
hijacked by their need to expound on their knowledge
of the topic, and thus will go off the agenda,
and run over time, and exclude the contributions
of others. Unfortunately, I’ve had to work
with some post-ac PhDs that fit the stereotype
too well, so I’m not at all forgiving
of any of the red flags of PhD syndrome-w-so its-she actually calls it this, PhD syndrome-when I review
applications for a potential hire. PhD application materials
and interview performance must consciously convince
the reviewer they do not fit this stereotype. The other thing PhDs do
is try too hard to explain why they’re leaving academia
in a way that sounds sad- [laughter] and focused on the past. This is so true,
this is so true. I’ve seen these letters. I encourage them to make a
forward thinking, upbeat statement
instead like, “I have found that I am
much more satisfied working “on projects that have a clear
and definitive completion “in the near term
and am pursuing work in X field with that in mind.” A great statement
for a fast paced work environment where projects
have to get done on a type time- tight timeline,
that also makes it clear you’re not going
to turn every project into a dissertation. Everything about why
you’re leaving should be forward thinking. If you have to talk
about the past define a crystallizing moment
that put you on your forward thinking path
and talk about that, if you have to, but it can sound sad
or resentful. Resentful-big problem. Bitterness,
the bitterness problem. You guys, being still
in grad school may not have gotten there yet,
but a lot of, um. [laughter] Yet. But, um, a lot of the, um,
people who have adjuncted for a while and are only later
making this post-ac transition, and the really a lot
of sadness and bitterness and it just colors
everything that they write and say about this, and it’s very-very-very troubling. Um, someone had
their hand up? (female student)
Yeah, I mean, I was kind of wondering, uh,
whether or not you have to talk about why
you got a PhD at all? Um, when you’re applying
for jobs? I think you don’t, uh,
I mean I don’t think you inevitably have to. I don’t believe you do. I think that, uh,
it’s completely fine to, um, uh-uh, um, to-o-to-to just
adapt as the interview unfolds. Um, I think it would be
an interview question, I don’t think it’s
a cover letter question. Um, the cover letter should be
focused on this job in the future,
not on your past, but assuming you’re going
to get asked that question, uh, you-you absolutely need
to have an answer to it. Alright so I think that
we, oh, yeh, so we’re done, so yeah, um, I have a couple
good blog posts: “The Post-Acs Guide
to the Resume,” “The Post-Acs Guide
to the Cover Letter,” and then of tons and tons
of post-ac, um, content on my blog. So you can access
there’s lots on there about interviewing,
about reading job ads, about the psychological
and emotional transition. So, um, yes please-please
look at that. Okay, so we have some time,
how would you like to use it? I-we can look at your resumes. We can look-you can-you can-
you can live edit your resumes. Now that I’m here,
I can answer your questions. Live edit your cover letters. Or just have Q&A. Or do your statement-
do that statement that I was so intrigued by,
the why-how have I moved on from the PhD into this cool new thing
that I’m excited about, yeah. Uh, a question, um, so you
said you-we want to stay away from PhD syndrome, um, oftentimes when we’re going
to look for jobs, it’s in honor of partners or
families and things like that. (Karen)
Mmhmm, mmhmm. Would you suggest
including that information as a way to suggest
I’m not leaving, I’m staying in this place
because of family obligations or things like that, so the more general question
of how personal do you get- (Karen)
Mmhmm. -in a cover letter
for those situations? (Karen)
Mmhmm. Um, I dis-dislike that
in academic letters, but I think in this one,
in this context, it makes sense. Um, I think I’d put it
in the concluding paragraph where I said, um, I’m excited
about the position at such and such company,
um, and, um, [flsss] uh-uh, and, uh, committed to, uh,
building my career here in Dallas, uh,
where I am, um, you know, invested in the long term
due to extensive family connections in the area. So you render it
kind of a, you know, a substantiating subordinate
clause to the main fact of your excitement
about the job. Does that make sense? You don’t make a whole
narrative story about well, my wife has this,
and my kids are this, and you know get off
blah blah blah blah blah, ’cause that’s distracting
from the point, which is always
job, job, job. Okay, yes. (female student)
Um, so I have been working as a research assistant, but really a secretary
for one of, um, for one of my advisors
for the past couple years, and I help him
in a variety of ways, but it’s really hard to make-
some of them are easy to make concrete, like,
I facilitate communication between different organizations
that he’s part of, I edit things for him, right,
I update websites. How do I bring all
[coughing] things together into a cohesive whole
that shows exactly how important I’ve been
to this individual? (Karen)
Mmhmm. (female student)
If that makes sense. (another female student)
I have the same question. Yeah, well I sort
of answered yours, when we were talking, right? (female student)
Except mine’s even more, like, the person who I work
for actually has a number of different jobs
that are completely separate and he gets paid separately. Also it’s hard for me
to know, like, do I list that I
assisted in each of those jobs separately? (Karen)
Mmhmm. (female student)
How do we put them all together, how does it help-how to make
it not wordy, but also accurately
represent all the other things. (Karen)
Mmhmm. Um, well my feeling about it
is…answering it sort of like I did with you is,
this is a job, it’s a paid job,
so it’s going to be in your work experience, and you’re allowed
to use bullet points, and so I would just make sure
that each of those bullet points articulates the thing,
you know, the things the-the-that, you know,
what specific things that you did
and covers the scope of the things that you did. Um, and so why-why would
the is that-is not adequate? (female student)
When it comes to embellishment? (Karen)
Mmhmm. (female student)
Do I get free reign over that? Or do I need to make sure
that he will sign off on- (Karen)
Well, like, what’s an embellishment? (female student)
I don’t know, like, if I do a lot of secretarial stuff
for him, I don’t really wanna say that,
right, like, I wanna make it
sound more important. Now, I have a good
relationship with this person, so I don’t doubt
that he would sign off on anything I say,
but-but I guess like what’s the wiggle room
that we have, or how do we know
if we’re going to far with making ourselves sound overy important, I guess? (female student)
And if you have a job title, if what do you
do is different, can you say-can you-can you
make up your own job title that isn’t the one that isn’t
the one that actually- the one that
you’re hired for? (Karen)
Right. My-I did something similar
all of last year, and the specific professor
I worked with said to call myself on my CV, the assistant program coordinator. She specifically
told me to do that. (Karen)
That’s ideal, if you can, uh, seek the permission to use
a-a title that is different than the one you’ve actually
been given, or if you haven’t
been given one at all. If you have been given
one at all, I feel you have actually
have a lot of scope to make up whatever you want. Um, if you have
been given one, then it’s a little bit trickier
to l-ignore it and make up a different one. Um, and in that case,
you know, if you have a good relationship, I would probably talk
to the person and say look, I’m compiling a resume,
and I need this to sound better than secretary, uh,
for the jobs that I’m going for, and what can we arrange? And then do that. Can we use you, uh,
I was consulting someone on resume development
and she recommended that I try this title, right,
instead of research assistant, since it speaks
more direct, right? Yeah, sure. Yeah, say I worked
with a-with a resume consultant who proposed-yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yes. Um, I was wanna say
to Megan and Sophia, I had a similar situation
and I-I had a lot of luck with just developing
my-proposing my own title. And she said, yeah,
sure, that sounds great, and it’s gonna look
great on your resume. So I was the dir-I was
the assistant to the director
of graduate studies for a year, so. (Karen)
Nice. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I wanna make
a-another gender observation that, um, this is another thing
where I would observe that women have
a hard time claiming this-these-these titles,
claiming expertise, claiming accomplishments,
and-and often times I think, I mean, my life principle
has always been ask, um, forgiveness later rather
than-wait-what’s the phrase? I’m forgetting the phrase. (female student)
Ask forgiveness, not permission. -Not permission,
ask forgiveness not permission. Um, always been my principle. And, um, and I-what I see
ha-and when-if I were to make a broad gender observation,
um, I see women tending to ask permission and well, I did just tell you to ask
permission, but, um, but, you know, in this case,
I-I-I sort of feel like if you have a title, uh,
you kinda have to negotiate with the person
about-about whether you can manipulate that title or not. But in general, if you feel
like there’s scope, um, just go ahead and do it
and worry about it later if there’s a problem, um,
but you basically want to, um, you know, really
claim the space of your actual accomplishments,
what you actually did, and don’t undersell them. Which is almost always
the tendency that women have, is to under-undersell
and underestimate. Yeah. I have a question about,
[achem] using your contacts and networks to sort of get
your foot in the door with your cover letter, whatever. We, you know, over the past week
or last week, we met and connected
with some great people at LinkedIn, or IDEO,
or University of Chicago Press, and they invited us to connect
with them on LinkedIn. Now, for some of us,
it could be a year before we s-you know,
we start trying to make use of those connections,
and this was sort of a superficial thing
that’s a year old, that we did on LinkedIn, how do you-I mean do you
contact them and say, hey we toured your office
a year ago, you know- (Karen)
Well, first of all, contact them now. (male student)
Okay. (Karen)
Contact them now, everybody you ever meet,
oh my gosh, this is networking 101. Everybody you meet
you contact immediately afterwards and say,
thank you for making time to meet with us. (male student)
Right, so I-I did that. (Karen)
Okay, good. (male student)
But-but a year from now, when I say hey,
remember a year ago, I mean-what-why would they
even remember- (Karen)
No, they remember. (male student)
Um. (Karen)
I think they’ll remember. (male student)
I guess it seems like it could be a little awkward
to be like, hey, will make sure someone gets
a look at my application, or- (Karen)
It’s not awkward. It’s legit. (male student)
Alright. Yeah, it’s how it works. It’s exactly how it works. Yeah, this is that world
out there. To tell you-well-well,
I just wanted to say that it’s-it’s sort of how
it works in academia, too, I mean if you met someone
at a conference a year ago, you’d consider that
a relatively recent connection. Wouldn’t you? I would. If I met someone at a conference
a year ago, I feel like,
I just met that person. I realize we work on different
time frames-b-l-academia’s like on a geological time frame,
but still. [laughter] Yeah, yeah, I-yeah. (female student)
I actually had a common question that you just answered. I was going to say the huge
time difference differs in the academic versus
nonacademic context, but you answered that. (Karen)
Mmhmm. Um, contacted someone this week for an informational-
information interview, I met him at a conference
a year and a half ago, and I was like there are clearly
cobwebs on this contact, like I can’t just like
send an email, it would be really weird
and they probably won’t remember me,
but I kind of just used the advice I got from the week, and I was like, I’m widely
inspired by your work, and I would love to know
how to navigate the realms of-how you navigate the realms
of academia and policy because you do applied research on HIV/AIDS among the UN in the US. And so they were like,
I-I remember you, like, that great,
let’s reconnect. And I have an informational
interview them tomorrow, so. (Karen)
Nice. You know just try,
and the advice that I used from weird marketing guy that
was very exciting at LinkedIn, like team inspirations, um,
the advice that I used from him was, if you get a rejection
you keep it moving, you know, that’s the worst thing that- (Karen)
That is the worst thing that can happen, and it is unlikely to happen. You might get ignored,
um, so what, yeah, that happens all the time. But, uh, no, I have found
that people tend to- and they’re flattered. They’re flattered that you
remember them, actually-usually. [chuckles] Yeah, I mean, I don’t know,
I don’t know, I just think this is
exactly how it works, yeah. Yes. (female student)
Um, I have a question about this, like the first
or second slide you had, um, so if you had said that
if, um, if we apply by email, that the cover letter
is the email itself. Um, so if there’s, uh, a-so
I have some job applications like this that say,
‘Just send your resume to like [email protected]’ So I send just the PDF attachment of my res-resume, is it also good form
to like put a cover letter in the body of that email
that’s going- (Karen)
Yes, I would do that. I would put a cover letter
in the body of the email or make the email
a cover, ah, you know, have the content
of a cover letter. Yeah. (female student)
And if they, um, and if they’re not asking for-’cause I’ve also
seen a job postings that say just send your resume,
do not send a cover letter. Is that still best
practices to put? Then I would-if I were
read something like that, I would, um, cond-I would
have a condensed version of my cover letter
that’s basically one paragraph. That says I am X. I do X. I’ve done X. I’m excited about
this opportunity, thank you for reviewing
my resume. (female student)
Okay, great, thank you. (anotehr female student)
And if we’re sending that as the email,
should we still be attaching like a format-like-like
the cover letter as well? Right, like the same
cover letter if we’re actually putting it in the body
of the email, just ’cause like- Well, no. (female student)
-for printing it, sharing it, or forwarding, right. Like the formatting
gets weird. Right. Um, well, I guess it
just really depends. Most places that are seeking-
I mean are asking for is like you downloading
through specific, uh, software and so you would just do
the cover letter PDF. So this is only in those cases
where it’s like just e-mail us, and then I think-and then if
they said email us a cover letter and a resume, attach a cover letter,
attach the resume. Um, if they’ve asked for it,
but if they haven’t asked for it, then go ahead
and tuck it into the email, but if they have specifically
said we do not want a cover letter
then don’t do it because you always obey
what they have asked. It’s very alienating
when you don’t, and that’s true
in academia too. They a-don’t ask
for a research statement, teaching statement,
don’t send it. They don’t wanna read it. Yeah. (male student)
Alright, so, kind of an alternate situation. Uh, sometimes I see job ads
where they don’t even want a resume. They just say, you know,
you have, uh, 600 words, uh, tell us why we should
hire you. (Karen)
Oy. (male student)
Um, so, yeah. How do you do that? [laughter] It’s only like a select
creative group you know, people, like,
communication agencies. (Karen)
Yeah, I actually have seen those, yeah. Um. (female student)
Is it like a presentation proposal? I-I was just-say-but is
it the skill of like conference proposal,
like a little bit transferable than that? ‘Cause you usually have
even less time to think 250 words to get your conference
paper into like a conference. (Karen)
Yeah. (female student)
I don’t, I-I mean, obviously you’re gonna be using
a different language, but you’re still constrained
by, like, intense limitations of like, what you’re
tryin’ to do. (Karen)
Yeah, yeah, I mean it’s really not-600 words actually a lot of words. (male student)
Yeah, I just made that up. (Karen)
Oh, um, [laughter] (male student)
The academic in me got re-real happy, and it’s like,
let’s get a lot of words. I mean it’s like one page,
but, um, you could, um…yeah, I mean, I-I’m intrigued
by that. I think it’s be like
you just start with a, uh, you know you do blah blah. You’re looking for blah blah. Um, I do blah blah. Some evidence of the blah blah
that I did. Um, and, uh-uh,
one sentence, um, I envision doing i-I can
envision doing blah blah for you and I’m excited
about the position. You know. Like that’s-that doesn’t
seem scary to me. Of course I’m not- (female student)
Like a condensed cover letter. Yeah, basically, it’s a
condensed cover letter. Yeah and if it is
a creative place, make sure that you-so this
is again this is a little bit of that metatextual thing
that we were talking about, this judgement call, um, much more so
than in the academic world. You are matching your to-
and the academic world tone never changes,
tone literally never changes. Your tone is identical
for every document, every job. You will emphasize teaching
more for teaching jobs, research more
for research jobs, but the tone with which
you speak re-remains very red-reserved,
scholarly, whatever. But the tone of nonacademic
letters changes because if you’re going
for a g-a creative job or a-or a-or, you know,
job like you just mentioned, I mean you might get
a little bit funny. You might get a little bit
quirky. You might go quirky. And they probably like it,
if you’re going into tech, I’ll bet quirky plays
really well in tech. So, um, you know, so you’re
not going to be really somber and sober. But, you know, if you’re going
for the Library of Congress, you know, maybe somber
and sober is the way to go. So, you know, this is-again
these are there’s a lot more decisions to make. It can-stressful in some ways, ’cause this is a really
a wide open world, it’s like the Wild West
compared to, you know, academia, again which is super,
super regimented. [sigh]
How are we doing for time? (woman)
We got about 5 more minutes. Okay. Yes. I was just wondering
about, um, for-for those of us who are not U.S. citizens, um, the fact that you know,
we need a work permit, like an H1V,
to be able to work after one year of OBD, uh,
would that kind of dampen the chances of getting, like,
a long term, um, employment somewhere? Or, does that make you less
of a candidate for people who are looking for more
long term, um? You know I don’t
know the answer to that. Um, uh, my gut says no,
um, for the kinds of sophisticated jobs
that PhDs tend to seek even outside the academy. Um, because it’s such
an international, you know, the-the market is
so international, so I’m inclined to say no,
but I can’t say for sure. And I also can’t say,
I mean I-what I mean-I also can say that it’s, um,
you know, we’re in flux, and we’re in a, you know,
a time of increasing nationalism and
xenophobia and, uh, so what is true right now
or was true five years ago, might not be true now,
hmm, that’s worrisome. It’s like two-it’s like two- it’s like-well, you know. It’s like Brexit, you know,
it’s like polarizing forces. On the one hand, everything’s way more internationalized. On the other hand, everybody’s afraid
of foreigners. So, I mean not ever-obviously not everybody, but you know what I mean,
these polarizing forces. So, uh, so I don’t-I’m not sure. That would be where you should
have a network of international, um, uh, job seekers,
you know, er-er-er-er, or-or-or international professionals who come from your background
and who are in a similar, eh, similar industry
and-and-and ask them. And everybody should really
develop networks like that, you know. Uh, people who are networks,
uh, for your area of interest, people who are networks,
uh, of your, like, post-academic PhDs, people who are networks
of your, uh, ethnicity or your place of origin, networks of your, um, you know,
uh, hobbies, you know. Because all of those
networks then really, really, uh, can yield
excellent results, outcomes for you. And they keep you sane. That’s the important thing. They’re support netwo-they’re
not just information networks, they’re support networks. And everybody needs those
who’s on the job market. Don’t forget that because
people in PhDs tend to not take care of themselves. Self-care is like
the lowest priority for people in PhD programs. And so I want you all
to consciously elevate self-care to your
highest priority because you can’t do good work if you are not healthy, emotionally and physically. So on that note. [laughter] Have lunch! [applause]

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