7 tips for a higher ed job search during the pandemic

April 21, 2020
  • Competencies
  • Professional Development and Contributions to the Field
  • Career Navigator
  • covid-19

With hiring freezes, rising unemployment, and political uncertainty, is it a good time to look for a job?

The answer depends on your skills and expertise, your career goals, and the urgency of your search. But whether you submit your resume next week or next year, there are things you can do right now to improve your chances of landing a job you’ll love. 

Here are 7 job-hunt recommendations to fit this unique moment, including some ideas that are particularly important when applying for jobs in higher education:

1. Set a job search schedule. Looking for a job takes time — checking job postings, polishing a resume, tailoring a cover letter, and maybe even honing skills with classes or certifications. It helps to consciously manage your time, making a to-do list and setting deadlines, just like you would for any project you manage.

2. Leverage your network. Contact those who may be able to help, including former bosses, volunteer contacts, fellow alumni, and HR professionals. Some may be able to offer advice, others a recommendation, and some may have a good lead on an opening that fits you.

3. Embrace technology. Use online groups, listservs, and social media sites to raise your profile and widen your net. For example, post your resume on AACRAO Jobs, try LinkedIn’s resume builder, Reddit’s jobs thread, or set an alert for relevant Tweets. Explore these clever tricks for making the most of LinkedIn. For more ways to make apps work for you during your job hunt, read this

4. Learn something. Seek out courses (free or for a fee) and certifications that improve your qualifications

5. Target your resume. Look at the job description and revise your resume to make it clear why you’re the perfect match for the specific job for which you’re applying.

6. Center higher education values. Know the values of the organization or institution to which you’re applying and reflect that in your application. And, of course, proofread. This is higher education, after all. Your application materials should be impeccable

7. Explore AACRAO Jobs. Our new job site launched in March, featuring employers seeking our members’ skillsets and offering a new platform for members to post resumes. Candidates can also utilize the new Job Alerts feature to receive a scheduled email containing any job openings that meet their selected set of criteria. 

“To get the most out of AACRAO Jobs, include as much information as possible,” recommends Alex Lokjo, Associate Director of Membership at AACRAO. “The new site has an improved search that can filter by location, keyword, category, or skills. Entering more information makes it easier to find the job that’s perfect for you.”