Application Tips


This section provides general information on the application materials required and process followed by many of the college districts. Because each district is a separate employer, recruitment practices vary. If you're interested in similar positions at different colleges, application must be made separately for each position.

By necessity, the information presented here is general and not intended to be a substitute for the procedures delineated in a college's job announcement. It is very important that you carefully read the job announcement and respond to the specific information requested. The most common error applicants make is not carefully reading the job announcement and responding with the requested or required information.

The following sites provide additional resources to help you in your job search.

Application Materials

A complete application at most colleges includes a cover or application letter, detailed resume and references. Many colleges also require a completed application form. Without these components, your application may not be considered further.

Your resume and application letter are the primary documents used to determine how closely your qualifications match those required by the position and the overall needs of the college.

In the application letter, applicants are traditionally asked to describe their ability to perform the specific duties and responsibilities assigned to the position. In higher education, this is not the one-page cover letter, introducing you and your resume, that you may have learned to write in Job Search 101. This is your opportunity to match up your education and experiences to the job responsibilities. Remember to give yourself credit for education and experience that you've had. Alternatively, the information included in your application letter should be presented succinctly and be meaningfully related to the position for which you're applying.

Your resume should clearly describe and provide details related to your education and professional and/or volunteer experiences that qualify you for the position. Make sure the information needed to determine your qualifications (minimum and/or preferred) is included and clear.

References are typically required. References may take the form of letters and/or a listing of professional references with contact information, depending upon the college. References should be selected with care and they should be individuals who can speak to your ability to perform the duties assigned to the position and to work in today's educational environment.

As noted above, many colleges require that a completed application form be submitted along with the other materials. These forms are available from the college employer and typically may be requested by contacting the human resource office. Increasingly, application forms can be found on college web sites.

Additional materials (essays, examples of work, portfolios, etc.) may also be requested

Review Process

Because each college defines its own process for reviewing and screening application materials, there many be differences in applications. Typically, however, these processes include, but are not limited to:

  1. Screening for qualifications (minimum and/or preferred) and completeness of application.
  2. Committee review of each qualified applicant's materials. Review committee membership is tied closely with the type of position being filled. For faculty positions, the majority of committee members are members of the faculty. Administrators, students, classified employees and members of the community may also participate as committee members. This is an in-depth review of each applicant's materials and, depending upon the number of applicants, may take some time.
  3. Through a consensus process, the committee identifies those applicants it would like to interview. References may then be checked at this point or later in the process.
  4. Interviews are held and may include – dependent upon the position being filled and local practice – a teaching demonstration, public forums, interviews with a variety of interested groups, etc.
  5. Committees and others participating in the interview process forward recommendations and/or feedback to the hiring authority.
  6. Hiring authority reviews recommendations and information and makes determination. Offer is extended and candidates are notified.

Many colleges notify applicants of their status at the conclusion of the process; others provide notification as the process continues. For a variety of reasons, a determination may be made to extend, re-open or cancel a recruitment effort. Questions regarding status should be directed to the college's human resource office.

 

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