by: Lesa Hammond, CEO Prof360
As a former chief human resources officer at three universities and the current CEO of Prof360, I am often asked, “How can I get a teaching job at a university?”
Landing your first part-time faculty job in higher education can be challenging, especially if you do not have prior teaching experience. However, here are some ways to stand out and possibly pick up that first position:
1) Create a CV
A curriculum vitae or CV speaks the language of academia. A CV differs from a resume in many ways. It is not uncommon to see CVs that are 5 – 10 pages long. Creating a well-written CV is a lot of work, but it is important if you want to stand out among the many resumes of equally qualified practitioners who are not academics. Here are some quick tips to writing a CV:
If you know someone already teaching at a college or university make sure they know you are interested. Ask them how they got their job. This is particularly successful if they work in the same field, have similar expertise or interests as you. This is actually one of the most common ways people get teaching assignments.
It may sound ridiculous to suggest that you teach, since that is what you are trying to do; but I am serious. Teach somewhere.
4) Make Presentations
Get out there and share your knowledge by making presentations. Contact organizations that have speakers each month and let them know that you would like to be a speaker for them. Create a one-page bio with a photo and share that with the organizations. List your topics. Remember to add any speaking engagements to your CV.
5) Develop a Course for a University
Create a course syllabus for a course you could teach. Create a PowerPoint presentation with it if that makes sense. Then make an appointment with the department chair or program director for the academic program where you want to teach. Propose your new course. Make sure it fits within the curriculum and there isn't already a similar course.
Continue to add to your CV and cast a wide net. Look for open positions on AdjunctWorld and other job sites. When you find a position that meets your skills, send your CV with a cover letter explaining why you want to teach and why you want to teach for that college or university. Once you have a good CV, you can also sign up with Prof360. We help universities find part-time faculty, by recruiting and vetting applicants and presenting the most qualified candidates.
If you have a strong desire to teach part-time, and you are willing to put forth the effort, you have a good chance of making it happen.