Freddy Cardoza, Ph.D. Stacey Davis, Research Assistant November 2014
A lack of common understanding exists among potential faculty candidates regarding the desired content and style of curriculum vitae and cover letters needed for effectively applying to academic positions.
To foster an understanding among potential faculty hires regarding the appropriate content and style of curriculum vitae and cover letters desired by leaders who are part of the academic hiring process
1.What are the ideal academic and professional expectations of candidates by academic leaders involved in the hiring process at theological institutions? 2.What particular content and style should be used in the building of effective curriculum vitae [curricula vitarum] and cover letters that will gain an honest assessment of a candidate by academic leaders involved in the hiring process?
Advice for Position Seekers As the research is being presented, “read between the lines” of the remarks and make notes about how to re-construct your CV Consider tailoring your information by category, order-sequence, style, and the myriad of other elements being addressed in this study as a way to position yourself with a greater advantage for getting to the interview stage of the candidacy process
Bible College or Institute Liberal Arts College Liberal Arts University Theological Seminary/ Graduate School Divinity School
Geographical Regions of Institutions Responding to Survey
Random purposeful sampling— –For this study a random-purposeful sampling method was utilized by randomly selecting faculty and administrators serving within a variety of institutional types. The researcher sought to select potential participants purposefully to ensure all categories (e.g. Department Faculty, Chairs, Division Chairs, Deans, Assistant/ Associate Deans, Vice Provosts/Vice Presidents, or Provosts/Presidents) were represented in the survey population.
Q7: Most Important Items on a CV: 1 2 5 3 7 4 6
Q8: Most Important Skills and Competencies: 3 4 6 7 5 2 1
Q9: Additional Items to Include in a CV or Cover Letter: CL: Your perception of team fit at the particular institution CL: Voice agreement with doctrinal statement CL/CV: Denominational background, spiritual formation practices, collegiality CL/CV: Statement of faith/beliefs church membership CL/CV: Why the candidate feels he/she would fit well with our culture, key theological commitments, etc.; what other contributions they might be able to make beyond classroom teaching
Q9: Additional Items to Include in a CV or Cover Letter: CL: What kind of personality the person has. Light hearted? Fun? Team player? CL: Clarity in Doctrinal Remarks CV: Potential references CV: Commitment to local congregation CV: involvement in professional guild CL: Specific interest in our institution
CV/Other: We are concerned that the faculty candidate can express his/her own faith story clearly. CL/Other: We are concerned that the faculty candidate can relate well to students in and out of the classroom environment. CV: Participation in a local church. CV: Past and upcoming speaking engagements; collaborative projects CL/CV: Fit with the mission of the school. CV: Thoughtful integration of their faith with their academic career CV/Other: Clear evidence of conversion, wholehearted acceptance of doctrinal statement, qualification to serve as an elder, outstanding references.
CV/Other: Demonstrated teaching excellence and ministry excellence are as important as a PhD. Anyone of these qualifications without the others will not be given serious consideration. CL: Interest in/Desire to be at, and understanding of our institution. Why they would be a good fit. Something compelling about them personally, to pique our interest. Relational or other connections the candidate has with our institution. CL: Avoid giving tired and overfamiliar-seeming “I’ve written 30 of these Cover Letters” impressions. CV: Don’t assume it’s as good as it should be. Most aren’t. CL: Write with dynamism, verve, and power. Make me believe! CV: Show mastery of language and “tell your story.” Make your CV a narrative of your life, which is what a CV is.
Q 10: Common Mistakes to Avoid in a CV or Cover Letter: Saying too much about how they can precisely fill the position. They can do their homework about your institution but don't know it as well as you do. Communicating their educational and skill background too narrowly (specialist-only). Makes you ask if they're willing and able to do whatever it takes (e.g., introductory level teaching, committee work, etc. for the sake of the school's mission) Don’t miss key data– include the content we need “Let me tell you why I’m the best candidate for this position”; Grammatical errors (depressingly common)
Typos. Spelling. Grammar. Punctuation. Style. Prose. “God led me to apply to your school" language; Form letters not superficially customized for our school; Customize the letter to the school in view, summarizing why it is such a good fit for you particular strengths and interests. Excessive self-promotion. Let credentials, experience, and references do the selling. Sounding "cocky" or too sure of oneself in the cover letter. Applying for jobs that don't exist. Sending random emails hoping for opening that is not listed wastes everyone's time.
Disorganization on paper is always a bad sign. Too casual or, conversely, too pretentious a tone. Exaggeration. Never include membership in organizations you do not belong to - we check everything! CV filled with clichés like transformational leader, etc. Lack of attention to detail. Inability to candidly discuss their qualifications, skills, competencies. Not taking the submission process seriously enough-- too casual an approach and lackluster content or style
Cover Letter Failing to answer questions on the application or being vague about theological convictions (hedging). Not learning more about the craft of a CV and its importance to your job search and career. You spend “$tens of thousands” and 5-7 years on a PhD but don’t invest time to get a CV right? Really? Not being creative enough… or being way too creative. Not realizing the importance of a website (wix.com or weebly.com or wordpress.com and how it can supplement your search. Not realizing the relative importance of popular writing, speaking, and social engagement. We must appeal to prospective students and this is one way you do that.
Other Helpful Remarks from Academic Faculty in the Hiring Process Are Welcome at This Time
Questions or Comments, Especially Those Seeking Direction or Advice
RESOURCES Materials from this presentation and additional resources will be made available on my website in the near future. www.freddycardoza.com.www.freddycardoza.com For more information or to ask for resources, email Freddy.Cardoza@biola.edu and firstname.lastname@example.org Freddy.Cardoza@biola.edu email@example.com CV Sample: http://www.freddycardoza.com/about/http://www.freddycardoza.com/about/ Media Kit: http://www.freddycardoza.com/media-kithttp://www.freddycardoza.com/media-kit Social Media: http://www.freddycardoza.com/socialhttp://www.freddycardoza.com/social Digital Media: http://www.freddycardoza.com/digitalhttp://www.freddycardoza.com/digital
What It Will Take To Get On Top of the Slush Pile
Defining Reality re·al·i·ty [ree-al-i-tee ] noun. What is. From Jim Collins in “Good to Great.” No matter how painful, we need to know the brutal truth without that truth demoralizing and immobilizing us. Truth then becomes power. But we must first be able to handle the truth.
One) Always keep in mind that only 1-3% (max 5%) difference may be all that separates the top candidates in a hire
Two) Getting a FT academic position is both much harder (and sometimes much easier) than you might think
Three) Most candidates neglect key areas of their portfolio, which weakens their candidacy and leaves them vulnerable 1.They perceive these things to be non- academic (social awareness, personal style, popular writing/social media, communication skills) and therefore unimportant 2.Some things are unnatural to them and difficult and therefore left undone
Four) Most CVs are relatively poorly done and the average position seeker considers ‘good enough’ good enough 1.Doctoral students spend $20-65k on their education, but won’t spend $10 for good paper and a stamp to mail the CV 2.Doctoral student/grads generally don’t learn how (or won’t pay the right person) to do their CV done professionally and it shows 1.Doctoral students spend $20-65k on their education, but won’t spend $10 for good paper and a stamp to mail the CV 2.Doctoral student/grads generally don’t learn how (or won’t pay the right person) to do their CV done professionally and it shows
Five) Obsess over every detail and massage every word and fact and get it completely right before you send it anywhere Don’t Be “NYRFPT”
Six) After you get the CV right, you must interview well or you still won’t make the cut
Seven) It’s what you know, who you are, how you present that, and then who you know, and who knows you. The Point: Understand the calculus of the academic job search. It’s not just a CV and a nice suit.
(Exercise) Imagine you are a Department Chair looking for a faculty member. What are you looking for?
Something like what you just imagined is what you must demonstrate yourself to be– on your CV and otherwise.
You Have To Obsess Over Your CV Because Chairs, Directors, and Deans are Too Busy To Deal With It
With me, you have about :10- 15 seconds to make a first impression on your CV.
If it sells me, I’ll do a double-take for another 45 seconds… and if it still looks good then, I won’t throw it out. It gets saved & I will probably look at it when I have a need. IF I CAN FIND IT. If you send a hard copy AND an e-version, and if it’s good enough, we may keep it as a model and MIGHT shop you around.
Only these CVs really get “read” by me. That’s when the slicing and dicing begins. Soon, they are wheedled down to only a few left standing. 1-3 of these make the list of finalists
As You’re Be Truthful, Don’t Cut Your Own Throat and Make Yourself Unhirable
If you send a CV with type-o’s, formatting, and grammatical errors, it’s over before it even started
Front Load Your CV with the Most Powerful Stuff, DON’T “save the best for last”… but make sure everything is solid and it doesn’t lose steam after the first (or fifth or fifteenth) page
Your CV should have style, be professional, and show relevance without being Over the Top. Vanilla? No. Fuchsia? Heavens, No. Chocolate with a Cherry on Top? “Just Right” Key: Identify & Communicate What Sets You Apart and, more importantly, What Meets the School’s Needs
Leverage page organization, line length, white space, bold, italics, limited underlining, shrewd use of vocabulary, keen descriptions, metrics, font choice, etc. for emphasis. Advantage: The Best Verbal AND Visual Communicators with Great Style and the Most Ability to Extract Their Calling, Preparedness, and Their Best Self
Carefully consider CV weaknesses and work painstakingly to address those job- getting liabilities, updating your CV often
Powerfully exhibiting the 4 E’s are needed to get through to the finalist round: 1. Education 2. Experience 3. Expertise 4. Excellence
Some Typical Categories on CVs CONTACT INFORMATION Name Address Country Telephone Cell Phone Email PERSONAL INFORMATION Date of Birth Place of Birth Citizenship Visa Status if in the US as a non-citizen Gender (in some cases, like some “names”) Additional Personal Information: Optional to some Marital Status Spouse's Name Children EMPLOYMENT HISTORY OR EXPERIENCE/IMPACT List in chronological order, include position details and dates of employment (include responsibilities and achievements in “metrics”) Work History Academic Positions Research and Training EDUCATION Include majors and details of degrees, training, and certification. Avoid dates when you can. High School University Graduate School (dissertation and notable people) Post-Doctoral Training/Other Training PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS Certifications and Accreditations Computer or Technology Skills Educational AWARDS PUBLICATIONS BOOKS PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS LANGUAGES INTERESTS OTHER What Else Might Go on a CV? Ask me or tell me
Other Ways to Think About Your CV Other Ways To Think About Your CV Show “Talent that Whispers”—people from different social status, different locations/homes, different schools, etc., it turns out that there’s “a lot of talent on the edge.” These are a significant number of top performers. Champion Your “Jagged Resume”- don’t hide from the winding trail that led you to this point. It may be that novelty that makes the connection we need with you or that we recognize as God’s work