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This Month at The Career Center for Graduate Students

December 2008

Because… graduate school is not your final destination

It’s December and snow flakes are flying, ’tis the season for…job searching? Despite the holiday season, this can be a key time for job searchers. In many academic disciplines conference interviews happen soon, and campus visits may be coming up before too long. Now is also the time to prep for some of our winter career fairs happening soon after classes resume in January. Click on the links on the right to learn more about these and other key resources to support your job search.

Prepping for Academic Interviews — Optimal Interview

* What are your research plans for the next 5-10 years?
* What is your basic teaching philosophy?
* What contributions would you make to our department?

For many job searchers these next few months are an important time in the search process, and your ability to answer these and other common interview questions is critical. Some disciplines feature professional meetings, including first round interviews. Campus visits will be your chance to demonstrate your fit for a particular position.

While you can't control every aspect of the interview process, you can control how confident you are in answering the basic questions. As with any skill, so with interviewing, practice can go a long way toward ensuring success. One way to practice through The Career Center is through Optimal Interview, our on-line interview practice tool. Use Optimal anywhere you have access to a computer with a web cam and microphone.

To access Optimal Interview:
* Visit the Optimal website
* Create your account, and click on the Skills Center tab
* Click on New Interview
* Name your interview, and select Academic/PhD Interview for Type of Interview

The Chronicle of Higher Education often provides interesting perspective on the job search process. View two recent articles on academic interviewing, one from the candidate perspective and one from the perspective of search committees.

Reference Letters and Your Job Search

Reference letters continue to be an important part of the academic job search process. The Career Center can help you manage your letters. Our Reference Letter Service is convenient both to file holders — especially those who wish to maintain the confidentiality of their letters, are applying to multiple institutions, or anticipate needing reference letters after their graduation — and to the letter writers, since they are only required to submit one original letter.

As a University of Michigan degree-seeking student or alumni/a, you may establish a reference file with the RLS as soon as you complete twelve credit hours at the University of Michigan. At your request, copies of your file will be mailed to potential employers.

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education talked about ways to manage your potential recommenders.

Posted by kkowatch at December 1, 2008 12:55 PM

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