Friday, November 15, 2013

Success Tip #3: Ask Sympathetic [and Employed!] People to Look at your Resume

I have met with basically no success in my recent applications. I have yet to hear no from every school, but I have certainly heard several nos. I am not sure if the system is any different elsewhere, but they do not announce who they hired so much as s end an empty e-mail or letter explaining that you did not get the job.

What I have succeeded in doing is expanding the amount of university work that I have. In addition to teaching one English communication course at a nearby university, I was able to help teach part of an Environmental Ethics course at the University closest to me. This position also was one that became possible due to connections.

Here's how: I asked my now current boss to look at my resume, and he noted that my title was part of the problem. A little while later he suggested that he could bring me on for a few hours a week to upgrade my title. It's work and a resume improvement all at the same time. It is not full time, but it's a start and could grow into a full course or more in the upcoming semesters.

I still have one or two good shots on the job market, and I will post any useful information I learn through this process.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bogus 公募 Sign #1: Impossibly Difficult Application Criteria

While sorting through the jobs that I could apply for in Japan this year, I ran across this gem. First, here is the posting information. Please pay careful attention to the publication date:

Data item number
Date of publication
Date of update

Then consider that the deadline listed is a follows:

Deadline for applications
Dealine for applications is Friday, November 15, 2013 (12:00 noon) (late applications will not be accepted)

So you are supposed to complete in less than 5 days. Now, if you read the PDF for this Nagoya University Young Leaders program, it seems like a pretty great job. But there's a few further details that make it impossible to apply for in such a narrow timeframe.

2. Two letters of recommendation, one from the prospective host faculty at Nagoya University and the other from the Dean (Head) of the graduate school to which the appointee will belong (Forms 2 and 3) [original and six copies]
3. Three scientific papers authored by the applicant that represent significant achievement [seven copies]

Mind you that this is a early career job. How could one possibly obtain a letter of recommendation from someone at the university without already having connections Moreover, how will they rate "significant achievement"? To make matters better, the job application is not available on their website or at least not in any way that I could find it.

Moreover, the scientific achievements claim is dubious considering that many of the scholars they have hired are not in the sciences. Looking at the list of recipients, this is clearly a way to postdoc many of the people that graduate from Nagoya University until they find a tenured position elsewhere...

The moral of the story: making connections is far more important to your job search than monitoring JREC.