under/unemployed

Anne Britt abbritt at UCDAVIS.EDU
Tue May 23 16:27:05 EST 1995


After reading Dr. Janoudi's message (which is all too true) I have only one
pathetic and tiny word of advice:  If you are in the unfortunate position
of applying for a position for which you are afraid you will be rejected as
overqualified, it is important to understand WHY they will reject you.
They do not do this because they are intimidated by you.  They do it for
one or more of several reasons:

a) Because their regulations require them to pay you more than a person of
adequate experience with a lesser degree.  There's nothing you can do about
this.

b)  They believe you will be dissatisfied and leave at the first
opportunity, or that you will be dissatisfied and unable to leave, in which
case they would prefer to hire someone who would be delighted to have the
position, rather than disgruntled.

I was waiting for jury duty yesterday, and talked with an instructor in
Statistics at a local community college.  He enjoys his job, which is not
especially challenging to him, and he runs a second business on the side
which is busiest in the summer and quite lucrative.  He recently sat on a
committee to hire a new professor in the sciences, and he says the
committee had to peruse over 200 applications, half of which were from
PhDs, most of whom were rejected out of hand.  These people were rejected
because they did not make it clear that they understood what teaching at
the community college level entails (most emphasized their research
abilities, when no research will be involved), and the committee felt that
they would rather hire someone with experience, who understood what the job
involved, and who exhibits enthusiasm for exactly that job.  This kind of
person would make a better colleague and a better teacher.

        So my advice, obviously, is to adjust you application to emphasize
the fact that you are experienced in the required area, understand what is
required, and are really looking forward to exactly that position.  If you
do not know exactly what is required for the position, find out.

A.B.Britt,
Section of Plant Biology
U.C.Davis
Davis, CA 95616





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