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Job Talk HERC's Jobseeker Blog

Job Talk HERC's Jobseeker Blog

HERC's blog for jobseekers, Job Talk, offers tips from experts in the field that will help you with your search and provide the best ways to promote yourself to prospective employers.

hands typingI do not at all negate the need for job seekers to keep their LinkedIn profiles up to date.  Employers including those in academia are increasingly using LinkedIn to source candidates and find out more about them than resumes might convey.  You should not think, however, that LinkedIn is the only way that potential employers can “check out” candidates.  Especially when someone is looking for a new position inside their own organization, there is no controlling a potential hiring manager from reaching out to people they know inside and asking about you.  Human Resources can and does discourage this type of activity, but it is very hard to enforce.  Unfortunately information gathered in this manner is not necessarily indicative of your performance or your skills and abilities.  In other words, what a potential hiring manager might hear could be non-job related and simply based on prior personal interactions.  Even if you are seeking new opportunities outside of your current organization, the world is small and networks are vast.  You cannot second guess who might know whom.  So what is the answer?  My personal recommendation as noted in some past articles is to carry yourself professionally at all times. This is of great importance for senior opportunities.   You should try to be “nice” to people at all levels.  That might seem simplistic and hard to be on top of at all times since we are all so pre-occupied on the job and at home.   But in the long run managing your daily personal interactions with everyone is equally as important as managing an online profile. Your reputation is “out there” in many different ways.

Contributed by By Paula Goodman, Director of Recruitment / HR Client Services-CUHR at Columbia University

Thinking of continuing your education? Join HERC Partner, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for a Virtual Graduate School Fair on March 30, 2015 from 2–6 p.m. EST.

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While there can be a long time lapse between when a job hunter submits a resume and when the response might come from a potential employer, you should always be at-the-ready.  Often the outreach to schedule a time for a phone screen or an in person interview will come via email.  Then you should respond professionally but with enthusiasm.  Try to be as flexible as you can in indicating your availability, recognizing of course that if you are still working, you don’t want to jeopardize yourself at the office.  As a recruiter I often choose to call a candidate for scheduling even if is for yet another substantive call at an appointed time.  How someone answers their phone is noteworthy.  Especially in this winter of terrible weather that has made everyone grouchy, if you are an active job seeker, it is always best to answer your phone with professionalism.

Program yourself to think that the chances are that any call from an unrecognizable number could be a future employer ---and not necessarily a telemarketer.  I am often surprised by how people sound when answering their phones.  Granted, you might be caught in settings where you cannot really talk freely but if you politely explain that fact and ask to return the call, it is preferable to fumbling for your calendar while in a supermarket.  While it is perfectly acceptable for you to have applied to multiple similar positions within a single employer, if you can avoid being too obvious about that fact, it is preferable.  But if the caller only indicates the title of the position that is identical to other titles in the same organization you should then casually ask which hiring unit they represent.  It is better than risking prepping for the wrong position.  I always recommend that applicants keep hard copy of full job descriptions for  all positions to which they apply since jobs might be taken off a website after an onslaught of resumes have come in.  This then makes it hard for you to retrace the information even if you do keep a running log of all jobs you to which you apply.  Lastly, do try to get detailed directions from the caller to avoid having to ask later on.

Contributed by By Paula Goodman, Director of Recruitment / HR Client Services-CUHR at Columbia University

users award logoJob seekers have spoken, and this year received a 2015 User’s Choice award for best job board by the WEDDLE’s annual User’s Choice Awards. is a unique job board in that it represents a consortium of over 600 colleges and universities who are dedicated to improving diversity in higher education employment. The award-winning site is also a gateway for professionals from fields including marketing and information technology who want to kick-start a career in higher education.

There are over 200,000 employment sites currently in operation on the Internet, and these sites have been recognized as the elite of their field by the job seekers, employers and recruiters who use them.

Now celebrating their eleventh year, WEDDLE’s annual User’s Choice Awards are the only accolades in which actual users are able to vote for the employment sites they think work best.  While the poll is not a scientific survey, it does indicate the intensity of support users have for their favorite sites.

“We believe customers count most,” says WEDDLE’s CEO, Peter Weddle.  “While pundits will always have their favorites, it’s the people who use the sites who really know which are the most helpful.”

The winners were selected in open balloting conducted throughout 2014 at the WEDDLE’s Web-site (  Thousands of unique ballots were cast and the top thirty vote-getters were selected as the 2015 User’s Choice Award winners.  For a complete list of the winners, please visit

HERC and trustee-level partner recently held a webinar on ‘Global Academic Careers: Exploring International Opportunities’ for our jobseekers and here we summarize some of the important points covered in the event.  Don’t worry if you missed it though because you can watch the recording here.

The internationalization of education has not just been about students; faculty, too, are increasingly looking overseas to advance their career, develop greater awareness of other cultures and engage in exciting teaching, research and other valuable experiences.

How an international experience is a plus for an academic career

Today, most universities view favorably faculty who have gained international experience.  In China and many other Asian countries, for example, most new faculty appointments in top universities are expected to have completed post graduate study overseas. An international experience adds to the diversity of faculty and helps to develop their cultural IQ. This cultural sensitivity and awareness is especially valuable given universities in the US and most other countries are now admitting increasing numbers of international students.  Having the experience of being a ‘foreigner in a strange land’ provides faculty members with a deeper understanding and empathy that enables them more effectively to engage foreign students in their classes and advise domestic students about the benefits and challenges of study and work abroad.

Research and teaching opportunities

Teaching overseas also affords an academic with multiple research opportunities.  Indeed, in Australia and China, for example, grant application guidelines often give weight to applications that are international in nature and bring together academics and perspectives from other countries. 

Funding bodies such as the Asia Development Bank  and UN  also offer significant grant and consulting opportunities for academics engaged in research and capacity building in relation to overseas countries.  Finally, those US academics who work overseas and return home will typically bring back with them a network of faculty, student, government and industry contacts and network that will result in significant benefits and additional future opportunities.

Look particularly at countries where the higher education system is expanding rapidly such as the Mid-East, Eastern Europe, developing countries such as China, India and Brazil as well as Africa and South America.  If you speak another language in addition to English that is of course a huge plus.

Dual-career couples & benefits for the whole family

On a personal level, too, an international experience can be educational for the whole family.  In my family, for example, we have in most years had an international student living with us.  This experience has helped to inculcate in our two daughters an acceptance and appreciation of other cultures.  Again, this cultural awareness had benefitted them in both their personal relationships and careers.  By way of example, when we visited our home-stay student in Thailand and met her family, my daughters (then in grades 4 and 7) were taken along to school, gave speeches, and learned much about Thai culture and people.  In doing so, they also learned more deeply what is uniquely Australian and American in their Australian-American backgrounds.

Most countries and universities today also recognize that it is common to have dual career couples.  In Australia as well as China, my partner had little difficulty also securing work first as an accountant and later in her career as a university lecturer in accounting.

How to find job opportunities

Finding opportunities requires both a self-assessment of your particular strengths and interests as well as an outward evaluation of the different higher education markets that need what you have to offer. There are multiple ways to find out about international opportunities.  One of the best is through leading career sites such as

Major job listing sites, government employment sites, major international and national agencies and others will often post international jobs, projects and consulting opportunities.  Many governments seek to both internationalize their faculty and attract foreign faculty members to work with their local faculty. 

The China Global Talents Program  that I was fortunate to participate in, for example, is designed to attract foreign experts to work in China for a three year period.

There are special programs like the Fulbright  awards as well as international exchanges and volunteer opportunities for faculty.   The major professional management and accounting firms also often advertise opportunities for international consultancies.

When travelling abroad one can visit other universities and get to know foreign scholars who are teaching and researching in the same area.  These connections often lead to joint papers, projects, visiting lectures, short-term teaching, research consulting and other opportunities abroad.

There are many pathways for faculty to have an international experience—an experience that is highly valuable both personally and for career advancement.

For those seeking such an experience, the key is to remain open to the different possibilities, start small, do your homework and make full use of available networks. Above all, enjoy the journey.

You can watch the recording of the ‘Global Academic Careers: Exploring International Opportunities’ webinar here. also have a really useful free ebook you can download here: The Global Academic Careers Guide .


About the author
Dr Eugene Clark is Distinguished Professor of Law and Senior Foreign Expert with the College of Comparative Law, China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. He is also an Emeritus Professor and former Pro-Vice Chancellor (External Relations), University of Canberra and Professor of Law and Founding Dean of the Charlotte School of Law.

Originally from the US, Professor Clark has worked in China,
Thailand and Australia.  He has earned five university degrees that include post graduate qualifications in law and also education from universities in both the US and Australia.

This contribution has been provided by HERC Trustee-level partner, the leading international online recruitment website for academic, research, science and related professions in the UK and worldwide.

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