LaShonda Anthony – SUNY Oswego
In regards to resumes: “Remind them to age stuff off. Have two-a CV with everything and a functional job search resume with current and up to date info.”
Lee Karraker – Fitchburg State University
“Really know what your weaknesses are. Being a perfectionist is not a weakness. I want to really understand that you know what you need to work on and how you plan to overcome these.”
Ellen Herion – Northwestern University
“Make sure you develop your “philosophy.” When I was searching for student conduct positions, I made sure to be confident in my “student conduct philosophy.” What is important to you? What do you care about in this work? Make it yours because people can tell real quick if you are just saying what they want to hear.
Do some shadowing. I always appreciated people who went above and beyond to shadow professionals at other institutions for a day. If you are at a large public institution, spend a day at a community college, faith based, or private. Articulate these in your interview.
One of the best things I learned from a mentor was to read the student newspaper at the institution you are interested in. Even though we can all be critical of the student paper as professionals, it definitely gives you a good idea as to what the students are passionate about and their view on campus hot topics.
I don’t care how much you want to live in Chicago. That better not be the reason (or the first reason) you tell me why you are interested in a position.”
Jes Berndt – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
“Be honest about your strengths and areas of improvement. If there is a skill you would like to learn and be challenged by in a position, it is appropriate to say.
Really think about those “transferable skills” and be prepared to articulate. I am excited to meet candidates who connect what they have done to what we would like them to do in a position. My priority is to find a candidate who can be taught; is skilled, but open to training; and may not be a “perfect staff member in a box.”
For cover letters, it is surprising how many people make the mistake of copy and pasting without catching all the references to institution and position. My recommendation is to start each letter from scratch. It seems like a simple thing but if you MUST copy and paste, please review it to make sure you don’t mention a different school in your letter.
Never underestimate your contacts. If you know someone at the institution, talk to them about it. If you don’t, check with your student affairs mentors and colleagues for a connection.”
Tay Triggs – Missouri Western State University
“In regards to resumes: Make sure you are able to appropriately communicate your experiences without exaggerating them. A CV that contains too much information or that is ridiculously long will not get a second look.
Many people make the mistake of not considering diversity when searching. It is appropriate to ask about diversity among the student body and staff. It is also imperative that you get a sense of safety and security on and off campus. That pertains to gender, race and sexual orientation
Before you begin a search, really think about who you are and how open you want to be. If you are LGBT and want to be out and open, then think about how that will effect you personally. If you want to keep your sexual orientation private, then also think about the pros and cons. Many campuses consider someone “out” as a value added, but, that could lead to being considered a campus expert. Either way you determine to lean, know yourself and be comfortable with the decision.”
Do you have advice for student affairs candidates? Please consider sharing your knowledge. CLICK HERE