There are several reasons why graduate students may want to work as adjuncts. If their future career aspiration is to become a professor, an adjunct position can provide valuable teaching experience. One may also want to adjunct to round out their résumé to show their professional experience in their field. Or simply a graduate student may want to work as an adjunct to earn a little extra income.
Whatever the reason, applying for adjunct positions can be stressful, as competition is fierce and available jobs are limited. However, there are many ways that you can optimize your efforts to increase your chances of finding a spot.
Here are five tips for job searching for an adjunct position:
1. Go hyper local The reality is that you have much less of a chance of getting an adjunct position at a school far from your city than you do at an institution in your own neighborhood. Recruitment for adjunct positions is often a small-scale endeavor, which means that you can't depend on finding adjunct openings on major job posting sites. Instead, you should look at city-specific online boards. It's likely that you may have to contact administrators at a school you're interested in to learn if they have any adjunct positions they need to fill. Becoming more involved in the news and goings-on at schools in your area can help you stay-in-the-know about any positions that arise.
2. Consider community college and online adjunct positions Some community colleges may have tenured teaching positions, but many rely on a large staff of adjuncts. Looking for a job at a community college can be a great alternative to searching at public or private four-year institutions.
Another avenue to explore is adjuncting for online courses. As The Spruce noted, the rise in distance learning means that there are more online faculty jobs available. Don't limit your job search to online institutions - many brick-and-mortar schools are searching for adjuncts for their online programs, too.
"Consider adjuncting for online courses."
3. Make sure your current program allows you to adjunct Some graduate programs may have qualifications for whether or not you can adjunct at another institution while enrolled in your degree program. As Chronicle Vitae suggested, ensure you can adjunct before starting your job search. Some programs may not allow adjuncting while enrolled in a graduate program, such as science-backed degrees involving lots of research or lab work. Some programs may have other requirements you must follow, such as limiting adjunct time to a certain number of hours each week.
4. Emphasize your teaching skills School program directors want to see that you have knowledge of the field you'd like to adjunct in, but they also want to see that you have teaching skills. Even if you have never held a teaching position before, you can spotlight related skills such as good verbal and written communication and the ability to coordinate and manage teams. Think of volunteer work, class projects, internships or extracurricular experiences that involved teaching others in some way. Emphasize these skills in your résumé and during the interview process. It can be tempting to talk mostly about your academic achievements, but hiring managers are most interested in your teaching abilities.
5. Network Sometimes, finding an adjunct position comes down to networking. Review your academic and professional contacts and consider whether you know anyone who works at the school you want to adjunct for or who knows someone who does. Let friends and family know you're searching for an adjunct role. Tap into your network and connect with any useful and relevant connections you have.
Finding an adjunct position can be tough, but it is achievable. The tips above can help you focus your search and put your best foot forward to increase your odds of finding a job that's a great fit for you.
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