Examining the Job Postings

Escape the Ivory Tower makes a recommendation that I require for my business writing students, but one which I think would be particularly useful in an English majors capstone course: “one of the best ways to explore your options is to actually go out and scan job boards, company job postings, and anywhere else you see jobs listed.”

Why is this necessary? It is necessary for us as professors.

Because we live in a world of strict credentialing and clear pathing, we don’t see the various serendipitous ways that people get and become qualified for jobs. We don’t see the ways jobs are more about skills and fit than they are about degrees.

But outside of academia, jobs are being invented daily that don’t have paths or credentials, because the jobs themselves didn’t even exist yesterday. But something changed and now we need someone to do this particular set of things. Voila – job.

And think. Our students have been students for twelve, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen years. They know little else. Sending them to the job postings is a good way to get them thinking about how they are going to make a living.

Most people don’t have a husband supporting them while they work full-time for part-time pay and spend over half a year’s ft salary going to conferences in order to get a full-time position. (I did. But most people don’t.)

One thought on “Examining the Job Postings”

  1. I think this would also be a great way to integrate the Career Center (if you have one) into your class. I know how to search for academic jobs, but no idea how to search for non-academic ones. Although, I do know that visiting a company’s (and university’s) HR site is often a good way to find jobs that might not earn a national ad (which can be expensive). You could also ask students to find the company/job they’d like to work for/do, craft an introductory letter and request an information meeting.

    Good ideas all around, really.

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