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					            WHAT NOT TO DO:

             NAFSA: Association of International Educators
                            Annual Conference
                    Kansas City, Missouri - June 2010

       Cori Filson, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York – Chair
       Margaret Wiedenhoeft, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Michigan
       Martin Hogan, CIEE, Portland, Maine
      Mistakes, I’ve seen a few…
   CV development – It’s not creative writing, it’s
    your resume.
   Interview do’s and don’ts – You have voicemail for
    a reason and other important reminders.
   References – We know your neighbor loves you,
    what else do you have?
   Professional development – Conferences,
    networking and mentors, oh my!
CV and Cover Letter Development

      Cori Filson, Skidmore College
      Saratoga Springs, New York
Cover letter scanning “quiz”

What mistakes can you find in this
cover letter?
       Cover Letter Mistakes

 Unprofessional formatting and layout
 Incorrect position title
 Informal style (“top-notch dynamic force
  in education”)
       Cover Letter Mistakes

 Dear “Sir”
 “love of life” is not a professional
 Typos in own name and email address
 Used university address
 Position requires 3-5 years of experience
  as international education administrator
Cover Letter Mistakes
       Cover Letter Successes

 Appropriate length, format and salutation
 Outline of pertinent qualifications and
 Professional presentation
 Concise but thorough
     CV scanning “quiz”

What mistakes can you find in this CV?
Joseph Smith
Department of Sociology
University of XXX
Some City, Some State
Phone: 555-555-5555

Objective        To obtain a Staff Accountant at Equal Exchange at Equal Exchange

Education        University of XXX, Some City, Some State
                 PhD in Sociology, August 200X-present time. Credits completed; working on
                 Concentrations: Fair Trade, Globalization, Social Inequalities, Marketing,
                 Representations, Gender, Race, Culture.
                 Overall GPA: 3.82

Joseph Smith
Department of Sociology
University of XXX
Some City, Some State
Phone: 555-555-5555

May 05-June 07 Accounting Assistant, SUNY Albany’s Study Abroad Program in Brazil
               Aimed at providing college students with hands-on learning experience on issues of
               race, poverty, and community organization including fair trade initiatives.
•                *   Assisted in preparation of the course
                 *   Made travel arrangements
                 *   Lectured and translated lectures
                 *   Mentored students
             CV Mistakes

 Use of work email and phone
 Objective not specific to position
 GPA often irrelevant
 Experience – title of position does not
  match job duties
 Know your audience
         CV Common Mistakes

   Poor layout/margins
   Inappropriate length
   Font that isn’t easily readable
   Gaps in job history
   No highlighting of appropriate international
   “Other” section
   International, campus and provider positions
    might have different expectations
             CV Successes

 Professional presentation
 Concise but thorough
 “Career Profile” vs. “Objective”
 Pertinent experience and qualifications
  highlighted – language proficiency,
  professional development, travel/study
 Career trajectory clear

   Choose wisely – is your reference eager or
   Ask for permission – don’t assume
   Professional, not personal/character references –
    a volunteer position supervisor may be an option
    if you have limited professional experience
   Send job description and resume to your
   Remind the reference nearer the time of the call
   Thank your reference
  Interview Dos and Don’ts

Margaret Wiedenhoeft, Kalamazoo College,
         Kalamazoo, Michigan
          Telephone Interview
   Find a quiet place to conduct interview

   Have prepared answers/notes + your resume
    available and in front of you

   Immediately after, try to remember all they
    asked you and who participated (in the event
    of on-campus interview)
       On-Site Interview –
      Before You Even Arrive
   Interview attire
   Professional etiquette
   Preparation – researching institution
    and office
   Prepare for answers to difficult
   Practice interview
    Typical Interview Activities

   Meet with students
   Meet with staff/potential colleagues
   Meet immediate supervisor
   Campus or office presentation
   Other important constituent groups
      The Day of the Interview

   Bring copies of your CV and references.

   Turn off your cell phone!


   Remember – this is a two way street. You
    should be a good fit for the office, but
    they also need to be a good fit for you.
          Interview Questions

 What NOT to talk about
        your own personal scheduling needs

        anything that is very personal

        your anticipated schedule of promotions

        your problems with your current office/boss
        Interview Questions:
         What to talk about
   previous accomplishments in current position

   why you are leaving/looking for a new

   follow up questions are important

   give specific examples of successes and
         Interview Questions
Describe an experience that required an enormous
amount of flexibility on your part. How did you
handle it?

Give Specific detail:
“I worked with a faculty member in designing a short-term
international seminar. She insisted students should be able to
take motorcycles to the top of a holy mountain that was going to
be the highlight of the class….”

“I have experience working with non-traditional students who
may not always be able to meet 9-5. These are some of the ways I
developed to communicate with them…
Give us an example of a difficult situation or
conflict that your resolved successfully. What
was the problem and how did you resolve it?

I received an angry phone call from a parent of a student in
Spain. Dad was very upset by the amount of food his student
received in the home stay. He demanded reimbursement for the
additional food his student had to purchase. I thanked him for his
call, explained my next steps, and told him when I would be
contacting him next. After I contacted our local on-site director, I
learned that the student had never talked to the host mom about
the amount of food he received and that on most days he didn’t
come home for lunch. I asked both the student and director to meet
to discuss the situation…
Give us an example of a time-sensitive project that you
just couldn’t get done on time. How did you handle it?

We had a deadline for our new website launch. It was my
responsibility to collect and edit the content and to deliver it to the
webmaster. Some of my colleagues had already told me they
would be delivering their piece to me a day or two later than
planned. I didn’t think it would be a big deal because we built in
some “wiggle room,” but I didn’t check with the webmaster. After I
sent the content to the WM, I received an angry phone call from
her asking why I hadn’t sent it in by the original deadline. She
had other projects on the table and had given our office this
specific deadline for a reason. I immediately took responsibility,
apologized, and asked her how this would affect the launch date. I
then went to my supervisor, explained what happened, and took
responsibility for the mistake. In the end, we were only 1 day later
than originally scheduled. I learned the importance of
communication with all collaborators and that I should never
make assumptions about other colleagues’ workloads.
             Post Interview

   Thank you notes - making reference to
    specific topics discussed during
   Follow up as appropriate (Email search
    committee chair when appropriate time
    has lapsed– What is the status of the
    search? Do not stalk!)
  Professional Development:
Knowledge, Understanding, Skills

   Martin Hogan, CIEE, Portland, Maine
       Development of Expertise
 Understanding your own campus/organization
         What is rewarded?
         Matching professional interest with personal interest (they are
 Within International Education field
         Developing niche knowledge (Financial {budgets or financial
          aid}, Programmatic {service-learning or short-term programs},
          Regional {geographic area}, etc.)
 Greater Education Community
         Career Services, Student Development, Parent Relations,
          Community organizing
 What to Avoid
         type casting, too narrow knowledge and interest
      Building a Reputation

 Presentations – within the field, within
  the greater community
 Committee work – on campus and in the
 Online communities – LinkedIn,
  Facebook, etc.
 What to Avoid – impatience,
  overextending, missing deadlines, etc.

 Why is this important?
        “Small” Community, 3 degrees of separation, etiquette and
         diplomacy, culture and norms
 Professional Organizations
        Forum on Education Abroad
        NAFSA
        Greater Community
 Staff Exchanges
        Short-term, around a project, extending your interest and
        Within your institution or with partner organizations
        Skills Development

 Writing
 Public Speaking

 Business Technology

 Certificate programs

 Pursuing advanced degrees

 Specialist vs. Generalist
 Skills Development - Resources

   Chronicle of Higher Education

   Inside Higher Education

 OSAC: Overseas Security Advisory
  Council (

 Google Alerts (Study Abroad, etc.)

 On-line International News
 Skills Development - Resources

 IIE: Institute of International Education

 EAIE: European Association for
  International Education (
 ACE: American Council on Education
 Skills Development - Resources

 Frontiers (
 Journal of Studies in International
  Education (
 Higher Education Association News
    (NACADA, etc.)

 Harvard Business Review (
 New Yorker Magazine

 TED: Ideas Worth Spreading
            Additional Resources
   Balderrama, A. (2008) 8 worst things to Say in an interview
    available at
   Delgizzo,K. & Malisheski, L., Preparing for Campus Interviews.
    Chronicle Careers. January 17, 2003
   Networking and Interviewing Guide (2008). Center for Career
    Development. Kalamazoo College.
   Career Advice, Inside Higher Ed:
   Manage Your Career, The Chronicle of Higher Education: