This can be an incredibly tough time of year for people searching for a job. As the new term creeps ever close you might feel that you have run out of time and missed out on securing a post for next year. But this is not true. There are plenty of last minute opportunities out there, you might just have to amend your jobseeking strategy a little.
What sort of job?
It is unlikely, although not impossible, that you’ll secure a permanent full time post at this time of year. There are far more temporary and part time teaching jobs going due to leave, research funding, sabbaticals of permanent staff members. Thesr may not bring the security of a permanent position but can provide valuable experience and breadth to the CV.
Where do I find them?
Many of these jobs will still be advertised in the usual places, such as www.jobs.ac.uk. You might hear about others through word of mouth via your networking contacts. As P.D.Lesko says in a recent Chronicle article (read it in full here) sometimes it is worth contacting a department by telephone to speak to the member of staff involved in the hiring personally. This is not the case for the majority of jobs: for most you would apply and be interviewed in the normal way. But when universities are trying to hire teaching staff at the last minute they might be more receptive to a personal approach.
How do I sell myself?
This sort of cold calling can be very difficult, but as long as you’re prepared you can make it count in your favour. Have a 1 minute spiel prepared about how you might fit the job, but also ask questions: what are the courses that need teaching? What do the institution look for when hiring a temporary teacher? You will be able to gauge whether the person is interested if they offer you a face-to-face meeting. If it’s clear they will not consider you, be polite, thank them and move on, but until that happens, don’t write any job off, no matter how small! Good luck!