Book Reviews

Book by Dawn M. Formo & Cheryl Reed
Review By: Anne M. London
Senior Academic Advisor
Grand Valley State University

If you are an advisor who works with graduate or Ph.D. bound students, “Job Search in Academe” may be one of the most unique books to refer to your graduating student advisees.

There are many resources that exist for those searching for positions after post graduate work that include  where to search, how to search, and how to negotiate wages, but this may be one of the most detailed for those looking specifically to secure a faculty position at a four year institution or community college. The authors begin by discussing how the culture and climate of the graduate classroom varies significantly from the climate of the interview which could lead to potential opportunity sabotage. According to Formo and Reed, many graduate students are taught to question ideological structures rather aggressively (p. 10). Although this is encouraged in graduate school, this approach is not looked at as advantageous during job searching in higher education. The authors in essence describe to the reader how to separate the graduate experience from the interview.

There are other features of this book that are common with generic job search websites and books written to assist the college graduate with important places to search, résumé building tips, what to wear, negotiating salary, and answering tough and sometimes rhetorical questions. What makes this particularly valuable to advisors of graduate students is the intense detail on the world of higher academe. University and College specific jargon was discussed and terminology focusing on the different types of tenure was mentioned when the authors discussed negotiating contract. Formo and Reed discuss the differences between interviewing at Community Colleges versus Four Year Research Based Institution and how the interview process may also differ. Another interesting addition came at the end when discussing how to move out into the corporate world after working in academe or after pursuing a Ph.D. with intentions to work in higher education. Formo and Reed went into great detail discussing how corporate interviews may differ and how Ph.D.’s could best prepare to use their academic attributes to sell them in Corporate World (p. 218).

Overall, this book seemed to focus more on Ph.D. students entering faculty positions rather than positions in student life, student services, and other areas within higher education. This was the strongest critique, but otherwise, most of the skills discussed in this work could be transferable to other areas outside of faculty positions. Job Search in Academe This book was well written, extremely detailed, and may have been overwhelming, had it not been for the summary at the end of each chapter. This is also a specialized book with a very specific audience.

Job Search in Academe: How to get the position you deserve (2001).  Book by Dawn M. Formo & Cheryl Reed. Review by Anne London. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, 268 pp. $22.50. ISBN # 978-1-57922-134-8.


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