Landing a College Job: A Practical Guide for English, ESL, and Foreign Language Job Seekers

Meena Singhal. Lowell, MA: The Reading Matrix, 2005. Pp. 114.
Reviewed by Toshiyuki Takagaki
Onomichi University

One of the many wonderful aspects about being a language teacher is that the profession offers opportunities to teach different levels at various institutions and locations. However, as is often the case with other occupations, if one intends to work where one wants to, it is always wise to be well prepared for the job and this includes preparation for both the application and interview processes because the position may be a highly competitive one. Should one be interested in teaching at a college in America or Canada, for example, Singhal s Landing a College Job: A Practical Guide for English, ESL, and Foreign Language Job Seekers is a must-have book, for this self-help guide describes the A-Z of the job search process beginning with finding job postings to landing a full-time position (p. 5).

Inside the text, readers will find the answers to several key questions job seekers often have. For example, do you know the difference between a resume and a CV? Do you know there are several key differences between university and college interviews? What kind of attire is most suitable for an interview? Have you ever thought about sending a thank-you note after the interview? What can you expect from the interview panel? And how can you best prepare for a college-level interview?

What makes this book s advice valid and appealing is that its contents come directly from the author s rich experiences of college job hunting and hiring new faculty members for her community college in Southern California. Because of her experience as both a college instructor and administrator, she is able to offer job seekers the inside scoop on the job search process in this type of setting throughout each of the book s ten chapters. Such information and advice include useful websites to locate position openings (chapter 1); the differences between minimum requirements and desirable requirements (chapter 2); how to organize application documents and write a cover letter (chapters 3 and 4); the differences between a resume and a CV (chapter 5); understanding the interview format and preparing for the interview (chapters 6 and 7); writing a follow-up letter (chapter 8); and the importance of professional development and networking (chapters 9 and 10). Furthermore, a list of useful websites for job seekers is provided at the end of the book as well as access to the text s companion website at

In addition to being filled with useful information, another of the book s key features is that it is written in a clear and concise manner which results in an extremely reader-friendly book. Moreover, with its effective use of written samples and adapted materials from other sources (e.g. websites from academic associations), the book is a quick, insightful read which can be read in one sitting.

There is no doubt that readers will treasure this guidebook throughout the job search process, for while many graduate programs prepare students to teach and conduct research, few prepare potential instructors to find and land the job they want. Thus, in a market where there may be more than one hundred applications for one position, this book is highly recommended.