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In a previous post, we discussed how to use graduate school teaching experience to prepare for the academic job market. But what about those preparing for careers in industry, business, government, service, or other non-academic or alternative-academic jobs? Should graduate students interested in non-academic jobs spend time teaching their own class or learning about teaching during graduate school? Even if you are not planning a career in academia or are unsure about your desired profession, teaching experience can be a vital component of an effective résumé when applying for jobs. Here are a few tips for how to use your teaching experience for the non-academic job market:

Concise Descriptions and Transferable Skills

In contrast to an academic curriculum vitae, in which you would give a longer description of your teaching experience, non-academic résumés require concise descriptions of your graduate school experiences. When describing your teaching responsibilities, focus on the many transferable skills that come with teaching: leadership, management, development, mentoring, training, interpersonal communication, working independently and in a fast-paced environment, facilitating discussion, assessing progress, coordination, and many more. These are tangible skills that are highly valued in the workplace and that allow you to frame your teaching in ways that are especially relevant for the particular job you are applying for.

Innovative Pedagogies

In your teaching, look for ways to incorporate innovative teaching techniques. For instance, consider trying a community-based learning approach, which will not only benefit students in your class, but will also allow you to create partnerships with leaders in the local community and demonstrate the broader implications of your subject area. Or, show your digital prowess by developing media-rich assignments and integrating technology into the classroom. Utilizing innovative pedagogies gives you an additional opportunity to talk about transferable skills in your teaching and creative approaches you have taken to delivering course content.

Teaching Evaluations and Certificates

Highlighting strong teaching evaluations shows that you are a well-rounded scholar and can apply your research skills to other areas. It also indicates that you can present difficult material to non-experts in an accessible fashion and that you have a breadth of skills rather than just a narrow research specialization. Furthermore, teaching can benefit your research by creating new connections and developing the “real-world” implications of your work. While it is unlikely that you would be asked to provide official teaching evaluations for a job application, they make for good anecdotal evidence to be used in an interview with potential employers. Additionally, consider working towards one of the three teaching certificates offered by the Kaneb Center: Striving for Excellence in TeachingAdvanced Teaching Scholar, and Teaching Well Using Technology. Teaching certificates can be listed on your résumé as a signal of your professional development, successful teaching, and commitment to your work.

Kaneb Center Services

If you are interested in developing new and innovative pedagogical techniques, or would like to discuss your teaching strategies or evaluations, contact the Kaneb Center to set up an individual consultation. We also offer a number of workshops to promote teaching excellence and to give you experience talking about teaching. For assistance translating your teaching experience into marketable skills, as well as guidance for the non-academic job market, contact Notre Dame’s Graduate Career Services office.

Teaching Resources for the Non-Academic Job Market

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