I've been applying for jobs at community colleges in California and in a few other locations around the states. In the past, I've often said to my friends that the two worst things to do in the world are to look for a new job or a new place to live. Occasionally, these two activities happen simultaneously, which makes for a real stressful environment. But I don't want to talk about moving since I'm not going anywhere for the next five months. I want to talk about the process of applying for these jobs.
I was happy to discover a site, The Registry, which lists all of the jobs for community colleges in California. Great! Unfortunately, almost all of them have slightly different criteria. Not a problem really, but if they're going to go to the trouble of listing all of the jobs in one location, they might as well standardize the application process. I understand that some positions and some schools have different criteria, but we're talking about community colleges. There must be some kind of standardization.
At some of the schools, very few, I can actually apply online. Wonderful, I thought. BIM BAM BOOM. I can upload all of my documents in a few minutes and get back to loafing. Unfortunately, I had to enter all of the information (and then some) included in my resume into the online form, a nightmarishly long process which has consumed the better part of more than a few evenings. Auto-fill did nothing for me. If I happen to apply at the same school again in the future or if I happen to apply for another position (although I can't really imagine that many people are applying for multiple teaching positions at the same school), I will be able to use the same application. A good feature and, at least, they're trying to make use of the technology.
Some schools are still too far behind in their application process, though. For one thing, printing out so much paper (the application packet should not approach the size of a poetry manuscript) is just a silly waste of time and resources. Don't make me fill out the stupid district application, half of which contains useless information and/or instructions. At this point, especially in California, which probably has more schools than any other state I'm guessing, electronic submission should be the norm, especially for institutions which pretend to represent focal points of higher thought. Some schools asked me to print out more than one copy of the application packet! They want copies of all my transcripts? More than ten years of documented coursework! Schools have been requesting transcripts for a long time and I can't believe that, at least among the colleges and universities in California, they don't already share this information. There should be some kind of transcripts database for every student. Submitting copies of transcripts is ridiculous.
Take my cover letter, my resume, and my writing samples and make a decision!