For those of you heading on the job  market this year, take some advice from Allison M. Vaillancourt, VP of institutional effectiveness and HR at the University of Arizona:

This candidate’s job talk got attention because it is so unusual for candidates to express such obvious enthusiasm. Many exude an “I could take it or leave it” attitude because they subscribe to one or more of the following beliefs:

  • “Expressing enthusiasm will make me look desperate.” Actually, expressing enthusiasm will make you look, well, enthusiastic! Of course, it takes a little timing to pull this off.
  • “Appearing to want a position will weaken my negotiating position.” In my experience, negotiations go better when the hiring authority and the candidate are equally excited about the opportunity for a match.
  • “It will be less embarrassing to act like I don’t care.” None of us like to be rejected, so it can be tempting to act like we don’t care in order to protect our psyches in the event we are not selected. Search committees and hiring authorities tend to pick up on this aloofness and read it as lack of interest and commitment.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of Higher Education and let us know in the comments below how you used or plan to use enthusiasm on the job hunt.

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