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Guest Blogger: Lesa Hammond, CEO Prof360

As a former chief human resources officer at three universities and the current CEO of Prof360, I am often asked, “How can I get a teaching job at a university?”

Landing your first part-time faculty job in higher education can be challenging, especially if you do not have prior teaching experience. However, here are some ways to stand out and possibly pick up that first position:


Create a CV 

A curriculum vitae or CV speaks the language of academia. A CV differs from a resume in many ways. It is not uncommon to see CVs that are 5 – 10 pages long. Creating a well-written CV is a lot of work, but it is important if you want to stand out among the many resumes of equally qualified practitioners who are not academics. Here are some quick tips to writing a CV:

  • Education is at the top no matter how long you have been working or how long ago it was that you got the degree.
  • Work experience is similar to what is in a good resume. List key accomplishments not tasks and go back as far as is relevant. Don’t cut it off at 10 years.
  • Teaching experience includes every course you have ever taught.
  • List every time you have written an article that was published, written a book, done substantial research, been interviewed as an expert, or presented at a conference.


If you know someone already teaching at a college or university make sure they know you are interested. Ask them how they got their job. This is particularly successful if they work in the same field, have similar expertise or interests as you. This is actually one of the most common ways people get teaching assignments.


It may sound ridiculous to suggest that you teach, since that is what you are trying to do; but I am serious. Teach somewhere.

  • Teach high school. If you have taught high school, it can count. Unfortunately, elementary school doesn’t count unless you are applying to teach elementary ed.
  • Teach a community-based program. There are programs put on by the department of parks and recreation in most communities. Some non-profits also have courses you could teach.
  • Teach at a college or university extension. Extended education programs are available at many community colleges and universities. These are generally non-credit courses that do not lead to a degree, but they may lead to a certificate. Some of the courses are academic in nature and other are just for fun. You could also go to your local community college or community center to propose a course to teach through their extended education programs.
  • Create your own course(s) and teach online. There are many software programs to help you develop online classes. Udemy is one example. You can teach your own courses online to demonstrate your knowledge and skills. You might even make a little extra money.
  • Conduct corporate training: This is not usually considered a full substitute for university teaching experience, but it is a start and some schools will consider it as teaching experience.

Make Presentations

Get out there and share your knowledge by making presentations. Contact organizations that have speakers each month and let them know that you would like to be a speaker for them. Create a one-page bio with a photo and share that with the organizations. List your topics. Remember to add any speaking engagements to your CV.

Develop a Course for a University

Create a course syllabus for a course you could teach. Create a PowerPoint presentation with it if that makes sense. Then make an appointment with the department chair or program director for the academic program where you want to teach. Propose your new course. Make sure it fits within the curriculum and there isn’t already a similar course.

Continue to add to your CV and cast a wide net. Look for open positions on AdjunctWorld and other job sites. When you find a position that meets your skills, send your CV with a cover letter explaining why you want to teach and why you want to teach for that college or university. Once you have a good CV, you can also sign up with Prof360. We help universities find part-time faculty, by recruiting and vetting applicants and presenting the most qualified candidates.

If you have a strong desire to teach part-time, and you are willing to put forth the effort, you have a good chance of making it happen.


Prof360 was founded with adjunct faculty in mind. One of their services includes matching colleges and universities with part-time faculty that meet their requirements. AdjunctWorld and Prof360 have partnered to increase the options for our members. AdjunctWorld members can signup with Prof360 as another way to potentially secure part-time faculty positions. 

2 Responses to “5 Ways to Get Your First University Teaching Job”

  1. Jerry Tuttle

    Hi. I would like to comment on “Make presentations.” Many academic subjects have a 4 year college teachers group, a 2 year college teachers group, and a high school teachers group, both nationally and at the state level. In math these are Mathematical Association of America, American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges, and National Council of Teachers of Math. I have found these associations are eager to accept speaking proposals at their conferences.


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