Tips for Applicants

Preparing to Apply

  • Pay Close Attention To The Initial Review Date

Each job posting has an Intial Review Date, or IRD, that is related to when the applications are routed to the hiring unit for review. If the IRD for the position that you are interested in has passed, the unit may not be accepting more applications. Our process around the IRD is specific to the UC system, so you may want to visit our IRD and Applicant Review Process webpage for details related to this “soft deadline”.

  • Pay Close Attention To The Qualifications Section

You should customize your application materials, which may include a cover letter and resume, to show how your skills and experiences match the unique requirements and responsibilities outlined on the job posting. If you don't have the direct skills listed in the qualifications section, but feel that your skills or experiences are transferable, then clearly state that in your cover letter.

  • Proofread Your Application Materials Carefully

If possible, have a friend or colleague proofread it for you as well. Remember that your application materials don't just represent your qualifications, job experience and accomplishments. They also represent your writing skills, the quality of work that you can produce, and your attention to detail. Show your potential employer your very best, right from the start of your search.

  • Visit Web Sites of UC Santa Cruz Departments

Individual department websites often contain useful information, not only about the job you're interested in, but about the department's work environment, mission, organization, etc. Learning about the individual department will begin to give you a sense of whether you and that department are a good "fit". It will also help you tailor your application materials and can provide invaluable information when preparing for an interview. Often departments provide links to their web sites at the bottom of a posting. You may also see the UC Santa Cruz A to Z index to view UC Santa Cruz department webpages.

  • Attend an Applicant Workshop

Learn to locate available jobs, understand the applicant screening process, and increase your chances of getting an interview. These workshops are free and open to the public. [More]

After You Apply

  • Confirmation and Reviewing Your Status

After successfully submitting your online application, you will receive a confirmation email. You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into the system with your user name and password and selecting the “My Activities” tab. For a description of each status see: Applicant Status Reasons

  • Maximize Your Options

New job openings are added to our listings regularly. Continue to apply for all the jobs that interest you and that you are qualified for. This is particularly important given the long recruitment cycle at UC Santa Cruz - while you're waiting to hear back from one department, you could wind up being hired by another!

  • Be Patient

UC Santa Cruz is a large institution with many departments, each of which has its own recruitment timetable. It can take up to 4-8 weeks from the Initial Review Date for you to hear from the hiring department. Please set your expectations accordingly.

The Interview

  • Who Will Interview Me?

    • The hiring unit schedules and conducts interviews
    • Interviewees typically meet with a search committee which may be comprised of:
      • the hiring manager
      • future co-workers
      • various campus representatives that might be interacting with the position in the future
    • Search committees size is flexible and can range from two to as many as eight individuals, sometimes more
  • Prior To The Interview

    • Someone from the hiring unit will contact you if you’re selected for interview
    • When they call make sure to obtain:
      • Their name and contact information
      • Directions on receiving Zoom link information or a map with exact location of the interview
      • Parking information, if in person
      • The name and phone number of someone to contact the day of the interview if you get lost or are running late
  • Preparing For The Interview

    • Review your application materials and be prepared to clarify such things as:
      • employment history
      • training
      • work experience
    • Review the job posting and be prepared to give examples of directly related or transferable experiences and skills that relate to the job
    • Learn more about the hiring unit or division (e.g., mission, goals, projects). Use the UC Santa Cruz A-Z index on the campus home page ( ) to locate unit-specific web pages
    • Compile and bring to the interview (if in person):
      • copies of your application materials
      • samples of your work (if appropriate)
      • professional references including name, title, company, contact information and relationship to you (not required, but recommended)
      • list of questions for the committee (not required, but recommended)
    • If in person, drive up to campus a day or two before your interview; locate the building/room you will be going to and the closest parking lot. Parking passes can be purchased at the Information Kiosk [Campus Maps]
    • If online, set up a private and clean space to conduct your interview through Zoom. Test the zoom link on your device, when received
    • Dress professionally
  • What To Expect During The Interview

    • Arrive/be ready on your remote device 15-30 minutes early. The hiring unit may also provide you a copy of the interview questions so you have time to formulate your thoughts
    • Committee members may take turns asking you questions. If you don’t understand a question ask for it to be repeated or restated for clarity
    • Answer questions using specific examples of work you have done. Emphasize the positive,  avoid making negative comments about current or previous employers, colleagues or work situations
    • If you don’t have any directly related experience, give examples of transferable skills. Don’t forget about the experience and skill you have gained through volunteer work
    • The committee should give you some sense of next steps and timeline. If they don’t offer this information ask when you might hear back from them
  • After The Interview

    • Send a thank you note to the hiring manager or search committee chair
    • If you don’t hear something within a couple of week’s time follow up with the hiring manager or committee chair