As academic job postings and other employment opportunities are becoming available, I decided it was time to prepare my own application materials and announce that I’m ON THE JOB MARKET. It should be no surprise to many as I am ABD (not a title), and I have been diligently working on my dissertation— so there is really no better time for a job search.
I’ll be honest. I’m quite accustomed to the thrill of the job hunt (I am in my 3rd position of employment, since I have moved to Texas 5 years ago); however the academic job search has upped the ante. My future career planning involves a potential re-location (either in the US or abroad) and new career beginnings (either as a junior faculty member, research or other), which means this job search and application process is being treated like a job itself.
To prepare for my job search and career planning…
I have been talking to many researchers in the field, administrators in higher education, companies who seek my support, current faculty (off and on campus), mentors, and peers over the past year [Thank you for these discussions and talks – you know who you are]. More than not, many are quite open to offer advice, share professional experiences, edit my application materials, provide a reference, or send potential job postings my way (hint, hint). In my spare time, I have been reading Barnes’ (2007) “On the Market: Strategies for a Successful Academic Job Search,” specifically, Chapter 4: The Application Process. This section of the book includes great questions to ask and think about before the application process, and examples of deciphering what academic job postings mean to decide what I want. Here are some current, pre-application questions I am currently pondering:
- What type of position am I most interested in?
- What sort of institution or organization do I want to work for?
- Where do I want to live?
- Do I want to apply for administrative or faculty track positions?
- Who will write my reference letters?
- Will my academic search focus on research or teaching institutions?
- What is my best academic “fit” for department?
- Do I want to look beyond higher education & academia?
- Who will I connect to discussion the application process?
- What is my timeline and schedule for applications?
- How will I best organize a joint career search with my partner in crime?
Fortunately, most of my academic application requirements are “works in progress” from my doctoral program and portfolio requirements (Thanks #untLT department!) these past few years. My current objectives are to edit and prepare materials I have for my academic job search and application, including:
- Cover Letter
- Curriculum Vita
- Letters of Recommendation
- Writing Samples and Other Supporting Documents
- Teaching Portfolio (Dossier)
- Social Media Spaces & Places
- Application Schedule – to track applications & submissions
This chapter also includes helpful templates for CV’s and cover letter formats. I plan on re-tooling and modifying my current application materials based on position type and job description, so a review of these examples were helpful. Here are a few suggestions for cover letter writing items to include – 17 elements for the academic cover letter:
Do you have academic job search advice? Tips on the application process? Considerations for the academic research and faculty positions? Potential openings I might be interested at your institution? Let me know. Academic job search advice is welcome.
Barnes, S. L. (2007). On the market: Strategies for a successful academic job search. Lynne Rienner Publishers.
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