University of North Texas

Division of Student Affairs

Academic Job Search

Academic Job Search Guide by Jenny Smith and Mary Johnson, Revised by Jeffrey Mankoff

This resource guide is meant as a general introduction to the academic job search for students in various disciplines and fields.  It provides basic information about the job search process, suggests additional job search resources in print and online, and identifies Yale personnel who can offer advice and assistance.  We hope this guide will help you find your bearings in one of the most stressful periods of your graduate school career.  It will not, however, provide the discipline-specific strategies you will need to make your job search a success. The guide should serve as a supplement to rather than a substitute for the help and information you gather from your department and the members of your dissertation committee.  By all means, look to colleagues in your department for as much advice and guidance as they can provide.

Network 

It will be important to begin building your network early in graduate school so that when you need advice along the way or leads on jobs when you graduate, you will have several people to call upon.  Building your network can be done by connecting with professors, other campus offices/departments, attending conferences, organization meetings, collaborating on a project, and much more!  Collect business cards from everyone you meet and take a few notes so that you will always remember where/when/how you met that person.

When speaking of networking, it is also imperative that LinkedIn is mentioned.  LinkedIn is a great website where you can keep a public profile or resume of each job you’ve held, detailed descriptions about your experience and skills, and it is also the best and most professional place to connect with your network.  Send a quick, personalized, invitation on LinkedIn to those you meet as you build your network. 

Check out our social media resources

Twitter, so long as it is strictly a professional account, can also be a great place to connect with professionals, stay up to date on current trends in your field, and also search for jobs. Remember to continue to always build and grow your network as often times, these people will be the key to helping you in your job search.

Writing Research and Teaching Philosophy Statements 

A statement of your research and/or teaching philosophy will likely be a supplemental component when applying for jobs in academia.  Be sure to take your time in reading the job description, preparing your statement(s), and talking to advisors or faculty in your discipline for their insight.  These statements will go a long way in communicating your “job readiness” and “fit” with that position/institution.

Research Statement: A statement of research interests or plans, is a brief summary of your work that orients readers to your specific interest within the broader discipline and describes how your research fits within the context of developments in the field.  Your statement should address:

  • The importance of your work
  • Your audience(s)
  • Key questions
  • Plans, methodologies for addressing questions
  • Funding/resources you will seek

Teaching Statement: A statement that describes your approach to teaching and why you do it.  This statement usually address:

  • Your teaching methods
  • Your beliefs justifying those methods
  • Teaching goals
  • Tools you use (technology, etc.)
  • An account of how you support diversity, including diverse ways of learning
  • Specific examples from your experience 

Academic Job Interviews 

From Tomorrow’s Professor Mailing List

From The Chronicle of Higher Education

Negotiation 

From On the Cutting Edge

Suggested Readings: 

The Compleat Academic: A Career Guide by John M. Darley, Mark P. Zanna, Henry L. Roediger and American Psychological Association

The Academic Job Search Handbook by Julia Miller Vick

The Essential College Professor: A Practical Guide to an Academic Career (Wiley Desktop Editions) by Jeffrey L. Buller

The Academic’s Handbook by A. Leigh DeNeef and Craufurd D. Goodwin

Guide to Portfolios: Creating and Using Portfolios for Academic, Career, and Personal Success by Mary Robins

The Chicago Guide to Your Academic Career: A Portable Mentor for Scholars from Graduate School through Tenure by John A. Goldsmith

What They Didn’t Teach You in Graduate School: 199 Helpful Hints for Success in Your Academic Career by Paul Gray

Academia Job Search Resources & Websites: