Teach the Earth > Career Prep > Previous Workshops > Workshop 2013 > Program > Job Search

The Academic Job Search

We will record insights and discussion about some of the key aspects of the academic job search on this page. If you'd like to add additional comments or suggestions, please feel free to use the discussion thread below. Note: In order to post to the discussion thread, you'll need a SERC account - this is quick and easy to set up and free; just visit the SERC Account page (opens in a new window.) Also note that your name will appear next to your post.

Negotiation Notes

  • Take advantage of the opportunity - you may not get everything you ask for, but you can ask
  • Ask the chair about dept limitations
  • Have a list ready
  • Make sure you identify your actual 'needs' as opposed to what you can cut
  • Examples: equipment, space that's ready or commitment to be ready, summer salary, support for grad students, time out from teaching prior to tenure, moving expenses, etc. (See the Cutting Edge website - there's a link to related links on the Program page.
  • Might be able to negotiate your bracket or experience points at a 2YC (not necessarily directly for salary)
  • Again - depends on the place.

Teaching Demo Notes

  • Looking for personality and the way you convey info to the audience
  • Ask the chair what's expected
  • May be asked to lecture to a class ahead of time (e.g. guest lecturer) - be prepared to do a demo outside your area of expertise
  • Remember - there's a range/variety among institutions - even of the same type!
  • If you need equipment, make sure you ask for it and make sure it works ahead of time

Job Talk Notes

  • If you're doing it on your laptop, make sure to clean it up first (close IM, general clean up)
  • PRACTICE beforehand with peers in your department and perhaps folks from different institutions
    • can give practice audience a paper copy to take notes
  • Do your homework - what is your fit/contribution to the dept
  • Bring your laser pointer with you - don't depend on your dept to have the equipment for you
  • How will you clearly, but succinctly explain your research and methods - don't try to cover everything - focus on the best and convey it in a compelling way
  • How can you make your talk convey how you'll include undergrads
  • Have your personality come through - the job talk and interview includes more than your research
  • If you have a busy figure, take time to orient your audience so they're not lost or distracted
  • Keep it simple - it might help you build your grad students
  • Have peers critique the first 5 slides of your talk - is it compelling and engaging?
  • Consider the audience
    • make it broadly applicable and provide context
    • know your audience, watch for jargon
  • Make it a story
    • Introduction to engage audience and provide context and significance
    • Heart of the talk - showcase your research and include clear statement of research questions
    • Strong end – conclusions and future plans
  • Engaging visuals
  • Watch the timing - Make sure you end on time (and ask before, if you don't know how long it will be; save time for questions)
  • Might be able to ask for 30 minute break before your talk to prepare or reflect - don't necessarily count on having it though
  • Consider bringing water and/or snacks with you

Interview Notes

  • Write a list of questions you have for the institution
  • Take a breath before you start answering a question
  • Ask a question to clarify a question to buy time
  • "Um" and "like" aren't so great
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Know where you're applying and customize your responses as such (do prep work)
  • "How do you see us collaborate?" is another potential question
  • Practice your answers to the questions with peers
  • Give specific examples from your own experiences or what you could do
  • "Why do you want to come here?" is a potential question you'll want to think about
  • "Why do you want to stay" might be a good question for the interview committee.

Job Search -- Discussion  

Please feel free to contribute to this discussion thread. You'll need a SERC account to post to the thread (see directions at the top of the page).


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