Lesson 1: How to Decide When to Go on the Academic Job Market

At Beyond the Professoriate we know just how competitive the academic job market can be. And it can be hard to accept that many factors of the academic job search are beyond our control, such as the state of the academic job market.

While it’s true that there’s nothing you can do to increase the number and quality of job openings in your discipline, there are aspects of the search that you can still influence.

For instance, you can decide what’s important to you in a job search, strategically gather information, and improve your written documents and presentations.

We’ve reached out to experts who advise and mentor graduate students on the academic job market to help us with this course. As we coach you through your faculty job search, we’ll be focusing on what is within your power to guide and influence.

Watch the video below to determine if you’re ready to go on the academic job market this year.  

After watching this video, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify the four key steps to determining when to go on the academic job market. 
  • Articulate your goals for going on the academic job market. 
  • Assess how prepared you are for the job search. 
  • Align your priority next steps with the academic hiring timelines.

Going on the Academic Job Market


As you apply for academic jobs, make sure to set aside plenty of time for writing job application documents – preparing these documents requires more effort than it might seem at first. Expect to write multiple drafts.

Start by collecting relevant materials and examples for your various documents.

Is your CV up to date? Do you have your course evaluation data and course syllabi on hand?

If you are missing information, develop a plan to find the evidence you need and brainstorm examples. Your peers and mentors will be especially valuable at this stage. You might ask to view sample documents or portfolios to help prepare yours.

You might also request feedback on your drafts and practice your research and teaching philosophy “pitches” with them.

Remember that each department and institution will want to see that you’ve tailored your documents for them. They want to see how you might fit in and how enthusiastic you are about the position.

Interviewing and Negotiating For Faculty Positions


PhDs seeking academic jobs typically undergo different types of interviews, each with their own set of expectations.

Complete lessons to help you prepare for:

  • First-round interviews, including how to set up your space and computer equipment for video interviews;
  • On-campus interview, with a particular focus on the teaching demonstration and job talk;
  • The negotiation process for an academic job.

Remember that while you’re being interviewed by the hiring committee, you’re also interviewing them. Your goal in the interview process should be to find out whether the hiring department and institution are a good fit for you.

Be honest with yourself about your needs and desires. Chances are that you don’t want to end up in a workplace that makes you miserable.

Don’t wait until you’re actively negotiating to think about situations in which you would absolutely reject an offer. Now is the time to identify “deal breakers” and questions you might ask as you watch out for red flags.

Most importantly, be patient with the process and with yourself. 

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