The Academic Job Search for Aspiring Full-Time Faculty
If you are a Ph.D. student and your goal is to secure an academic faculty position, it’s important to follow the process laid out by your current academic department and to consult with your department chair. Strategies for securing a position vary by discipline. For instance, if you are a student within the School of Education, you can learn about the School’s recent placements and the recommended process. Also, the department of history hosts a career blog on their website.
For most disciplines, published work is critical to getting hired. It’s also wise to network at conferences and serve on association committees while you are a student.
Know that no matter your discipline of study, expect to:
- Apply a year prior to the position start date
- Balance your job application materials with completing your dissertation
- Prepare a curriculum vitae and cover letters
- Draft a statement of teaching and research (Source: Purdue Online Writing Lab)
- Organize additional materials, such as: course evaluations from your students, sample syllabi, transcripts, letters of recommendation (from your PI, dissertation advisor, professors) and writing samples
- You may be asked to prepare a presentation
- Polish your interviewing skills; check out Career Services’ interview guide in Handshake and this academic interviewing video from Jay Phoenix Singh, Ph.D., faculty at UPenn and Cambridge.
- Schedule a practice interview with your career advisor.
Be prepared for several stages of interviews if your application is being considered. Most likely, the first interview will be via video conference or phone. If you make the final stages, you will be invited to campus for a full day or two of interviews. You should also be prepared for a dinner meeting.
Have a Plan 'B'
Landing a full-time position can be difficult and doesn’t always happen.
Give yourself a solid chance by staying in close communication with your department chair and remaining on top of hiring trends in your discipline. Monitor news publications, including Highered360, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and other trade publications for available positions. Analyze salary data and make sure you know how to negotiate your salary. Career Services can help you every step of the way. Make an appointment on Handshake.