Applying for Academic Jobs

So you’ve identified some academic positions you want to apply for. To put together the strongest possible application package, follow the steps below, and start as early as possible.

1. Learn what makes application materials successful

2. Draft your materials

  • TIP: Tailor your materials to each position you apply for. Even though this takes time and effort, it vastly increases your chances of success.  For example, if you are applying to a teaching-intensive faculty position, your cover letter should highlight your teaching experience and interests and describe them in more detail then your research interests.  And no matter what type of job you are applying for, you should describe with some specificity why the department would be a particularly good fit given your research and teaching interests.

3. Get feedback

  • Since many search committees have diverse disciplinary backgrounds, it is important to make sure your materials can be quickly understood by educated non-experts.
  • In addition to asking your advisor for feedback on your application materials, it is vital to consult other mentors and collaborators, recent hires at your current institution, or people familiar with the type of school to which you are applying.
  • Schedule a confidential appointment to review your application materials with an OCPD counselor.

4.  Start preparing for your interviews

So you've sent off your applications-- congratulations!  Take a day or two off,  then start preparing for those interviews you hope to get. Visit our "Interviewing for Academic Jobs" page to learn how.