Reblogging – How to fail better in the academic job market

A few days ago, there was a great post on some (mostly) common sense advice for the academic job market on Tenure She Wrote. I’ve been thinking about these things recently, since the spring job season of on-campus interviews (I had one, yay!), acceptances, and (in my case) job rejections has just been finishing up. Overall, I think I was aware of most of the advice in the article, and I have been privileged to have some great mentors to help me out. But the blog post seems like a great no-nonsense refresher on things to keep in mind for each of the main steps in the application process (cover letter, phone interview, on-campus interview). I also really like the sentiment from the comments that:

“…becoming one of the top three candidates is saying you’ve done many things right, and it’s probably a matter of fit at that point (unless the job talk was surprisingly bad), so it’s worth a celebration.”

So keep your head up, because a whole new season of academic job applications is about to begin!

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2 thoughts on “Reblogging – How to fail better in the academic job market

  1. Nice post.

    I wanted to chime in on the quote “…becoming one of the top three candidates is saying you’ve done many things right, and it’s probably a matter of fit at that point (unless the job talk was surprisingly bad), so it’s worth a celebration.” I’d add that if you make it in the top 25 or so then you are definitely doing great. There is a large stochastic component in job searches – many things are outside of your control. Once you get within the final cut of applicants it really does come down to fit within the department as well as departmental politics – maybe the ecologists and genomics types have agreed that they need to hire someone who can best link the particular research directions of their faculty thus they split their differences and find someone who best fits between them (not necessarily who each of these often differing camps would hire or even interview themselves). Further, the Dean or Provost may have a certain person in mind and will only offer funding for the position if the person hired fits a certain mold or research direction. These are things outside of your control. Nonetheless, it is always good to contact the search committee to ask for any additional feedback on your application and science advice in general.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! It’s always nice to have feedback from someone on the other side of the job search. And I agree that its important to recognized that if you’ve made it to some upper cut, you should remember (even if you ultimately get rejected) that you must have done something right!

      Like

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