Friday, September 30, 2011

The Academic Job Search Handbook

I just got a copy of The academic Job Search Handbook (2008, 4th ed.) by Julia Miller Vick and Jennifer S. Furlong. Wow. I wish I'd known about this earlier.

Not only does it include a timetable for planning job searches, but it has examples of vitas, cover letters, teaching philosophies, etc. There are also discussions of the job interview, and strategies for job searching when your partner is also an academic. I haven't read the whole thing yet, and I realize that it is not tailored to our particular discipline, but it looks like a great way to get familiarized with the general process in a way that is not overly intimidating.

I ILLed it, as the on-campus copies apparently don't allow borrowing privileges. You can preview it at Google Books.

Have any of you come across this before and have any opinions about it before I dive completely in? As far as I know, there's not another book like this (though many online discussions of similar topics).


  1. Thanks for pointing us to this resource, Megan -- I hope that you'll consider saying more about the book when you've finished it. I'm definitely going to take a look at it myself.

  2. Let me just add my reaction here:

    I would say it's a must read. It doesn't magically make the process simple, remove the uncertainty, or guarantee you a job, of course! But, if you find the job market looming up ahead and you've not given it much thought previously, it's incredibly enlightening. No enormous surprises, but it helps you see the whole process from start to finish in an organized way. I think it's most valuable contributions are 1) the sample CVs, cover letters, etc., and 2) the window it gives into the processes of a search committee. Understanding that there may be many ways a search committee might work, a variety of political and personal issues going on is helpful for keeping yourself someone detached. I think its clear that getting cynical about the job market is not helpful. You can present your best self, but who gets the job comes down to a lot of different factors--its not some huge judgement on you. The fact that you don't have full control over the process-- though there are some ways to present yourself better--could be frightening, but the practical nature of the book helps it not feel that way.

  3. that should be "somewhat detached"--sorry.

  4. Thanks again, Megan -- my copy just arrived in the mail today!