STEMskiller: Skill Set Map for Mentors of Early Career Researchers
Applying for academic jobs
Academic position applications are, in many countries, different than for private sector positions in that they require a CV instead of a resume, and they may include specific additional documents (e.g., teaching and/or research statements, teaching portfolios). Before applying to any position, mentees should conduct a search engine search on themselves using one’s name as a search phrase (e.g., “Sasha Smith”). Human Resources (HR) departments often do this in screening candidates even before looking at other materials. Mentees should check to see if there is any content online which might cause their application to be rejected (e.g., old social media photos or posts that do not present a professional image). Mentees should then prepare their CV, if they have not yet done this, which can typically be used without customizing it for different organizations, and decide whether or not to create online profiles (with LinkedIn, other local portals). Mentees should find at least three trusted references (e.g., professors, leaders of research groups) and let them know about position applications, so the references are prepared if a potential employers checks references by phone, email, or video conference. After finding a position or positions to apply to, mentees should create customized cover letters for each position. This does not mean simply changing the addressees on the cover letters, but it means tailoring each letter to the position being applied to. If possible, cover letters and CV should be proofread at a mentor or by one to three trusted colleagues. Minor mistakes in spelling, grammar, and so on can lead to automatic rejection of an application. CVs should be updated at intervals as the early career research adds new publications, conducts academic service activities, and adds qualifications to their profile.
While many job portals exist for non-academic positions, top academic positions are often promoted in specific places. Professional societies in many countries often, before the COVID-19 crisis, would often have job-seeking related events, including interviews, at annual conferences. Some provide job boards and additional resources for early career researchers (e.g., the American Mathematical Society provides Employment Services for PhD Mathematicians).
Useful resources on Applying for academic jobs:
The Chronicle of Higher Education. (n.d.). Jobs. https://jobs.chronicle.com/
Mentees seeking positions in higher education will find listings from the world’s top universities here. Positions are grouped into Executive, Administrative, and Faculty categories (while a “Jobs Outside Academe” category exists, if is not heavily used).
EURAXESS. (n.d.). Jobs & Funding. https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/search
jobs.ac.uk. (2020). Great Jobs for Bright People. https://www.jobs.ac.uk/
University of California Berkeley Career Center. (2020). Academic Job Search: Finding Job Announcements. https://career.berkeley.edu/PhDs/PhDJobs
Deciding when and where to apply and where to find job listings.
Tags: All IPS; all PSR; all IAL; CompQ
Peer Review: None
Table of contents:
- 3.4. Placement and job searching/seeking
- 22.214.171.124. CVs and cover letters
126.96.36.199. Application essays and other (teaching, research) statements
188.8.131.52. Interview techniques for academic positions
184.108.40.206. Pitch training in preparation for interviews
220.127.116.11. Salary negotiation
18.104.22.168. Qualifications/skills documentation and verification
22.214.171.124. Skills gap identification and development
Author: Stephanie Krueger
Peer Reviewer(s): None
Last Updated: October 28, 2021