Live Blogging the First CRDMSA PDW!

4:07 Introduction to the Academic Job Search with Dr. Jessica Moore, Department of Communication and Dr. Rebecca Walsh, Department of English.

4:10 After the application is in… Be sure to have materials at the ready–writing sample, sample syllabi–so that you can turn them around quickly.

Insider tip: A spreadsheet with all postings, deadlines, what they requested, what you’ve submitted. Keeping track is difficult, but having all the information in one place allows you to have some control. Also helps with preparing for interviews and campus visits. BONUS: The job search is expensive, and this also helps you track expenses (for taxes or reimbursement).

4:15 Also have an understanding of which jobs you want–follow your internal compass. Focus your energies on pursuing the jobs you are really interested in.

4:18 Question from Lauren: Why apply for jobs you don’t want? JM answers that you must understand your purpose. Do you have to start a job this year? Do you want to wait for the “perfect” job? There’s nothing wrong with casting a wide net. You never know where you’ll be a fit.

RW: Constructing the narrative of who you are/are going to be. Finding unexpected fits can teach you new things about yourself.

4:21 Lauren: Is there a stigma associated with leaving a tenure-track job before you get tenure?

RW: Advantages and disadvantages of moving at the junior level. You can be more portable at that level. The perception, however, could be that you are a job hopper, especially for places that are nervous about retention. It might be appropriate to touch on it briefly and vaguely in your application letter.

JM: Just be mindful of your pattern of moving. Be sure to address why you are applying for a job once you have a job.

Nick: Is there an ideal time for considering a move as a junior faculty member?

JM: The main thing is how well you fit the job. It’s not uncommon to go on the market when you are up for tenure, just articulate why you are considering the move and keep your pattern in mind.

(I’m paraphrasing here, not transcribing!)

RW: One thing to keep in mind when weighing whether to take a job that’s not ideal is the financial commitments and time constraints being on the market requires.

Nick: How many jobs should we be applying for?

JM: It depends on what’s available, what you think you’re a fit for. If you’re not sure you’re a fit, it might be appropriate to call and ask. Don’t apply to jobs you won’t take under any circumstances. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.

RW: It also depends on your field. If you are in a competitive field, you may need to apply for more jobs. Remember, too, that every interview is practice for the next.

4:39 The campus visit.

RW: Create a mock job talk! Even if the department or program doesn’t do that for you, schedule your own. Reserve a room, advertise it, and put together a talk. Hold the Q and A and the whole nine. It’ll make things sooo much easier!

It’s another way to control the uncontrollable.

JM: Make sure that people you don’t know personally are also in the room. People you know should be available to give your personal feedback, but you don’t want a room full of familiar faces. It’s important to have people from other subfields and disciplines that may ask differently framed questions because that is what will happen on the campus visit.

4:43 Negotiating campus visits.

Know where you’re going. Know about the faculty, get to know their profiles, think about what they do aligns with what you do (and it’ll help you frame your questions). If you can, get people talking about what THEY do–not just what you do.

(As an aside, I love this idea. People always think you’re more interesting when you are asking them about themselves!)

Know what classes they offer, institutes on the campus, programs in the department.

RW: There are also don’ts. Don’t drink too much. Don’t go without a bottle of water and portable snacks. (You may not even have the appetite or opportunity to eat during meals!) Don’t ask about tenure standards. Don’t ask about course release opportunities.

Read The Chronicle and some popular news outlets so that you have something to talk about other than work and research.

Also be aware of what is going on at your own institution so that you sound more professionalized, powering specific questions. Think Faculty Senate issues…

JM: Also make it clear that your thinking about trajectory and making the connections to their campus. Show that you know about their campus, department. Show that you’ve taken initiative to seek out information.

Check out, Questions to ask (and to be prepared to answer) during an academic interview.


Search committee narrows poll to top 5-10. Full faculty will vote on which they want to be the top 2 or 3 candidates. Once you’re on the visit, it’s all about who’s the best fit for the department. Once you have an offer, don’t say “yes.” Be ready to negotiate. Everything. Ask detailed questions. After negotiations, you’ll receive an offer letter. Make sure that everything you have negotiated is in the letter. You can also get published salary information from HR so that you understand where you are in the range.

RW: One good idea is to send a recap e-mail after phone negotiations. Always have a reason for things that you ask for/about.

JM: If you have a campus interview, make notes about the things you didn’t get to ask. That way, you’ll be sure to ask them when they call with the offer.

Prepare a list of questions for all interviews. Office/lab space? Computer of my selection? Software (e.g., SPSS)? Research or teaching assistants? Teaching load and course preps?

Most schools have placement services for spousal (or partner!) hiring assistance, even non-academic positions.

5:22 Voting on the hire.

Vote on whether candidates are hirable. Once candidate is chosen, department or search committee chair will call to make offer.

Be sure to take your reasonable time. Get to know the area where you would live. Find out before the campus interview whether you should be prepared to prepay or can expect for someone to pay for meals, etc. while you are there. Be prepared to pay and be reimbursed.

5:28. Kathy: Conference interviews. What’s that all about?

JM: Conference interviews are preliminary interviews used to choose top 3 or so candidates to bring to campus. Communicate that you really want to work with them. Send a note immediately after. Let them know in your note that you’ve done more research. If you’re tied to the area, let them know that you want to put down roots there.

5:31 If you’re comfortable, let faculty in the department/program know where you are applying. That way they’ll be able to talk about you if they get a call and may make a call for you! The grapevine is active!

5: 38 Thanks to Drs. Moore and Walsh for talking with us today. If you missed it, you missed out. This has been fun and informative. InFUNative, if you will!

One thought on “Live Blogging the First CRDMSA PDW!

  1. Rebecca Walsh

    Thanks for organizing such a helpful workshop, for the blog dissemination, and for inviting me to participate. I enjoyed it, and am available for any CRDM students with followup questions or who have job market materials for which they’d like another pair of eyes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s