Posts Tagged ‘Tomorrow’s Professor’

Across the country, prospective job candidates are beginning to put vague ideas into Microsoft Word that will be shaped into cover letter templates, teaching statements, writing samples, and research statements over the next few months.  Since January I have written a lot about the sociology job market and my experiences with it, but I think that a general compilation of things I’ve come across in the past year or so will be helpful to those who are gearing up for an intense autumn.

As a sociologist, you may want to start with the ASA’s job market resources, although they cost  money, so you may be better served by reading blogs and going to the various “how to get a job” sessions in San Fransisco.

Beyond this, I think that it is helpful to read about the experiences of others who have gone on the market.  By seeing both the good and the bad, you’ll have a better sense of what you’re getting yourself into.  For this, the Chronicle of Higher Education is a good resource.

For general job market advice, Wicked Anomie has a great post and some good things are available from the Sociologists for Women in Society (there is also some good information in the advice column section of their site).  Finally, the Tomorrow’s Professor newsletter has a number of job-related posts.

After you’ve hardened yourself in preparation for the road ahead with general information, you can consider your first opportunity to interact with potential employers at the ASA employment service.  As noted before, this has been discussed at Scatterplot and on this blog.

Before applying for jobs, you will likely want to check out the rankings, keeping in mind that rankings aren’t everything.  The US News grad school rankings are here and general undergrad rankings are here.

Beyond the rankings, a sense of whether a school is likely to pay enough for you to live on Long Island or in Claremont, CA is obviously important.  You can search the AAUP’s faculty salary survey here.

Once you have applied, you will hopefully be invited to interviews where these tips from Wicked Anomie and these reflections from Pitse1eh will come in handy.  You can also prepare answers to frequently asked questions and be prepared to ask some questions yourself.

If you can stomach it, there is also the job market message board, which replaces the job market blog for 09-10.

I think that the most important thing to remember about the job market is that it is a long, difficult time during which most things are out of your control.  Once you’ve mailed an application, you have done all that you can, so make sure that your applications are as good as they can be and try not to think about them once they are out of your hands.  With luck, by this time next year you’ll be writing a blog giving people advice about the job market.

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