My Guardian Piece on Academic Job Applications in the US


Channelling several weeks of culture shock, I wrote a blog post for the Guardian Higher Education Network on applying for academic jobs in the US. I am currently on a post-doc in Milwaukee, arriving just in time to hurtle headlong into my first US academic job season. But while those around me on the job market were planning precision attacks, I was still trying to work out what a ‘rec’ letter was and why I needed to write a covering letter when I was surely going to be using an online application form. Trust me when I say that this was a steep learning curve because I didn’t know where to start; it was like everyone was talking a different language!

So, having quizzed anyone who would talk to me, had the phone hung up on me by a potential employer, read way too many articles and blog posts on the subject (as well as many people’s job application materials which were generously shared) I decided to offer up what I’d learnt so far. The article is in no way definitive, and it certainly centres upon the humanities, but I hoped it would gives others at least a bit of head-start when negotiating this quite alien territory. And I guess I wanted to save people making some of the mistakes I had.

Anyway, no sooner had the article been posted than I was deluged with Tweets, emails and comments providing yet more advice and, rather wonderfully, thanking me for writing the piece. I have to admit I was really touched by everyone’s responses and very glad that people were so willing to share their own experiences. As a result, I’d just like to say thanks right back at y’all and I do promise to share anything else important that I learn over here (like where fabric conditioner goes in a lop-loader washing machine, or what scallions and cilantro are, or how to ask for the check not the bill, or, or, or…)

Posted via email from Charlotte’s posterous

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