Organizing an Academic Job Search

The academic job search can be a challenging process but if you organize your application materials, maintain careful records of the application process, and keep copies of all correspondence with potential employers, the task will be considerably more manageable...and successful!

Plan to start a job search about a year before you're ready to go on the job market, primarily because you'll need time to develop your applicaton materials. Organize your search around a timeline to help you identify what needs to be done and when. The job search timeline may depend on your field, but typically most tenure-track vacancies are announced in the fall and offers are typically extended mid-spring.

Take charge by using a spreadsheet to manage and track your application process. Create columns for key information like the name of the institution, contact information, deadline for submission of materials, the date materials were submitted, and any responses you might have received from the search committees. Also, keep electronic copies of the position announcement, all application materials submitted, and notes from interviews, etc.