Academic Job Search - Finding Job Announcements
Casting Your Bread Widely - Deciding When and Where To Apply
Where To Find Job Listings
(includes information on links in Quick Links Box)
Casting Your Bread Widely - Deciding When and Where To Apply
An application does not constitute a commitment to take a given job. With everything on disk these days, the marginal cost of applying for additional jobs is relatively modest. The only job you have absolutely no shot at is the one you never apply for.
Don't assume that the job ad reflects either an unambiguous description of what the department knows it wants, or a fixed set of criteria that will determined who will get hired. In many instances, the published job description may be more a reflection of expedient political compromises necessary to get it out the door or past the administration. Is there a chance that your letter will be pitched because you don't fit the ad's profile - certainly. However it is difficult if not impossible to know beforehand which departments are married to their ad and which have a much broader interpretation. Don't make their job any easier. For more on the use and abuse of job announcements access The Hiring Process - The Job Announcement.
If a job appears that is otherwise tailor made for you in terms of location and/or type of institution, think about how you can recast your credentials in a way that makes you a credible candidate. Don't lie or make statements you wouldn't be able defend in an interview, but also remember the purpose of an application is to elicit sufficient interest to get the interview. At that point all bets are off.
If you aren't sure whether you can honestly claim to have the background necessary to teach in a given area, remember that the level of expertise required to teach undergrads is very different from your normal frame of reference, graduate seminars at Berkeley. You can always call the department chair or head of the search committee and ask if they would be interested in someone with a slightly different profile, especially a candidate, such as yourself, who has so much to offer.
Where To Find Job Listings
The primary source of academic job listings is your discipline's scholarly association. They are typically available through either the association's newsletter (larger disciplines may have a separate newsletter just for job listings) or, increasingly, on their website. As a grad student, you can usually subscribe to the newsletter with the listings at a reduced rate ranging from $25-$65 a year. Some scholarly association websites offer free access while others are password protected and require payment. If you are unsure about where/how your scholarly association advertises jobs in your discipline ask the graduate advisor in your department, visit Academic360.com, or contact Andrew Green, the PhD advisor.
Not all jobs are posted through scholarly associations. Smaller institutions and universities outside the US, in particular, often take advantage of some of the sites listed below.
Scholarly Societies Project
An easy way to locate your field's website is via the Scholarly Societies Project which contains a searchable database of over 1700 scholarly societies organized into 46 subject or field headings. This site is particularly useful if your research and/or teaching falls across more than one discipline or field. For example, if your expertise lay in the domain of Asian economic systems, you might check the Association of Asian Studies as well as the American Economics Association. Jobs for PhDs in Middle Eastern Studies may be housed in a wide range of departments ranging from art history to sociology. Don't leave easily accessed stones unturned.
Chronicle of Higher Education
Scholarly societies are the place to begin your search of job openings, but they are not the only resources. The Chronicle of Higher Education, published weekly, lists hundreds of jobs in a wide range of fields. The Chronicle's job listings are also online in a searchable format with new jobs posted every Friday. Non-subscribers can view the listings for free with a one week delay. In some fields, tenure-track jobs at major institutions are advertised in the Chronicle. In others, the ads consist primarily of smaller colleges/universities and community colleges. In addition to listing teaching/research positions, the Chronicle is also the pre-eminent source of administrative and student services positions in academic settings.
H-Net Job Guide
Another source of job announcements is at the H-Net (Humanities and Social Sciences Online) site maintained by Michigan State University. Part of a larger site that creates and coordinates Internet networks within the arts, humanities, and social sciences, the H-Net Job Guide lists positions under three headings: History and the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Rhetoric and Communications (including composition and other related fields). H-Net specializes in smaller schools that may not advertise in an association newsletter or the Chronicle as well as replacement or temporary jobs. It also lists many academic jobs from Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the UK, and a number of quasi-academic jobs in research centers, museums, libraries etc. that may be of interest. A weekly index is posted to many of H-Net's Discussion Networks which function as electronic networks, linking professors, teachers and students in over a hundred subject areas ranging from African expressive arts to women's history.
Academics360.com (formerly Jobs in Higher Education) doesn't list academic jobs, but is a one-stop, gateway or portal to a wide array of websites that do. The site is a collection of academia-related Internet resources, and is not restricted to teaching positions. It covers colleges and universities in the United States, the UK, Canada and Australia.
The site offers information via four categories.
- Individual Colleges and Universities: provides a direct link to an institution's URL listed either alphabetically or geographically (by country or state).
- Faculty and Administration: lists a series of links to organizations and associations such as Women in Higher Education or NationJob, Inc. (K-college listings primarily in the Midwest) that contain academic job resources.
- Faculty by Discipline: provides links to organizations and resources under 30-odd field headings from American Studies to Social Work
- Administration by Function: provides links under 22 headings from Academic Advising to Technology. These sites are particularly useful if you are interested in looking at other opportunities for careers within academia besides teaching. More than just job listings, many of these sites explain the nature of the work, and how to get in touch with people and organizations through which you can learn more. Functional areas listed include: Admissions, Business/Financial Administration, Career Services, Continuing Education, Development, Financial Aid, Human Resources, Institutional Research & Planning Library Science, Registrar, Student Affairs, and Student Unions/Activities.
Christian Higher Education
A very different source of academic listings can be found under Job Postings at the Christian Higher Education website sponsored by the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities. They list jobs from all around the country. Many, though not all, look for qualified applicants who are “in agreement with the college's theological and lifestyle requirements.”
Times Higher Education Supplement
Further afield, there is the Times Higher Education Supplement (THESIS). Access is free, but you are required to register first. Many field names and job titles differ from their US equivalents; start by using the Quick List option at the top of the Thesis Jobs page which provides access to broad categories of positions. Most of the positions listed are in the UK and Ireland, but others range from Norway to Fiji.
Yahoo's Colleges and Universities Category
If there is a particular school or set of schools you want to target, especially if you are interested in more than teaching/research jobs, check out the institution's own website. For schools in California, click on California Colleges and Universities. Other college and university websites can be located via Yahoo's Colleges and Universities Category. Most of these homepages have a direct link to campus employment.
Yahoo's Newspaper Category
Another source, especially at the community college level, for people who are especially interested in a specific geographical area are major newspapers. The New York Times regularly advertises academic positions in its Sunday education section. Locally, the San Francisco Chronicle lists jobs at a number of Bay Area colleges and universities in their classified ads section under education. The web address or URL for virtually any daily newspaper can be easily found via this site.