My Twitter feed is replete with complaints about preparing academic job applications, and it occurred to me that I could provide a valuable public service by opening up a forum to discuss the common yet vague requirements for such job applications. Possible topics for discussion include the following:
- What should go in my cover letter?
- What counts as “evidence of teaching effectiveness”?
- How do I go about writing an effective teaching statement or research agenda?
- How can I tell whether a job listing is a sincerely open search or an empty formality that will end in an inside hire?
- Why in the world does every postdoc application process require slightly different materials such that I need to rewrite everything every single time?
- How can I best balance my desire to save money with my need to cling to some shred of hope when weighing whether to just go ahead and sign up for three years of Interfolio up front?
- Why does God hate young academics so much?