Tackle the challenges of the faculty job search process with our help. We’ve gathered the resources below to get you started, and we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a career counselor to review your documents and discuss your plan. See our calendar for panel talks, workshops and other helpful events.
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Start with Networking
For your academic job search to be successful, you have to develop connections in your department and in your field. Faculty in your department will be your allies and mentors, but it is helpful to connect with other grad students and postdocs as well. You should also see if your department offers information or notifications about specific position openings.
Meanwhile, conferences can be like the career fairs of academia. There are a lot of opportunities for networking, which also makes them fraught with stress. For some academic conference do’s and don’ts, see Elizabeth Keenan’s article for Vitae, the blog of the Chronicle of Higher Ed.
Professional associations in your field can also be a good resource, and often have email lists for both academic and industry positions.
Finding Faculty Jobs
Does your ideal faculty job include more research, more teaching, or a balance of both? What size university appeals to you? Is it important for you to work somewhere offering graduate degrees? The higher education landscape includes a wide range of institutional types. You can explore these different types using the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
In addition to resources offered by your department or professional associations, you can find posted faculty positions for target universities on their Human Resources site. To search postings more broadly, use the Chronicle’s Vitae job search or another job board like Inside Higher Ed. Faculty positions abroad are also available on jobs.ac.uk, a site which includes a career resources section.
Lastly, the Chronicle of Higher Education offers searchable faculty salary info from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) annual faculty salary report.
CVs, Resumes, and Other Documents for a Faculty Job Search
Curriculum Vitae (CV) vs. Resumes
|Main Document for Experiences||CV||Resume|
|Employer Values in the Search||Detail & thoroughness, pedagogy & philosophy, shared decision making||Brevity, practicality, value added, efficiency; limited to 1-2 pages (2 for PhDs or for those with more experience)|
|Key Skills||Research, publishing, teaching||Varies based on position (example skills: analytical, interpersonal, teamwork|
|Additional Documents & Tools||Teaching statement/philosophy, portfolio, LinkedIn||Portfolio, LinkedIn used more widely|
The interview process for a faculty position is very extensive. A first round interview via phone or video conference with the search committee is common followed by one or two days of in-person interviews on campus. The campus interview includes at least one meal with the search committee typically, a talk about your current research and often a chalk talk, where you will discuss your future research plan.
It is important to prepare answers regarding research experience and future directions, teaching style and experience, prospective collaborations and plans for future funding of your research. This funding could include foundations, governmental agencies or industry.
To help prepare, see our collection of sample academic interview questions (pdf) gathered from years of real interviews across multiple disciplines.
Learn from MIT faculty by watching this panel on academic job interviews and offers.