Published: May 16, 2023
student studying

The academic hiring season is fast approaching. As you prepare for your academic job search, here are five crucial documents you can begin to draft.

1. Your CV

Make sure your CV is up to date and well-organized according to the academic triad of research, teaching and service. It should be structured to emphasize research and the qualifications that make you an excellent candidate for faculty or postdoc positions in your field.

2. Your job letter

Write a basic job letter draft, including the appropriate information about your research trajectory and your teaching experience. You will need to write an additional paragraph to tailor your letter for each job you apply to, and work to frame your research and teaching history according to the needs of each specific department. However, if you write the basic elements now you will have a draft that needs only edits, saving you time and energy later.

3. Your research statement

Remember that your research statement is an explanation of your research past, present and future. Work on a detailed research plan for your next project and make sure that you can articulate it for the committee. Your research statement shows that you have engaged in productive, quality research in the past and that you have a well-developed, detailed plan for your next research endeavor, including plans for publication and obtaining funding for this research.

4. Your teaching statement

Your teaching statement should begin by making a claim about the good that can be brought about by education in your field. It can then go on to explain, with real-life examples, the pedagogical methods you use to achieve that good. Your statement should offer quantitative proof (FCQs) that you have done so, and then finish with a strong conclusion about the value of education in your field.

The teaching statement will need to be tailored to the specific population and pedagogical concerns of the department to which you are applying, but you can save time by writing the methods, examples and quantitative proof sections now.

5. Your diversity statement

Your diversity statement will explain your values and goals around diversity and equity of access to education. It will share how you exemplify those values and achieve those goals in your research, your teaching and your service. The diversity statement is highly individual—for example, a diversity statement for an institution focused predominantly on teaching and serving a population comprising mainly first-in-family Spanish-speaking students might look very different from one intended for an R1 institution with a majority-white student body. It will be helpful to draft a basic diversity statement now that contains information about your diversity and equity efforts to date, and establishes your personal values and goals.

Preparing now for the academic hiring cycle will take some of the pressure off later. Starting to draft your documents in advance allows you time to polish them well before they’re needed. Once the postings in your field go out, you can then devote your time and effort to researching your target institutions and tailoring your documents. Review our CV guide and academic statements guide to learn more.

Career Services is here to help

For more tips, plan to attend the upcoming Academic Job Search Seminar Series for graduate students. Beginning June 7, this free seminar series will lay out the basics of a non-academic job search.

You can also meet with a graduate career development advisor. Virtual office hours over the summer are June 8-Aug. 1 and occur weekly on Thursdays from 3-4 p.m. Learn more about getting started with Career Services.