7 Tips for Doctoral Candidates to Get a Head Start on the Job Market

If you are at work on a dissertation or doing your dissertation editing, chances are you’ll be on the job market for your discipline at some point in the near future. How can you prepare now to make the job application process as easy as possible?

1) Update your CV

Include degrees, teaching experience, administrative and/or research experience, conferences attended, publications (scholarly and otherwise), scholarships and fellowships, committee work, certifications, and anything else relevant to your discipline. If any sections look a little light, work on adding some more items while you’re still in school. Start investigating ways to get your CV online. A dissertation editing service could be of help to you.

2) Publish

Follow calls for papers and submit anything you have that’s relevant. It takes an average of 2-4 years for an edited collection to come out, so the sooner you submit, the better. Don’t think your work isn’t ready. Leave it up to the editors of the journal or collection to decide that. Speaking of editors, be sure you find a good dissertation editor!

3) Prepare the people you will ask for recommendations

It’s probably best to wait until a few months before you start applying for jobs to ask for the recommendations, so they are as fresh as possible, but you can start grooming the recommenders now. Let them know you’ll be asking. Start to compile a handy list of highlights in your relationship for them to consult when the writing the letter.

4) Keep everything related to your teaching experience

You will need to scan and upload it to make it available to hiring committees.

5) Set up an account at Interfolio or a similar dossier service

Start uploading documents, such as a revised and polished writing sample (or a few for different types of jobs), your CV, certifications, student evaluations, peer observations, transcripts, teaching philosophy, and sample syllabi.

6) Find peers and mentors who can give you advice on your documents

The more feedback you can get, the better. People who have served on hiring committees are especially insightful. And again, a good dissertation editing company is almost a must.

7) Look into alternative careers

Hopefully, the current economic conditions will continue to improve, but if not, knowing about alternatives to the traditional tenure-track position will only empower you.