Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Job Search!

So, I am searching for a job! Maybe you are too. Here are some tips from post-docs and professors at my school, UC Santa Barbara.

Before applying:
First Priority is doing good math! Study area you like, be open to new areas
i.e. Get papers written, go to conferences, give talks

General: make 100 applications (half post-docs, half teaching)
Apply even if they aren't necessarily hiring someone in your area/level
Apply even if no job is being offered (as long as you have some sort of contact there)
Read job ads carefully -- a tenure-track ad may also want post-doc
Look at list of EIMS, AMS (sign up on mail list), keep your eyes open for other opportunities not on Math-Jobs
Prioritize time, organize your materials well, be efficient about applying

Cover Letter:
Make a website with all of your application info so that you can email
professors at the institution to which you're applying

Use all of your human resources: other grad students who are also applying, your committee members

Make your cover letter focus on the specific institution

Top line of cover letter has you name, advisor, people you want to work with. Work hard on the ten places and apply everywhere even if you don't think you'll fit in. Have extra eyes -- You want to avoid "I want to work with Prof. X" who doesn't even work there -- to scan through.

Have two different cover letters (mention you'll be at Joint Meetings),

Recommendation Letters:
Who are you going to get to write letters? Advisor, committee, people from other institutions, teaching mentors
Letters of recommendation are the last thing read sometimes, but the letters need to support the image portrayed in the rest of the application (i.e. The person is an excellent researcher or excellent teacher or both and why)

Research/Research Statement:
Two research statements (non-expert level, expert level) supervising undergraduate research

How specific should this get: choose your own adventrue research statement ("for the expert:", "for the non-expert"). Convey enthusiasm! Think like a colloquium (general audience understands first fifteen minutes, last fifteen minutes throw in something that an officianado will understand
ignore above "colloquium advice" if you are aiming to work with a specific professor in which case you should email them separately and make the statement a little more technical.
Three or Four pages max

Teaching/Teaching Statement:
document your unique experiences (teaching), be proactive (have someone send an email referring you)
Remember: Michigan, Chicago, Texas all have Inquiry-based teaching centers

Two different C.V.'s (long and short)
Look at peoples websites for examples of C.V.'s
Don't discount non-math interests

After you submit applications and are waiting to hear back:

1) Remind people that you applied without spamming them
a) My paper's been accepted
b) I got an offer

2) Be prepared for telephone interviews

Happy Hunting!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi!

    I saw your blog mentioned on the recent MAA Math Alert. Woo publicity!

    I don't know if you've seen the Job Interview Advice that I have posted on my web page:
    It's kinda old, but I've updated it recently. From what I've heard, the job market it pretty cruddy this year, so good luck!

    --- Tom Hull