From Candidate to Colleague: Navigating the Academic Job Market (Roundtable)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA18)
contact email: 

The academic job market is famously difficult to navigate. Ironically, the decrease in job opportunities has prompted an increase in the number of materials required by each application—cover letters, CVs, recommendations, dissertation abstracts, research statements, teaching statements, diversity statements—all of which must be customized for each institution to which a candidate is applying. Yet, in spite of these challenges, there are still job openings each year and there are still success stories of people being hired for these positions. While no longer a guarantee, the only way to attain a full-time position in academia is to apply for one.

This roundtable will provide guidance and resources to help graduate students best prepare themselves to compete on the academic job market. We invite presentations that address all aspects of the job search, from building a CV to application to interviews to negotiating a job offer. Possible approaches include:

· how to begin preparing for the job market before the dissertation

· what activities/experiences to prioritize during graduate school to strengthen academic job prospects

· tactics for academic professionalization

· branding and marketing oneself and one’s scholarship on the job market

· reading and interpreting the job ad

· timelines and strategies for developing application materials

· setting the right tone/presenting yourself as a colleague, not a graduate student

· tailoring job materials to various types of institutions, ranks, and positions

· the disciplinary categories that govern the academic hiring process and how requirements differ between categories (e.g. Romance Languages and Literatures, Women’s Studies, Cultural Studies, Comparative Literature, Classics, Rhetoric and Composition, and English)

· engaging the search committee both in writing and in person

· strategies for interviews and campus visits, including negotiating job offers

· pitfalls to avoid while preparing materials and submitting applications

We welcome participants from various disciplines, ranks, and institutions, and we encourage various perspectives on the job search, from current applicant to recent hire to search committee member to university administration. Please submit a 300-word abstract and 100-word bio. All proposals must be submitted through the NeMLA portal:

NeMLA18 will be held from April 12-15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA.


Contact Info: 

Nicole Lowman (SUNY University at Buffalo) and Claire Sommers (Graduate Center-CUNY)