Now is an ideal time to begin thinking about your job search for an academic job in 2007, says Mitch Prinstein, PhD, an associate psychology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Learning about potential positions and blocking out time on your calendar for job-site visits are just a few ways students can get started, he notes.
"Obtaining an academic job is a lengthy process," says Catherine Grus, PhD, APA's assistant executive director for professional education and training. She adds that preparing cover letters and curricula vitae are time-consuming endeavors.
Because the job search process is long, Prinstein and Grus suggest that students pay heed to the process's timeline; the process typically starts with students applying for positions during the summer and fall. Schools begin scheduling interviews in November and December and then finalists present job talks-where they visit campus and outline their program of research-in January.
Prinstein and Grus also suggest that students:
Talk to their adviser. Advisers can be a tremendous resource, as they can use their network of colleagues to find out about job opportunities, says Grus. However to make the most of their knowledge, you have to make sure that they know your professional goals, she notes.
Tap all available job source listings. Check job listings in publications like the Monitor on Psychology and The Chronicle of Higher Education, and join listservs relevant to your chosen field.
Consider their priorities. Make sure the institutions and locations where you apply for jobs are ones you're comfortable with, Grus says.
Devote January to job visits. Visits to universities are the bread and butter of the interview process, Prinstein says. They allow students to outline their program of research and reflect on their past work. While they are important, in-person visits are also time-consuming-taking up to a week if you factor in preparation and travel time, he notes.
Network, network, network. By attending professional meetings throughout the year, students can discover job opportunities that they otherwise may not have found.
Visit the gradPSYCH Web site for more information about landing your first job, including:
"Land your first job by marketing your skills" at http://gradpsych.apags.org/nov05/cover-skills.html.
"Landing a job in academe" at http://gradpsych.apags.org/jun04/conv-job.cfm.
"Marketing yourself on the Web" at http://gradpsych.apags.org/jan04/marketingself.cfm.
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