Academic Job Search and Timeline

Academic job search

Start your search early, at least a year before graduation, by developing your network. Learn about with the market, ask for support from others and begin applying. Present and attend professional development. Prepare several examples of research, articles, and presentations.

Required professional documents

  • CV 
  • Teaching philosophy or similar statement.
  • Customized cover letters.
  • Three to five professional references.
  • Credentials, transcripts, writing samples, dissertation chapter, etc.

Define your search

  • Institution characteristics
  • Determine your skills
  • Geography
  • Teaching subjects

Track your applications

  • Use a spreadsheet to track the positions you have applied to.
  • Create a file for each opening, with a copy of your cover letter, job description and correspondence from the institution. 

Sources for Academic Positions

Timeline for the academic job search


  • Update your CV, general cover letter/letter of application, and teaching portfolio.
  • Create a professional web page.
  • Obtain feedback from faculty, mentors, and fellow students on creating a CV.
  • Make an appointment with Career and Student Employment Services for feedback.
  • Obtain letters of reference. Share a current CV with all references.
  • Create a filing system for your job search materials. 


  • Finalize one version of your CV as a template. You may have several versions of your CV depending on the positions: research positions, teaching positions, endowed chairs, and other types of academic jobs.
  • Find positions through your dissertation chair/advisor, departmental listings, CDC resources, professional conferences and organizations and various internet web sites.
  • Get letters of recommendation and update previous letters.
  • Attend departmental and campus events.
  • Meet with a career development specialist for further resources.


  • Continue applying for positions.
  • Prepare and practice your academic job talk.
  • Evaluate academic job offers and negotiate for time to consider each offer.
  • Discuss negotiation strategies with your advisor, counselor, and other personal resources.

If you have not yet found a position, do not despair. Continue applying for jobs. It may take more than one year to find a position.