Linguistics job application workshop

Linguistics job application
November 12, 2013
Approximate job cycle
• July- apply to LSA, other major conferences
• August/September- have materials ready, contact
letter writers, clean up professional website
• October 1st- application deadlines start
• December- phone interviews start
• January- campus visits start
• February- job offers start
– Use with caution to see if you are still in the running:
Academic Jobs
Time & stats (Karen)
• 214 hours of work = 5+ 40-hour workweeks
• 26 applications sent > 5 phone interviews + 1
campus visit
Stats for Darren
• Two years on the job cycle: final year of Ph.D.
and first year of postdoc
• Ph.D. Year: 1 faculty job application > 1
campus visit (no offer), 3 postdoc applications
> 2 campus visits (2 offers, took 1)
• Postdoc year: 8 faculty applications > 1 phone
interview (no offer) and 1 direct invite to
campus visit (offer)
Finding jobs
• Linguist List (subscribe to digest)
• HigherEd Jobs (can subscribe for headings
such as Linguistics, Spanish)
• Postdocs available but not common
• Think of allied fields (e.g. foreign languages,
• Go geographically wide
if at all possible
Components of a job application
Cover letter
Curriculum Vitae
Research statement
Teaching statement
Teaching evaluations
Writing sample
Reference letters
• Free blog:
• Cover letter
• CV
• Research Statement
• Teaching statement
• Teaching evaluations
Solicit feedback!
• Ask your advisor and other faculty to read
over your CV and statements, and give you
Cover letter
• Sample outline:
– Brief introduction to yourself: what you study, when you
will graduate, basic thesis topic and 2 sentences on the
– A little more about your research interests
– A little bit about what courses you’ve taught and what you
might like to teach
– Highlight what funding you’ve gotten and that you are
going to be actively seeking more
– Why you’re an excellent fit for the department and
advertised job
• Keep it brief! Under 2 pages! 1.5 is a good number
Do your research on the school
• One sentence “fit statement”
– I am interested in helping the department develop
course offerings in linguistics to complement its
strengths in literature.
– I share interests with several faculty members
including XX, XX, and XX, so I see the potential for
collaboration on both teaching and research.
– I am particularly interested in XXX because of the
department’s expertise in both child language
acquisition and second language acquisition, which
would work well with my research interests.
Conference Papers
Invited Talks
Teaching Experience
Research Experience
Awards & Honors / Grants & Fellowships
Service (to profession, to department)
Languages, other skills, memberships
Research statement
• Current research (especially dissertation
• Draw attention to any journal or book chapter
publications, as well as presentations at
prestigious conferences
• Plans for research in the near future
• ‘Five-year plan’ for future research
Teaching statement
Teaching experience
Teaching philosophy
Plans for what you will teach in the future
Experience (if any) with supervision of
undergraduate students
Teaching evaluations
• Send numerical summaries rather than individual
student comments
• Obtain summary of all your evaluations from ICES
• Draw attention to any evaluations that placed you
on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent
Writing samples
• Send exactly as many writing samples as are
• Possible writing samples:
– An article that has been published or submitted for
• If you need help turning a course project/qual into a journal
article, consider Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks
(I got it from the library).
– A dissertation chapter
– A proceedings or working papers paper
Other materials
• “Teaching Dossier”:
– 1-page teaching philosophy statement
– 1 page summarizing numerical teaching
– 1 page of sample student comments
• “Teaching Portfolio”: the above plus
– a syllabus that I had created
– lecture slides that I had vastly improved
– discussion exercises I had created
Reference letters
• Always get a letter from your dissertation
• Other letters should come from other faculty
who know you well and are familiar with your
• At least one letter should talk about your
teaching (e.g., from your TA supervisor)
• Should you use
Preliminary interview
• Interview at the LSA or MLA
• Phone / Skype interview
• Arrange to do a mock-interview with your
Make a cheat sheet about the
• Bullet points about yourself you want to make
sure to hit
• What your dissertation/researach is about
• What you would like to teach there, specifics,
book you would use for the intro course
• Their faculty (the ones on the
committee/closest to you) and their research
Campus visit
• Get the interview schedule ~2 weeks in advance
from department secretary
• Interviews
• Job talk
• Interview meals
• More research on the department (next slide)
(packing & dressing– consider wearing grown-up
clothes more often your last year of grad school)
Stalk your interview committee
• Katharina Barbe (German),
Associate Professor
– Studied in Texas, PhD in Linguistics
from Rice
– German linguistics: Pragmatics,
Translation, SLA, business German
– dinner, interview, and exit interview
• John Bentley (Japanese),
Professor, Assistant Chair
– PhD from Hawaii
– Japanese Historical Linguistics and
old literature
– tour of DeKalb and lunch Tuesday
and interview
Sample 1-day visit itinerary
• Night before: arrive, dinner w/faculty, hotel
Breakfast w/faculty
Meet Dean
Tour campus, town
Lunch w/faculty
Job talk
Search committee interview
Exit interview with chair
Questions to ask them
(OK to repeat questions with different people)
• Tell me about your student population.
• What are teaching and research expectations and
support for new colleagues?
• What kind of support is there available on
campus for conference travel/research?
• What kind of technology is available in the
• How are graduate students supported?
• What is your timeline for making a decision?
The outcome?
• If you get the job
– “Oh, thank you. That is good news. I’m so pleased.
I’d like to know more about the offer. When can we
discuss the details and when can I expect a written
contract?” (e.g. DON’T say yes right away!)
• If you don’t get the job
– This really says nothing about you in this job market
– Continue applying!

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