How to Strategize for the 2020 Job Market

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s the start of 2020. And, it’s also the midpoint of the academic year. That means…. a lot of people are coming back from winter break facing the stark realization that they didn’t get shortlisted for the jobs they hoped for this year.

Other folks are looking ahead to going on the academic job market for the first time next Fall.

For everyone who’s already turning their minds ahead to the applications they’re going to need to send out in Fall 2020, this video is for you. It’s a quick sketch of what to do with the next 8 months to make yourself as competitive as possible for the academic job market next year.

And just to anticipate one predictable reaction: my focus on peer reviewed achievements is most responsive to R1 and elite SLAC hiring, but is absolutely also relevant to lower tiered teaching institutions as well. Those institutions have become increasingly “aspirational”, and frankly, greedy for research outputs even though they don’t support the work with funding or research leave time. And the wretched job market means they can demand high research productivity from their new hires as well. So please BANISH the thought “I just want to work at a teaching oriented school, so I can skip the peer reviewed publishing imperative.” NO. Those days are gone.


Resources Mentioned In Video:

You can go here to schedule a one-on-one consult with me.

Purchase the CV Strategizing Service that I mention in the video here (Special January Reduced Rate just for video post viewers!):


Get the Spring Special 3-Doc Package ($430 instead of $540 for full review of three academic job documents) here; as I mention in the video, Jan-April is THE time to get on our schedule and knock out those job docs like the CV, Cover Letter, Teaching Statement, Research Statement, etc.:



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How to Strategize for the 2020 Job Market — 2 Comments

  1. Dear Karen,

    I recently had a campus interview where I felt I excelled in every item on the list, including the teaching demo and the job talk. As I am usually a very self-aware individual who knows my faults, in this case I felt like I honestly exceeded the expectations for the TT Assistant Professor position at a second-tier state university in the northeast. Yet, they offered the job to someone else. The head of the department mentioned during our meeting that the position was written in mind with someone who was recently out of a PhD program and didn’t have much experience. I am 7 years out of an Oxon PhD program and have over 20 publications in some top journals/publishers under my belt, with 10 more to be published in the next year or so. Did this seem intimidating to them? When is a candidate for a TT Assistant Prof position overqualified?

    • I’d recommend you do an Interview intervention to be able to target any potential places where you sent the wrong message.

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