Americans Don’t Brag

Americans don’t brag.  That’s not true; Americans brag all the time, about many things–money, sex,  the fish that got away.  However, we don’t brag as much as you’d expect in our job applications.  This may seem counterintuitive, considering the global … Continue reading

Strategizing Your CV for the Job Market

It’s that time again! Alert readers know that each Spring I provide a limited-time CV Strategizing Session service between February and April.  The idea is to look ahead to the Fall 2015 market, and help graduate students going on the … Continue reading

“I Plan to Take Full Advantage of My Acquired Skills!”

A line from a letter last week: “In my own lab I plan to take full advantage of my acquired skills and use the XXX equipment  to further investigate xxxx.” This kind of language is braggy and at the same … Continue reading

Dr. Karen’s (Partial) Rules for the Artist’s Statement

It may surprise you to hear that I edit Artist Statements, but I do.  Not a ton, but enough that this post has become necessary.  I want to urge everyone to read this excellent post on the subject by Ben … Continue reading

The Status of the Press Matters, Still!

A debate has simmered on the comment thread to my post, Does the Status of the Press Matter, in recent weeks, on the question: is Palgrave MacMillan a press with high enough status for a US R1 tenure case?  My … Continue reading

Four Tips for Getting Hired at a Christian University (A Guest Post)

Today’s anonymous author is a tenured professor in the field of religion at a mid-sized Christian University. He has sat on and chaired numerous search committees for both faculty and administrative hires. He sees the enormous stack of applicants for … Continue reading

The Teaching-Centric Letter

In response to many requests, I am devoting today’s post to the teaching-centric letter.  The absence of a post on this subject before now might seem surprising on a blog that purports to cover every aspect of the academic job … Continue reading

Stop Acting Like a Grad Student, Redux: “After My Defense, I Will…”

I am always telling clients to stop “sounding like a grad student.”  But the trouble is, clients don’t understand all the ways that they do this. Some are obvious.  “While a grad student in the English Ph.D. program, I…..”  is … Continue reading

The Hash-Slinging Slasher

This fall, a new phenomenon has emerged in job documents—the slash/dash addiction. I think, if you read the examples below (which are shared with permission of the authors), you’ll see the problem.  In a way, it’s just another manifestation of … Continue reading

Banish These Words, 2014

Previously I told you to banish the words “unique” and “burgeoning.”   Here is a new set of painfully overused, excruciatingly tedious, annoyingly self-important, and frustratingly vacant words  to be banished in 2014:   Banish these adjectives: real-world  (what does … Continue reading