When I Say ‘Be Specific,’ What Do I Mean?

As I explained in last week’s post, I won’t be blogging for the next few months while I get the Professor Is In book written.  However, I had this post in draft form, so I’m putting it up.  After this … Continue reading

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? Topic vs. Contribution

When writing job letters clients often struggle to understand the distinction between their dissertation TOPIC and their dissertation CONTRIBUTION.  In the first dissertation paragraph you talk about the content of your dissertation–main argument, methodology, findings.  In the second paragraph you … Continue reading

Teaching: Not When and Where but What and How

When discussing teaching in the teaching paragraph of your letter, one of the temptations is to tell a chronological tale of how you taught as an adjunct here and an adjunct there, and taught this class in Fall 2012 and … Continue reading

Why You Don’t Need ExtenZe®

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. What I am actually here to speak about today is why you don’t need “extends.” What is “extends”? “Extends” is what practically every single one of you says that your research does. You either say that … Continue reading

The Six Ways You’re Acting Like a Grad Student (And how that’s killing you on the job market)

For the next few months I will be posting the “best of the best” Professor is in blog posts on the job market, for the benefit of all those girding their loins for the 2013-2014 market. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Today we have … Continue reading

How To Identify Yourself as a Diversity Hire

One of the most important things a job document can do is communicate an applicant’s status with regard to diversity hiring. If you qualify as a diversity hire, you must make sure the committee knows it. But how does one … Continue reading

Nobody Cares What You’re Interested In

One very common error that writers of job documents make is going on and on about what they are interested in. It’s often quite a writing tic. “I am interested in…. and I am particularly interested in…and a topic of … Continue reading

Gerund Addiction and Word Repetition–Two More Scourges

Faithful readers know that I have several posts on different kinds of writing tics that plague many academic writers.  These include list addiction, dyad addiction, and cheap adjectives. There are two more writing tics that I’ve come to identify: gerund … Continue reading