The job market is a procedure that every PhD candidate will have to go through if they aim to stay in academia. The markets may differ from field to field in terms of demand and supply, but in general they share similar steps. Let me use the Accounting Job Market as an example:
- First, you get your application package (working papers, CV and reference letters) ready.
- Second you go out and attend the job market workshops (in accounting there will be the Madrid Talent Workshop (mostly EU schools) in November and the Miami Rookies Camp (international schools) in December).
- Third, you get some interviews during the job workshops (most likely 30 min per interview).
- Fourth, schools will invite you for a campus visit after the interviews (we call it “fly-outs”, normally last for 1-2 days).
- And the last step is receiving and accepting offers.
What / how to prepare for the job market
- Be aware of the deadlines of the job market workshops and the application deadlines for Schools.
- Use an excel sheet to list the schools and status of all your applications is highly recommended
2. Do your own research on the schools that you are really interested in.
- Get to know the about course design, which course you might be able to teach and contribute.
- Know about the faculty members, especially those who you can potentially collaborate with.
3. Practice your job market paper presentation as many times as you can. Also do a mock presentation with your own faculty members and ask for their comments and suggestions. You are going to use this 15 minutes presentation to win interviews and fly-outs from people who don’t even know you. Believe me, you don’t want to screw things up.
During the job market workshops & fly-outs
- During the job market workshop, you can talk to the school representatives even though they don’t schedule an interview slot with you. Just approach them during receptions or coffee breaks. Do not be shy, these talks are likely to earn you a fly-out later.
- During the campus visits or even for workshop interviews, make sure that you go over all the profile of the faculty members, it is even better that you know how they look like so that you can directly refer them by names the first time you meet them.
- Be honest, be confident, be nice, and be willing to hear.
- Be honest about everything that you are going to say, there is no benefits of hiding or lying about something (at least from my opinion).
- Be confident about yourself, including your working papers, your research ability and your teaching skills.
- Be nice to the people that you are talking with. Remember the schools are looking for future colleagues to work with, so please make sure that you earn a good impression as a colleague.
- Be willing to hear what the schools want. Give the school representatives some time to introduce their school, their department or their future plans.
From my experience, the job market is also a big social event where you meet a lot of peers. I would highly recommend candidates to build a network with the other candidates so that you can share some information or news with each other no matter it is good or bad. Do have the faith in yourself that you will definitely find something in the end. So, best luck of getting the PhD done and becoming a Professor.