Academic Job Resources

The Grad Success Center has an ICON course of curated resources available to University of Iowa Graduate Students and Postdocs. Click below to access the course.

The Professor is In

Check out the digital copy of Dr. Karen Kelsky's The Professor is In, a book on navigating the academic job market, through the University of Iowa Libraries. 

Live Online Office Hours

Got a quick question about your academic job materials? Drop in for our online office hours and get answers! Note that you'll need to log in with your HawkID and password.

Searching for Academic Jobs

Pursuing a tenure-track of teaching-track faculty position is challenging. The process of applying for these positions can be long and involve developing a significant number of professional documents. The declining number of available academic positions has also been a significant obstacle in many disciplines.

The good news is that there is support for you and your academic job search here at the University of Iowa. In addition to support from faculty mentors, the Graduate College’s Grad Success Center also helps students who are going through the process of finding and applying for academic jobs at every stage from developing and drafting materials to interviewing and negotiations.

If you’re embarking upon the academic job market this fall, there are a couple of tips that can help you to manage the process and make it a little bit less stressful.

Automate Your Search—Searching for jobs can be both time consuming and stressful. Save a little of both by creating job agents on sites like HigherEdJobs or your disciplines job board. Define the criteria for your search and get potential jobs sent to you on a daily or weekly basis. Learn more about how to create job agents and streamline your search in this short webinar.

Align Investment with Priorities—Crafting strong materials necessarily involves multiple rounds of revision and refining your materials. While many job documents can be relatively static, some—particularly the cover letter—require more tailoring. To help manage this process of customizing materials for specific positions, it can be helpful to sort potential jobs into low, medium, and high priority categories. The high priority ones can be jobs that are both a good fit for your background and about which you are really excited while those in the medium and low categories can be positions that are perhaps less of a fit or which don’t pique your interest as much. You can then spend most of your time working on the positions that are your highest priority to ensure that you are matching your effort and time commitment with your interest in for and alignment with each position.

Situate Yourself as Potential Colleague—One of the keys to a successful application is to help those reviewing the application to see you as a potential junior colleague rather than as a student. To do this, use language that reflects your status as a scholar, teacher, and advocate, rather than as a student. While you always want to make sure that you are accurately portraying your experiences, if you are doing research and completing a dissertation, you are a scholar and if you teach courses or lead discussion sections, you are a teacher. Don’t be afraid to claim those identities and use language and descriptions that reflect the level of responsibility and expertise that you have garnered in those roles.

There are a lot of strategies in addition to these that can be helpful on the academic job market. We’ve compiled many of them in the free ICON course that you can join by clicking on the button to the left.

Finally, the Grad Success Center also offers individual consultations and career materials reviews. Feel free to book an appointment with us to talk more about your materials or the academic jobs process and good luck this fall!