ah, the job market

So I (along with many many other people) am looking for academic jobs this year. I wish I could say it felt like only yesterday that I was applying to grad school, but that would be somewhere between wishful thinking and outright mendacity.

Claire Kenyon has a post up at the Complexity Blog that (predictably) has come under some fire, although the comments thread seems to be dominated by a debate over how companies should conduct interviews of PhDs. I think it’s remarkably difficult to come up with universal specific recommendations for your application documents, because the requirements vary so much from university to university. Some ask for a combined research and teaching statement, or the page limits will vary from place to place. Even the delivery medium varies — some places ask you to upload a PDF cover letter (with no signature, I assume), some ask you to email your materials, and some ask you to mail a physical letter.

The one great thing about this process is that I am getting a better sense of how to contextualize my research in a way that gets me excited about new problems. If it wasn’t for the whole thesis writing thing, I’d have enough time to dig in to some of those problems…