Application strategies and tips



Read the ad carefully.

But bear in mind that the ad does not always reflect the job selection criteria. The drafting of the job description is generally a collective enterprise. The Dean sometimes pushes for some language, the Chair of the Department may have something in mind, and the other members of the Department may want someone with a completely different profile.


If the description in the job ad does not match your qualifications, consider applying if you have some of the job requirements.


You can also contact (by email) the Chair of the Department and find out more about the position. You can even email other professors in the Department. This will give you a clearer idea of what they are actually looking for. If you teach and some of your former students are attending that university, e.g., at the graduate level, you can contact them. They will give you very valuable information. If not, you can try contacting some students, especially those in a student association or club close to your discipline. They will generally be happy to share some information with you.


Tailor-make your cover letter to the advertised position, and particularly, to the information you obtained.


Send the materials the Search Committee is asking for. If you have something exceptional, send it, even if it is not required.


Make sure you know what your references are going to say about you.



Donít annoy the members of the Search Committee with lots of questions. But if you have a legitimate question, it is absolutely OK to contact them.


If you get an invitation to interview, make sure you know what the interview will consist of. For example, if you have to give a teaching demonstration, ask how long it will be, who your audience will be, etc.



Research about the Department, the students, and the University. Read at least one article from each member of the Department, and as many as you can from those in your field or area of specialization. Contact students and anyone you know on campus. Try to get as much information as possible. It will be very helpful during your interview.


If possible, arrive a day or a few hours early. Try to check the campus, and even the room where you will be giving the talk and the teaching demonstration.