As Mr. Halliday is the placement director for our department, he is here to help you navigate the academic job search process. Many of you he knows, others he hopes to get to know soon.
We begin with a meeting together: 1:30 p.m., Friday, September 17. This will take place in the grad student lounge/study room: Nau 396. Students who will not be on the job market this year, but are curious about the basics, are quite welcome to attend
At this meeting, I will discuss the job application calendar and the things others in the department and I can do to help you. I will also try to answer your questions.
If you would, please send me an email message telling me:
a) whether you plan to be on the job market this year, and would like my help (whether or not you are now in C'ville);
b) whether you plan to attend the meeting; and
c) your stage (ABD—with likely time to completion—or degree in hand; if the latter, please state your current job situation, including number of years on the market).
We have a section devoted to job placement on our department web pages: http://www.virginia.edu/history/graduate/placement. You must be logged in to use this portion of the site (the department page login is by Netbadge: please see Loren if you have questions about this). This section has useful information about the job search process and links to other resources. The OAH, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and other places contain useful advice and information. The AHA site is especially good: http://www.historians.org/grads/JobMarket.cfm. Some of you may also be familiar with the Academic Jobs Wiki, which is better for gossip and griping than good advice: http://academicjobs.wikia.com/wiki/History_2010-2011. H-Net’s Job Guide and the AHA’s Perspectives and its website are probably the two most important sources for advertisements of job openings.
If you have not done so already, you should begin immediately to draft the elements most application packages contain: a cover letter, your c.v., and separate statements on your teaching and your research. These statements should be brief (1-2 pages, single-spaced, though adding a space between paragraphs for readability).
Commenting on your letter and c.v. is probably the most important thing I can do to help you. I cannot overemphasize how important a good letter is for your search. You should write and re-write it many times, always looking for ways to tighten it while giving the statement of your work’s significance greater force. You should ask your adviser to comment on one or more versions. I will do so, too. I will have more to say about this in our meeting. I will also discuss mock interviewing and job talks, among other topics. I look forward to seeing you then.
Finally, if you know a graduate student or recent graduate who has not received this message but intends to be on the job market, please let her or him know about this meeting. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.