Academic Job Hiring Process

Going on the academic job market? Find out what to expect when you do. Resources below include an overview from U-M's Career Center, as well as links that provide details on the steps of a typical search and offer strategies for success at each one.

When to go on the academic job market
Job announcement
Submission of materials
  • Prospective employers will ask for a cover letter and c.v. at a minimum. They may also request any number of additional materials: e.g., a teaching philosophy statement, a teaching portfolio, sample syllabi, a writing sample.
  • Second round of requests: Often, a subset of candidates will be asked for additional materials: e.g., a dossier of letters of recommendation, a (second) writing sample, fuller teaching materials.
  • Resource: Preparing your job materials
Review of materials by search committee
Initial interviews
  • Depending on an institution’s budget, schedule, and hiring process, these can take several forms. Some begin with videoconferencing or a telephone screening interview. Many hold initial interviews at a national professional meeting -- often in hotel rooms, or in a large ballroom containing many small tables. These generally last 30-45 minutes.
  • Often invitations for these interviews will come only a short time before the scheduled meeting because the committee’s review of materials and deliberations can take considerable time.
On-campus interviews
  • This will generally last one or two days, including lots of meetings and meals with faculty, administrators, and possibly students as well as public presentations.
  • Depending on the institution and position, candidates may be asked to offer a research talk, a sample class, a presentation about teaching, or some combination of these.
Selection process
Job offers and negotiation
Start your new job
Icons assembled from images at, and Wikimedia Commons.