Friday, July 20, 2012

Faculty Job Talks - Key Mistakes

Very good link with respect to faculty job talks: One of the interesting quotes from the article:
I think many faculty members view job talks the way I do: I am giddy whenever I go to one. I'm high on the ether of potential, the magic I saw in your letter of introduction, your vitae, the fascinating things you've done and the promise of what you might do. I'm already rehearsing the negotiations I'll need to have with the dean to get resources for you. So when it's time for you to give your job talk, don't let me down.
I would concur largely with this sentiment. Once we get you to campus through the myriad of the hundreds of other applicants, we feel your scholarship is more than enough to make the cut. I am excited to hear your job talk as this is the work that you have been passionate about for the last N years. It gives me a chance to hear about new, exciting work and hopefully find a great new colleague to collaborate with. But, although I am predisposed to be optimistic about your job talk, a bad one is devastating to your job chances. Not only does it make the job of the faculty member who might support you harder (and certainly the chair's job harder), I have found more often than not that the job talk is a fairly good predictor of future success as a faculty member. Not perfect in that good presentations can sometimes slip through but I have seen a middling talk fairly consistently be a predictor of problems when it comes to promotion / renewal. All in all, just remember that we want to like you. We really, really do. But as the original author stated, just don't let us down.

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