Job Tracking - the First Post

[Edited 9/15: added tracking on where the job posting came from]

As promised, this year as I hit the job market, I'm going to start tracking some of the information and posting it here. I'd intended to use a widget to do this, but as I've discussed the idea with various folks online and off, doing it that would've resulted in some losses . First, because of how much information I wanted to convey, even if I redesigned the blog, it was going to require a microscope to read. Second, it didn't seem like it really would be taking advantage of having a blog if I didn't allow for the possibility to discuss it. And third, I anticipate what I want to track changing, and I didn't want to have to wrestle with widgets or Google gadgets any more than necessary. This way, it's not at all necessary.

So, that said, the new plan is to post semi-regularly (I'm shooting for weekly, but let's be realistic here) the status of the job search tracking some various key points. Today's will be the first of those posts. To help out, I'll give each of those posts the "Job Tracking" title opening, and I'll make sure to link back to the previous post (though probably not posts). I tend to do job applications on Fridays or the weekend*, so that's when the posts are most likely to appear.

One of the goals is to help track expense on this, and so there are a few things you should know, as I do this. First, I'm using Interfolio to send letters of recommendation. That cost is figured in. I'm going to try also to break down the number of requests for particular types of information, and if there is something in particular you'd like to see tracked, let me know (the earlier the better), and I'll try to add it to the list I'm keeping.
Total # of academic jobs applied for/# of jobs identified: 2/10
Total # of non-academic jobs applied for/# of jobs identified 0/0
Total spent in U.S. dollars on applications: $26.17
Average cost in U.S. dollars per applications: $13.09
Total spent in U.S. dollars on travel, etc: $0
Total amount in U.S. dollars reimbursed: $0
The Chronicle of Higher Ed: 2
Other online service (listserv, etc): 7
Personal Research: 1
Total weight in pounds of application packets: 3.1
Total number of recommendation letters requested: 3
Total number of requests for references: 1
Total number of "proof of teaching excellence" packs : 0
Total number of requests for Teaching Philosophy 0
Total number of research packs: 0
Total number of transcripts requested: 0
Total number of acknowledgments of receipt: 0
Total number of confirmed reference contacts: 0
Total number of phone interviews: 0
Total number of conference interviews: 0
Total number of on-campus interviews: 0
Total number of offers: 0
Total number of rejection letters: 0
There are a few things to note, already. Part of why the cost is so high is that Interfolio requires a subscription fee - in my case, I opted for the $15 one year subscription (that I believe is about to go up so if you're going to subscribe, do it now). For a first class mailing of (I believe) 20 pages or less, Interfolio currently charges $5.

As for the breakdown of what I'm tracking, a few other details are worth defining. In the "Proof of Teaching Excellence," I'm counting anything that asks for evals, syllabi, or peer evaluation. In the "Research Packs" category, I'm counting any requests for a statement of research interest or for samples of research/publications. And the "Requests for References" covers any request that asks for references but not for letters. In my field, I've never been asked for reference letters later in the process - they seem to either want them right up front or are content with trying to contact folks themselves, though I've heard it argued that asking for letters once you've reviewed initial packets would be a good idea.

What else can I tell you?

* This is probably typical for most academics. In part, it's when my schedule becomes most my own, but it also means I can work in my office and print things without any fear - largely unjustified but still palpable - that someone will find me working on job applications and freak out on me either because I'm working on job applications or because I'm doing so using some sort of university resource (like the printer).


4 Responses to “Job Tracking - the First Post”
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adjunct whore said...

maybe i missed it or misread but did you say you're applying to 2/10 positions?

are you trying to get to a particular place or make a lateral move or only move if it is a better job?

just curious.

September 15, 2008 at 9:43 PM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

Curious is good for this. Otherwise it becomes just an exercise. I'm hoping that tracking this stuff will be useful somehow, so fire away with all the questions that come to mind.

What the 2/10 means is that I've found 10 jobs so far I want to apply for, and I've completed two of the applications.

I'd like to get to some particular areas, but the impetus is really that I'm not happy where I'm living (though I like my department), and so I'm applying a bit more widely in hopes that either I'll get to one of those areas or that I'll at least have some options that aren't the dream spots but that suit me better than here.

September 15, 2008 at 10:31 PM
adjunct whore said...

thanks for clarifying....i'll will send warm thoughts of hope and cheer your way. it sounds as if you're going on the market in the best way: want to move but don't have specific requirements, not partnered/kidded....this kind of flexability makes it slightly (maybe only a little?) less stressful.

plus, you have a job.

good luck! will read your job posts regularly.

September 16, 2008 at 9:52 AM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

Having a job definitely makes the job market easier to deal with. It's funny, though, because I can't remember the last time I wasn't on the job market.

I've got my fingers crossed for your search, too. Jobs will come.

September 16, 2008 at 7:41 PM