A recent post in the Careers Advice section of the Inside Higher Ed website offers more tips on getting an academic job.
The post is written by an experienced academic job-hunter, Thomas Wright, and covers some of the mistakes that he’s learned from. Although Wright is talking from a US perspective, his comments are relevant to those looking for an academic job in an increasingly competitive UK market too. Some of them are common-sense (but yes, people really do forget to change the University/company name in the cover letters that they have recycled from previous applications) but others are worth noting. For instance, the author suggests that you should never be self-deprecating about your work, even in a light-hearted way: “You would never say, “My research stinks,” in a research statement or interview, but making a dismissive comment about your research in a talk (I’ve seen it happen), saying something particularly self-deprecating to colleagues at a conference, or putting an unflattering comment about yourself on your website can be just as bad. If you are on the market, you are a salesman for yourself at all times.”
To read all of the tips, go to: http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2010/10/27/wright