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SGSI 2020: Jumpstart Your Academic Job Search

Course Closed

Are you about to enter the job market for a faculty position? Get a jumpstart on preparing yourself and your application materials. This course is practical and experiential, involving practicing and editing. We will work on both written and oral parts of your job search preparation, including CVs, cover letters, research and teaching statements, and the job talk. Experts from across Stanford will present. An interdisciplinary class of peers will support you.

Monday, Aug. 31 – Friday, Sept. 4, 9 AM – 5 PM

*The hours per day that the course will meet (online) will be adjusted as the team adapts the course for virtual delivery.


  • Chris Golde, PhD, assistant director of Career Communities–PhDs & postdocs, BEAM, Stanford Career Education
  • Arne Bakker, PhD, manager of Scientific Meetings, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Audience & Capacity

Open to advanced doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars entering the faculty job market in 2020-21. Space is limited to 75.


By participating fully in this course, you will:

  • Understand the academic hiring and job search process
  • Start drafting your job application materials
  • Read job announcements and assess their fit with your values, skills, and career goals
  • Identify the steps you need to take after the class to enter the current academic job search cycle
  • Know Stanford's resources that can help you during your job search


This course is a systematic preview of all aspects of the faculty job search so that you will be well prepared to embark immediately. Participation is limited to those doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars planning to enter the job market (even in a limited way) during the 2020-21 academic year. Please indicate your plans in your application.

This course is highly experiential and workshop focused. The schedule includes these topics:

  • An overview of the job search process
  • The landscape of higher education in the US, including different types of colleges and universities, and how faculty work varies among them
  • Identifying job listings and assessing values and fit
  • Written parts of an application. Time will be spent drafting, editing and/or reviewing: CVs, cover letters, teaching statements, diversity statements, and research statements
  • Verbal parts of an application. We will practice interviews. We will share information about job talks and teaching demonstrations
  • Negotiating terms of a job offer
  • Tools for managing stress
  • Developing a plan for assembling a portfolio of materials and managing the logistics of the application process
  • Panel of faculty who have served on hiring committees
  • Panel of recent job seekers
  • Dedicated time for working on materials with coaching available

Past participants who took this course said the following about their experience:

Jumpstart was a huge lifesaver. I would have been floundering on my own. The resources are great, and the sessions on what to expect in the interview and negotiation are not found elsewhere. -SGSI 2015 Participant

I learned SO much about the job application process and I made huge progress in preparing my materials. This class was a game changer!! -SGSI 2017 Participant

It is a great chance to understand the process of a faculty job application. You'll learn all the pieces you need to put together and how to do so in order to be a successful applicant. -SGSI 2019 Participant

Jumpstart was one of the best 35-hour time investments in my graduate career. The teachers are a wealth of knowledge and the materials are a goldmine for helping with the job application process. -SGSI 2019 Participant

Additional Course Expectations

  • Students are encouraged to begin drafts of written materials (i.e. CV’s) in advance.
  • No work is required outside of class.
  • Full attendance is expected.

SUNet ID required to log in; all SGSI correspondence sent to your Stanford email account.

Resource Type: 
Course or Workshop
Target Audience: 
Doctoral Students, Postdoctoral Scholars
Time Commitment: 
Learning Experience: