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SGSI 2024: Jumpstart Your Academic Job Search

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Monday, Sept. 9 – Friday Sept. 13, 9 AM - 5 PM

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, the job talk and, research, diversity, and teaching statements. Experts from across Stanford will present. An interdisciplinary class of peers will support you.


  • Chris Golde, PhD, assistant director of Career Communities–PhDs & Postdocs, Stanford Career Education
  • Arne Bakker, PhD, director of Meetings and Community for Science, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Audience & Capacity

Open to advanced doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars entering the faculty job market during 2024-25. Space limited to 66.


By participating 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 to 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 2024-25 academic year. Please indicate your plans in your application.

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, including CVs, cover letters, teaching statements, diversity statements, and research statements.
  • Verbal parts of an application including job talks and teaching demonstrations. We will practice interviewing.
  • Negotiating terms of a job offer.
  • Tools for managing stress.
  • 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:

"A must take course if you are applying for an academic job. Will help you get insights about the job search process, writing the materials and will help in brainstorming ideas for those materials. With the help of peers, you will get different perspectives and feedback too." -SGSI 2023 Participant

"Super informative, great way to meet friends during the stressful academic job search period." -SGSI 2022 Participant

"You get all the tools you need + personal advice + community." -SGSI 2022 Participant

"It's great! It shed light on all of the hidden curriculum around applying for academic jobs. The instructors are warm, direct, and super knowledgeable about the whole process. It is designed to help you feel more confident as you prepare and workshop your materials, prep for interviews, and think about negotiation. They teach the hard and soft skills -- everything from content and structure of written materials to the body language and intonation needed to exude confidence as you speak to hiring committees." -SGSI 2022 Participant

"This program is simply excellent. During my time at Stanford, I always encountered good courses that never fully took the condition of an international student into consideration. Jumpstart was the exact opposite: every session was helpful in terms of content, inclusive to various backgrounds, and had a lot of "practice as you learn" instances which made the knowledge we were learning look even more useful. I strongly recommend this to anyone." -SGSI 2020 Participant

"It's really helpful! I would recommend this course to EVERYONE who's on the job market for academia. Although most of the materials are available through the Canvas course, the practice part is irreplaceable! Especially the hiring panel, that provides so many insights! I would say it's a LOSS for those who don't attend. It just makes the job-hunting launch so much smoother!" -SGSI 2022 Participant

Additional Course Expectations

  • Students are encouraged to begin drafts of written materials in advance.
  • There is up an hour of pre-work for each day. This can be accomplished during open worktime at the end of the previous day, or at home.
  • Full attendance and engaged participation is expected.

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

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