Job Market

The job market is stressful and it is long. The key is to plan, keep good records, and start to prepare well in advance. Think long and hard before you spend a lot of time or any time on the academic job market wikis because the information is not 100% reliable and can for many increase stress. Like the search itself, it’s a personal decision on how much information you may need or want.

Following are a number of resources that we’ve gathered together to give you some help, starting places, and insights into the job market. With all advice, it’s simply there to guide you. You need to trust yourself and your mentors in preparing your materials for the job market. Also remember, that different kinds of institutions have different requirements and expectations. Ask specific questions if you are unsure of what to do. It’s also a good idea to have someone outside of your institution and/or your area read your materials.

Remember that we have a @Slack channel that is devoted to answering questions and providing support. If you need a reader of your materials, this is the best place to ask for someone’s help or you can email any of the steering committee. If you need access to @Slack or more specifically to the job market channel, please email Lisa or Liza.

And if you have a resource that is can’t miss, please let Lisa know so she can add it to this page.

ATTW Job Market booklet

Here is the booklet that Richard Johnson-Sheehan created for the first ATTW Grad Student Career Workshop in 2010. Since then, Lisa Meloncon has helped to add  updates and iterations with the latest editorial contributions and additions by Greg Wickliff (UNCC) and Lora Arduser (UC). It’ll be updated for the 2017 conference, but it’s a great resource to help you think through things.

The first page lays out the timelines for the job market that have, unfortunately, shifted in recent years making it a little more difficult to “do” the market.

Locate Jobs

In technical and professional communication and rhetoric and composition, the vast majority of jobs can be found at

Modern Language Association Job Information List (MLA JIL):

The MLA Job Information List still remains the go-to destination for job seekers in technical and professional communication. You should search for jobs under both “technical and business writing” and “composition and rhetoric.” Some schools will put their jobs in one place and others will only list in one. There are also categories for digital humanities and others that may apply to your specialty area so be certain to search under each category that may apply to you.

The Chronicle of Higher Education:

You also need to keep your eye on the main list-servs:

WPA: subscription information

ATTW: subscription information

CPTSC: subscription information

If you’re geographically bound, you may want to go directly to the website of the institution’s that are in the geographic area.

If you cross borders into communication, you should visit the National Communication Association’s job information.

Cover Letter

Every person on every committee is going to read your cover letter closely. (and your CV). So it’s important that you put time and energy into it.
What is particularly useful here is the connection between the cover letter and the job ad. While job ads are a rhetorical construction written by a committee with competing interests (sometimes), they still indicate some of the big requirements for the job. Talking about how you have them or can get them is important. Then the next step is showing how what you know can apply to that institution.
Advice from Cheryl Ball
General advice that underscores the moves that need to be made.

More general advice that hits on some important high points.

Teaching and Research Statements

from cheryl Ball on writing research statements

See below on Pat’s page. She has additional resources.

Diversity Statements

Diversity Statements (*.pptx opens in a new window) created by Pat Sullivan, Purdue University — has some questions in the middle of the page that are particularly useful in thinking through how to approach this document

Demystifying the diversity statement:
This article gives some good insights into ways to make your diversity statement “show what you will being to the university in terms of diversity and inclusive excellence.”

Skype or Online interviews

There is a section in the ATTW booklet above on skype interviews, but here is more information because more schools are moving to doing Skype (or some other technological medium) to conduct first round interviews. There is no way to make this procedure really comfortable so you really need to prepare and think through logistics.

Skype orientation (5:47)–excellent on the details that help shape your presentation:,32068,46937715001_1933401,00.html

Skype tips for interviewees (12-14 slides) overlaps some with video


Salary data

See Arizona’s surveys for the AAU here:

NCES statistics page search for the rank (assistant professor salary)

Chronicle also has a database

Negotiating for women

From Arizona more info on negotiations:

Dual Career

Research Report from Stanford on dual career couples

More information on the “two-body” problem from Jonathan Sterne, a communication professor at McGill University