are you writing a tenure-track job application? (archived from LabSpaces)

originally posted 22 Nov 2010

I’ve been pretty busy this last week, mostly because I have spent a LOT of time reading job applications for the TT postion in my dept. I’m probably getting more sleep than Dr. O, but still. This has kept me from having time to come up with anything reasonable to post*. So, for your enjoyment, and because I can’t help myself, I have compiled a list of some things that have stuck in my head from all this application-reading. Consider it an extra addendum to Odyssey’s excellent advice on how to stand out in a pile of applicants (with a slightly more rant-y tone). My brain is a little too bruised and exhausted from the workout this past week to write coherent paragraphs. So, I am going to do this bullet-list syle.


  • Research statements less than 3 pages long. Trust me, your work is not so complicated that it requires 8 pg of single-space type to get the point across. All the best applications I have seen are ~2 pages.
  • white space
  • Links to pubmed abstracts of publications in the CV pdf. So handy!
  • Summary paragraph at the front of the statement.
  • reverse chronological order
  • judicious and logical use of bold


  • Two (or more) separate research plans. Choose one already!
  • A table of contents for your application. Why are you trying to crush my spirit?
  • Publications listed at the very end of the CV (or separate from the CV). Srsly, put the things I care about most first. For a basic bio/medical position like my dept., I want to know about publications and funding. There are no official rules about what has to be in here or in what order so use the space to put your best foot forward.
  • every other sentence in bold or italics.
  • unformatted CV. Are you even trying?
  • CV at the end of the 50 pg application.
  • comic sans for labels of figures in research statement. Really!??
  • cover letters that mention how you fit so well with the dept., then list examples from outside the dept. or school.



*If you don’t think this is reasonable, well…I guess I don’t care. If you want, drop me an email/comment with a “reasonable” idea. If CPP can ask for topic suggestions, maybe I can too?


About gerty-z

scientist, mom, runner, beverage lover
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1 Response to are you writing a tenure-track job application? (archived from LabSpaces)

  1. Reshmi says:

    Thanks for posting this! I am saving this for my future
    reference. Keep up the good work. 🙂

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