Each year, faculty members appointed to the department’s Job Placement Committee assist students with the current academic job search. Each student seeking a job is assigned to an individual placement supervisor from the committee who will oversee the student’s search.
Early in the fall quarter of each year, before the Modern Language Association job list is published with its announcement of academic openings for the following year, and again in the spring quarter, the Placement Committee will call a meeting of all interested students, those completing the PhD as well as those looking ahead to the time when they will be entering the scholarly marketplace. Subjects for discussion will include the drafting of a curriculum vitae and cover letter (what to include? what to stress?), the preparation of a dossier (when to begin? from whom to seek letters of recommendation?), strategies for job interviews (what questions to expect? common pitfalls?), how to determine what samples of work to send upon request (dissertation chapter? published offprint?), and how to make use of possible faculty contacts at other universities. Advice about the preparation and circulation of manuscripts will be shared at these meetings as well as advice about the submission of papers to be read at scholarly conferences.
In the spring quarter, students expecting to be on the job market in the following year should begin soliciting letters of recommendation from faculty in the English Department and the Writing Program. Also, a class visit by the student’s thesis supervisor (or another person in their field) should be arranged, so that the supervisor can write a detailed account about the student’s ability to teach material as close to his/her area of specialization as possible. The dossier should include three or more letters from specialists in their academic discipline and one or more letters discussing the applicant’s pedagogy and teaching experience.
Several meetings are held in the fall quarter to cover application materials and interview techniques; students also have the opportunity to participate in a mock interview with faculty prior to the MLA convention.
Enrolled graduate students at UCSB are eligible for a wide variety of personal and career-related services at the Counseling and Career Services Center (Bldg. 599). Personal appointments may be scheduled with counselors at the Center to discuss topics such as vita writing, interviewing, job search strategies, and alternative careers for PhD’s. Graduate students may also establish an “educational reference file” or placement file at the Center or stop by to review the job vacancy listings, employer directories and career literature available in the Resources Room.