Need help preparing to land an academic position? If you missed our webinar, The Guerilla Job Market (April 2022), here’s a great tip and worksheet created by Dick Powis, medical anthropologist and Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, on how students and early scholars can prepare a strategy for the job market and build a network of peers to turn to for help.
This is a job application worksheet that I developed to help me write job materials for positions that I apply to. My philosophy is twofold: first, it helps me locate the keywords and ideas in job ads that I’ll want to repeat in the letter itself. For instance, an ad may say “We seek a candidate who can teach Anthropology of Reproductive Health,” and so I’ll add that to the worksheet, so that when I’m writing my letter, I can remind myself to mention, “I have developed and taught a course on the Anthropology of Reproductive Health.” The second reason for developing this worksheet is to make space for the things I may want to mention in my job materials which are not asked for explicitly. The ad may ask me to give a statement about research. In my research, community partnerships are important, so I’ll need to look around for the local community organizations to whom I could possibly reach out. I can note these organizations in the worksheet so that when I write my materials, I can demonstrate that I’ve done some legwork to explore a research agenda in the region of the institution. Once I’ve completed the worksheet, I can begin crafting my letter around this information. In my case, I have already drafted many versions of this letter, and so I can simply replace certain words and re-order or re-prioritize the things that I want to emphasize for each specific job. It is important to note that one may not use all of the information they record in the worksheet, but it would still be important information to have on hand should you move to the phone/Zoom interview phase or beyond.