On this page:
Compile your materials CV, writing samples, research information; well in advance
of application deadlines so that you have adequate time to make necessary revisions.
If the institutions you're interested in interview at large annual conferences,
be sure to note these dates in advance.
Students who have not completed their dissertations are urged to consult their departments
to determine the best time to begin their academic search. Completion of your dissertation
before applying for academic posts is generally the best plan.
Assessing Your Career Options
Before you begin your academic work search, you need to have a good sense of your
skills and credentials. This assessment of your skills will give you an idea of
what you have to offer an employer, and assist you in marketing yourself more effectively.
You may realize that there are some skills that academic institutions are looking
for that you do not have. You may need to take a course, submit some papers, present
at a conference or find some other method of gaining this experience. Consider speaking
with a career counsellor or departmental advisor for
further suggestions or assistance.
You will also need to take the time to assess your own needs to focus your search.
You may need to be somewhat flexible, especially if there are limited opportunities
for work in your particular field. Some questions to ponder about where you would
like to live and work:
- Would you prefer an urban, suburban, or rural environment?
- What sort of institution appeals to you?
- Could you work at an institution that only had undergraduate levels or a community
For more insight into academic career options (and non-academic options), consult
Masters and Doctoral student page.
Getting Help With the Search
For assistance with the academic work search, book an appointment with a career
counsellor at the Career Centre. After an initial consultation, you can bring in
your CV to be proofread and critiqued. You can also seek advice from a departmental
advisor, and check to see if your department has resources that can assist your
search—many offer seminars on preparing CV’s, compiling teaching dossiers and preparing
Where do I Look?
Once you know what you are looking for, you can begin your search. Here are several
avenues to pursue for leads:
Journals and newsletters
Most disciplines have a few widely-read journals— advertisements often appear in
their pages. Ask your department if you are unsure which journals to read. In addition
to discipline specific journals, be sure to check these general journals regularly:
Additional job listings
These popular job listing sites can be used to identify additional opportunities
in many disciplines, at home and abroad:
Departments and faculty
Many departments use listserv’s and notifications to inform their students of postings
at other schools. Supervisors or other faculty in your department can also be invaluable
resources since they can inform you of openings at other universities that they
have heard about through colleagues. Spread word of your search throughout your
department and make sure to avail yourself of other networking opportunities such
as attending conferences.
Joining an academic association is a great way to network, and usually access additional
job listing services. Use the Associations Canada directory to identify relevant
organizations (available in the Career Resource Library).
To identify which schools offer programs in your area of expertise, use directories
such as the Directory of Canadian Universities and Peterson’s Graduate Programs
(both available in the Career Resource Library). You can then follow up with the
individual departments regarding potential opportunities.
Getting Ready to Apply?
When considering work opportunities, take the time to research the institution and
the department. This not only gives you an idea of whether you would be suited to
work there, but it will also arm you with some background knowledge to help you
write your application and prepare for an interview. For further assistance on interviews
and applications, read the CV and Academic Interview & Job Talk
guides in My Career.