The Job Hunt

Now that I’m back in College Station, it’s time to start getting applications ready for the great job search. I don’t know how it is in other fields, but in math/physics, this generally involves three to four letters of recommendation, a CV, a research statement, sometimes a teaching statement and maybe an annotated bibliography. In high energy physics, we have the Theoretical Particle Physics Job Rumor Mill run by the now nonymous John Terning. In addition to listing offers and educated guesses at short lists, it also serves as a nice clearinghouse of positions. SPIRES, the APS, Physics Today and I’m sure many others offer job listings, too.

This is one situation where the math world definitely has the physics world beat, however. The AMS runs a site called MathJobs which is completely brilliant. There’s a searchable database of jobs which I’ve configured to send me newly listed relevant offers daily. You can upload all the relevant documentation, and it will automatically send an e-mail to your recommenders so that they can upload their letters. The application then becomes a simple matter of ensuring that the relevant files are available and clicking away. It’s easy, efficient, and it saves countless manila envelopes.

I don’t know if any other academic fields do this right now, but I bet they all will in a few years. I hear rumors high energy physics postdocs may implement such a system in the nearish future.