An article at Chronicle Vitae by Karen Kelsky, “academic career coach at “The Professor is In.”
She enumerates “some of the many things that you can expect as a first-timer on the faculty market,” starting with:
- You can expect the competition to be fierce. In many fields you may find very, very few tenure-track openings for which you can apply. In certain humanities fields, the number of positions advertised over the course of the entire job cycle in 2015-16 may be in the single digits.
- You can expect to receive little or no acknowledgment of your applications from departments. You may well never be told that you have been removed from consideration.
- You can expect to depend on the Jobs Wiki for information on the progress of searches.
- You can expect to be Googled, once you make the long shortlist.
- You can expect to be competing against people with many years of teaching and publishing experience, including some tenure-track assistant professors. Some of them will have an advantage over you.
- You can expect to be competitive, even as a first timer (and/or as an A.B.D.), if you have an impressive record of sole/first-author peer-reviewed publishing and experience teaching on your own (as opposed to a TA gig). You will also need to have presented papers at major conferences and have excellent recommendation letters.