May 26th, 2015
What should I do over the summer to prepare for the academic job market in the fall?
Ideally, you should have started preparations in the spring if you plan to go on the job market this fall. So you’ll have to play a bit of catchup. In the next few months, you should aim to solidify all of the elements of your record that you can. That includes your dissertation if you are still A.B.D., as well as your publications, teaching, conferences, and references. Perhaps you might even do some initial research toward new projects.
If you are applying as an A.B.D. candidate, you will want to enter the academic job market this fall with your dissertation well on the way to completion, and with a defense date scheduled. You must be able to show that you will — beyond the shadow of a doubt — complete, defend, and deposit the dissertation by next spring. A more than half-written manuscript and a defense date will go far in establishing your credibility. So use these months to lay the groundwork for that outcome.