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Faculty hiring 2020 is coming. Yes there will be TT jobs available. Yes there will be many fewer than last year. Should you apply this year? Wait it out? Give up altogether? A few thoughts (1/n) #AcademicChatter #phdchat
Now more than ever you need your mentors to help you make this decision. Your PI, PhD committee, other trusted faculty are all great resources but even more - they can put you in contact with dept heads and chairs who can give you more insight. (2/n)
Take stock of your personal life and determine if you can wait a year or if you need to give it a try. Bring that info and your CV to multiple mentors and ask for candid feedback about your preparedness. Also bring a 1 slide overview of your proposed research program (3/n)
(hint: it is almost August. If you don't have the ability to put together a 1 slide overview of where you want to go as a future PI, you may need more time to get ready) IMHO, aspiring TT faculty members should regularly be researching and visualizing their future research (4/n)
Ask for opinions on the extent of job availability in your field. In ChemE, I think we will see a 2/3 loss of TT job postings YOY - but last year was a bumper crop. Finding a job can years (I went on market 3x), so I see a lot of upside to applying even in a down year (5/n)
The real thing to weigh right now is the opportunity cost of preparing an application in a down year vs. the benefits of applying. A credible package + the time to apply to your slate of open jobs could take a month of your time (less if you already have some materials done)(6/n)
Practically speaking, what would you do w/the time if you weren't applying for jobs this year? Are you on the cusp of finishing a huge project that will elevate your CV? Lots of examples, but the point is to look at your time as a finite resource and be smart with it (7/n)
Be smart, be deliberate, make your decision soon and don't look back. Regret earns you nothing but bitterness.

Couple more tweets in thread on job applications this year (8/n)
You should devote careful thought to how you want to make an impact in DEI and building a culture of anti-racism within your discipline. Write a DEI statement and submit it even if the department doesn't ask for it. Briefly plan to talk about your plans at your interview (9/n)
Use contemporary events to support your research plan but avoid appearing opportunistic and/or lacking credibility. You are unlikely to cure COVID during your 1st three years on TT, so if you want to work on the pandemic be realistic and show a long term vision (10/n)
We are hiring you for a 30 year career, not to address an urgent societal need immediately. Teaching statements: you should come prepared to talk about online teaching and have ideas about remote learning in addition to traditional teaching statement fare (11/n)
Interviews: interview season is going to be wild. One month out from when your discipline starts interviewing, make a plan for how you will do interviews, access to quiet office space and reliable broadband is critical. (12/n)
There are so many unknowns and so much regional variance in community spread that you need to basically prepare for every possibility. We haven't yet started thinking about this in our unit, and I think it will be some time before we can. (13/n)
Final thoughts: being a professor is a rewarding, awesome job. We need more great people like you who want to do it. The job isn't for everyone, but remember it is not a permanent contract - if you don't like it you can always leave. Work hard and good luck! (14/14)
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