I won't give you boring details of how you should format your CV, there's enough resources out there that give you much better advise than I ever could, instead I will tell you what you can and should do during graduate school, to generate the content for your CV and statements.
Please keep in mind that I was specifically looking for post doctoral research positions in mathematical biology. If you want to land a teaching or tenure position, some rules might be different.
Job Application Timeline
- Academic Jobs beginning fall 2011 (June – September)
- Deadlines for postdocs: as early as November 2010
- Asked for letters: September 2010
- CV, Research Statement, Preprint/publications/thesis
- Draft of Research Statement August/September 2010
- CV: first version in 2008, career services, periodically updated
- Jobs are advertised on https://www.mathjobs.org/
- Discussed everything with my advisor, proof-read by advisor, several friends proof-read my statements, department head, career services
- Compared CV and statements to those of other mathematicians
- Through http://mathjobs.org
- Cover letter
- Name of position and school
- find department head’s name
- Possible collaborations/groups, i.e. Mathematical Biology, Symbolic Computation
- Mention possible collaboration in research statement
- Mention possible new curriculum/teaching methods/undergraduate research in teaching statement
- 1-3 hours per application
- ~30 applications
- 5-10 applications to specific research positions not in Academia:
- Research Hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, Microsoft Research, Cancer Systems Biology Group
- Application directly to senior researcher
- Talk to your advisor (and other faculty) about your goals
- Participate in conferences and workshops
- Explore local options
- SIAM seminar
- Department Math Seminars, Physics seminar, Graduate student speaker series, Symposium, … (read all announcement emails!)
- Workshops (NSF math institutes)
- Poster presentations
- Leadership role (SIAM, SGTA, student organization, organize a seminar…)
- Letters of recommendation
- 2-3 research letters, 1 teaching letter
- Knows you and your work in detail
- Well known
- Your advisor can suggest letter writers!
- “Show, don’t tell”
I’m the best teacher in the world.
- My section scored highest, best rating on evaluations, …
- What have you accomplished that distinguishes you from other teachers?
- Teaching large/higher-level course?
- Anything that’s not standard curriculum (Mathematica)?
- Review sessions/material for all sections?
- Tutoring? Volunteering with high school events/girls’ math day/Kids’ Tech University?
- Do something special now, so you can write about it, when you apply
- Tell GTA supervisor about your career goal, he/she might have “special tasks” for you
- Special course to teach
- Special leadership roles as senior TA
- Be a good colleague
- Be on time, be prepared
- Participate in department events (Visitors’ day, peer mentoring, …)
- Be friendly and helpful to your fellow colleagues (share notes, offer to substitute, …)
- (especially in a small department) you are hired as a team member, not a 9-5 teacher
- Have a goal, know what’s necessary to accomplish it, work towards that goal
- Take any help you can get, don’t be afraid to ask
- Good Luck!
I hope this article makes you start thinking about your CV before you actually have to write one!