Terry over at Small Pond Science recently argued that many PhDs weren’t exploiting the job market to its fullest, applying only for jobs that show up in Science, Nature, etc., and viewing other position as “below” their (self-perceived) standing. The comments section gave some other concrete examples of searches cancelled because of too few qualified candidates, or searches with only 5-6 candidates that would even be considered.
That’s not been my experience. As I wrote in the comments, I don’t think I’ve ever applied for a job advertised in Science or Nature because the job either shows up in one of my other searches, or it was obviously not a good fit.
I have a routine, and it’s been this way for the last 3ish years. I tend to do the job search rounds on Saturday mornings with my mug(s) of hot tea (or a whole pot – I know, living on the edge), and CBC Radio 2 in the background while everyone else is still asleep. After reading Terry’s post, I wondered about others’ search strategies. Like many other practical skills in academia, how to search for a job is rarely taught explicitly, and is something that we all sort of figure out on our own. No doubt, many of us have reinvented the wheel, and developed the same strategies (which we thought were ours, and ours alone).
So here’s mine. My search is tailored to what kind of job I want, and where I want to work. For example, I’m not seeking a position in the US, so I don’t check in on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s job listing (though when I did up until a few years ago, there were regularly 40-80 jobs listed each week in “biology”).
Probably my main source of academic job adverts are from two e-mail lists: University Affairs (daily), and jobs.ac.uk (weekly). More often than not, there’s nothing of interest, but for mainstream jobs at most Canadian (and British) universities, these are probably the most comprehensive.
My main Saturday Morning Job Search consists of just over 60 websites (as of last Saturday) that span the range from academic, government, non-profit, Canadian, and international. I’ve put the full list below. If there’s enough interest, and folks find it useful (and other readers have other sites that they check), I’d consider making it a separate page on the blog, so let me know in the comments, via Twitter, or e-mail.
There’s a few Canadian universities (those that I have an active interest in working at, for various personal and professional reasons; not to say that others aren’t on the radar, bit I catch them in other searches), federal and provincial government listings, a few international opportunities (mostly in Europe), and a smattering of non-profits, or those that cover non-traditional academic jobs (e.g., museums, zoos, academic publishing). There’s also the job board on the Ornithology Exchange (and the BirdJobs-L listserv), but since that tends to be, by and large, for US jobs, I don’t check them that often.
I started following the job market almost as soon as I started my PhD (in part because some postdoc jobs are advertised in these places), and I’ve been actively applying for jobs for almost 3 years now. I’m fairly confident that I’m not missing much for which I’d be both qualified and interested. Hopefully one of these days, something will work out.
Current Saturday Morning Job Search sites:
- Society for Conservation Biology (filtered for jobs in Canada)
Canadian Universities & Colleges
- Mount Allison University
- Acadia University
- Dalhousie University
- St. Francis Xavier University
- University of King’s College
- University of New Brunswick
- Memorial University of Newfoundland
- Concordia University
- McGill University
- Bishop’s University
- Western University
- University of Saskatchewan
- Campion College
- University of Regina
- University of Calgary
- Quest University
- University of Victoria
- University of Lethbridge
- Huron College
- Association of Community Colleges of Canada
- British Antarctic Survey
- WWF International
- BirdLife International
- Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
- Joint Nature Conservation Committee
- International Union for the Conservation of Nature
- Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
- United National Environmental Programme
- Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
- Natural History Museum (UK)
- EU Academic Jobs
- Norwegian Polar Institute
Non-University Canadian organizations
- Canadian Museum of Nature
- Royal Ontario Museum
- Royal BC Museum
- WWF Canada
- LGL Ltd.
- NRC Research Press
- Bird Studies Canada
- Wildlife Conservation Society–Canada
- Council of Science Editors
- Environmental Careers Organization–Canada
- Oxford University Press–Canada
- University of Toronto Press
- University of Alberta Press
Canadian Federal & Provincial Government
- Public Service Commission of Canada
- Parks Canada
- Government of Nova Scotia
- Government of Prince Edward Island
- Government of New Brunswick
- Government of Ontario
- Government of Manitoba
- Government of Saskatchewan
- Government of British Columbia
- Government of the Yukon
- Government of the Northwest Territories
- Government of Nunavut