[Computational Complexity] Start Your Engines
Many fields, like mathematics and economics, have a civilized recruiting process. They have their annual conferences in January with organized meetings between graduate students and postdocs looking for academic positions and members of the faculty recruiting committees from many departments. Some serious weeding is done in both directions and then only a small number of candidates are then considered for positions in each department. The whole hiring season is mostly over in a month or two.
Computer science has no such civilized process. We have no annual meeting that can serve to bring job candidates and recruiters together. So we have a much more haphazard process that starts in earnest in January and doesn't wind down until May or June. We need a better process.
Some advice to the job seekers.
- Apply early and often. Get your applications out by the end of December even if there is a later stated deadline. Faculty start looking at applications in January and you want your name to be there. Don't take the lack of an announcement or lack of mention of a theory position to deter you from applying to an institution.
- If you are not sure whether to apply then apply. You don't have any decisions to make until you have two offers in hand.
- Make a web page that sells you. Make the page visually appealing. Put links to all your recruiting material (CV, Research and Teaching Statements) as well as electronic versions of all of your papers. Just as important remove the embarrassing pictures at least until you have your offers.
- Use personal contacts. Contact professors you know and let them know you are job hunting and ask if they know of positions at their school or others.
- Start working on your job talk now. Make it accessible to a general computer science audience while convincing the theorists you have some meat in your results. Practice the talk with your fellow graduate students and faculty in your department.
- Be patient. Many positions are tied up for a few months until the top few candidates make some decisions. The market will shake out, just give it time.
Posted by Lance to Computational Complexity at 12/27/2005 01:50:00 PM