Unless the advertisement specifies otherwise, for a job application in the UK you need to provide the completed application form, a cover letter and a CV. But applying for academic jobs in the US is different. You need to provide a much more detailed application known as a ‘job market packet’.
What do you need to include?
As with a UK application, you will need:
For examples of CV templates please visit our CV Templates section.
For some good cover letter advice please see our article Ten Top Tips for Writing Cover Letters.
If you’re unsure as to who should be your referees, read our article How to Choose Your Referees.
But additionally for the US job market you’ll need the following:
1) A statement of your approach to teaching
This paperwork is not usually required in UK job applications, although the subject is discussed in interview.
A teaching philosophy statement should reveal your personal reasons for being a teacher and how that relates to the needs of the students in the department to which you are applying. As well as listing your teaching objectives, you also have to show how you are going to achieve those on a practical level. It is important not to sound too pompous, but to come across as sincere and thoughtful with some ideas that will be achievable.
You might also be asked to include feedback on your teaching from your current students. US universities place more importance on the importance of students’ opinions of your teaching, so make sure you collect some key examples of positive qualitative feedback and that you have some statistics showing overall satisfaction.
2) Your official transcript
This is a university issued statement of your qualifications. A certificate of your degree qualification will suffice but if you can get a detailed breakdown of the individual modules taken and grades awarded for each then this will be even more useful to those judging your application.
3) A job market paper
This is a sample of your writing, but you must be very careful when choosing your job market paper. It should be an article or a chapter of your book or PhD thesis that shows off your knowledge and skills. You will be required to discuss your job market paper in your interview. It is important that your writing is of the highest calibre, so get some feedback from your peers and from presenting this paper in public before you start using it as your job market paper.
Other important things to remember about your application:
- Keep in mind that it will take a long time to gather these materials so allow time to get them arranged.
- If you are not initially successful, the university might keep your information on record and contact you in the future if a suitable job comes up, so do not expect a reply immediately