Job market paper pitch

In this post I will talk about the job market paper pitch. Like the rest of the blog, the purpose is to complement the major job market guides (Cawley is the gold standard), with some focus on what I think is undercovered. In particular, I have experience on both sides of the market at schools that are not highly ranked, and that seems to be a gap in the job market guide market.

Plan and practice

It is important that you plan your job market paper pitch carefully before the market. You will need to use it a lot, and without a good one, you are dead on arrival. Plan it out carefully and practice it with colleagues and hopefully your advisors. At the same time, be careful about sounding overly rehearsed. You want a more conversational tone. The best rehearsals are with a faculty member or another grad student who interrupts you with questions. That is what is going to happen in an interview.

One piece of advice that worked for me is that I tried not to use the same language each time I g…

Non-academic market

The non-academic market, both government and industry, is a major source of jobs for candidates. Unfortunately, I don't know a lot about it, and I don't want to give advice I am not confident with. So I am making this post, and hoping that people who do will pass on tips in the comments section.

Myths from EJMR

Because I chose to do this blog anonymously, there is a natural connection with the Economics Job Market Rumors board. That is inherently controversial, since the board has been criticized for having a lot of sexist and offensive content. There are advantages of anonymity, which allows posters to be candid and share more information, but there are also disadvantages. That is one of the reasons I decided to host this on a blog where I can moderate the comments. I will do my best to make sure that the comments do not contain any questionable content.

I know that there are those who believe the EJMR board should be avoided altogether, so in the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I have posted links to this blog on EJMR. It seemed the best place to get the word out.

One other downside of the EJMR board is that there are a group of jokers who spend a lot of time trying to convince candidates of falsehoods. One request I have received is to make a post dispelling these myths.

I …

The "senior" market

Many job market candidates have been out of grad school for a few years, and are looking to move to a new position. Some are looking for a better fit, others have failed tenure or are worried they will. The market functions very similarly, but there are a few wrinkles that prospective movers should keep in mind. I don't have a ton of experience in this area, so anyone who wants to add anything in the comments would be appreciated.

The scrutiny of you will not be based as much on one paper, but will be about your entire record. The flyout talk can be more like a standard seminar talk. You can certainly present coauthored work, and it can be a little more of a work in progress than a job market paper (although probably not quite as much as a normal seminar). At a more teaching oriented job, your teaching record may be scrutinized in more detail too. Syllabi, assignments, evaluations, etc.

The general rule is that, as a non-entry level faculty member, a school will look at you if you…

Where to apply

As the job market gets going, there will be well over a thousand listings on the various job boards. The basic rule is that you should apply broadly. That is definitely true. The marginal cost of applying to an additional job is low, and if it ends up being the job you end up with, the benefit is massive. But there are a few pieces of specific advice.
Top censoring If you are not a star candidate, which most candidates aren't, there will be a decent number of listings where your chances are close to nil. You should ask your adviser what he or she feels about whether or not you should apply to them. Advisers have strong opinions about top censoring applications. Some are strongly against it, as they feel you aren't taking the market seriously if you aren't applying to the best places. Some are strongly in favor of it, as they want to be able to say to any school you apply to that they are confident you would be a good candidate for that job.
So just go with what your adviser…

Stress management

Everyone who gives you advice about the job market will tell you that the job market is stressful. Which is true for almost everyone. But what is also true for almost everyone and is perhaps more useful advice is that the job market will be more stressful than you think it will be. Most people I know who have gone through the market have had moments of stress, anxiety, and depression that were worse than they anticipated going in. The general sense that I had when I was on the market was a feeling of doors to possible futures slowly being closed one by one, and hoping that one or two would stay open at the end.

I am not an expert on stress management, so I can't give all that much more than a head's up. There is a plethora of advice out there about dealing with stress. I am sure a lot of it is decent advice, but my impression is that there are a lot of individual factors, so there isn't a one size fits all solution. Overall, it is probably best to deal with stress in whate…

Failing the market

The job market is tough, and almost everyone has some pretty crushing moments. Unfortunately, not everyone succeeds, and history tends to be written by the victors. Most of the job market advice you will get will come from faculty members, which means that they had at least some success on the job market. Personally, I struggled a little bit, and had some close friends who struggled a lot, so I will try to pass on some wisdom.
The first piece of advice is to stay on top of things. If things start going badly, there are things you can do to react, but you need to do them in a timely way. Be aware of the standard timing of the job market. The bulk of interview requests come at the end of November and the first week of December. If that window has started to close and you have very few interview requests, you are in trouble. Similarly, the bulk of flyout requests come within the first couple weeks of AEAs. If mid-January starts to roll around and you have very few or no flyouts, you are…