Advice for Grad Students

If you are a graduate student planning to go on the academic job market at some point, here is what you can do to maximize your chances.

Start a profile on academia.edu and ResearchGate. Put up your CV and start downloading articles by scholars in your field and any other field you are even remotely interested in. It’s very important to know what the current scholarship is. At the same time, people will see you are accessing their stuff and will remember your name. This will help you stand out when your application is one of the 270 even the obscure schools in places like Arkansas get (this is a real number from this years job market).

This is a lot better than downloading articles from scholarly databases because the MLA database, for instance, is several years behind in posting scholarship while these sites are extremely current. Plus, nobody knows you are downloading stuff from there. If you publish something, don’t wait to be discovered. Post it on these websites, and people will find you.

In short, be an entrepreneur of the self. This is the world we live in, and if you want a job, don’t expect your degree (even from the best school) and the dissertation to bring you a job. This is not how things work right now.

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