University of Colorado Boulder Career Services

The academic hiring season is fast approaching — some job calls may go out as early as August. While hiring timelines may look different right now, there are still things you can work on to get a jump on the academic job search. Here are five crucial documents you can begin to draft now.

1. Your CV

Make sure your CV is up-to-date and well-organized according to the academic triad of research, teaching and service. It should be structured to emphasize research and the  qualifications that make you an excellent candidate for faculty or post-doc positions in your field.

2. Your job letter

Write a basic job letter draft, including the appropriate information about your research trajectory and your teaching experience. You will need to write a different tailoring paragraph for each job you apply to, and work to frame your research and teaching history according to the needs of each specific department. However, if you write the basic elements now you will have a draft that needs only edits, saving you time and energy later.

Preparing now for the academic hiring cycle will take some of the pressure off later. (G. Fring/Pexels)

3. Your research statement

Remember that your research statement is an explanation of your research past, present and future. Work on a detailed research plan for your next project and make sure that you can articulate it for the committee. Your research statement shows that you have engaged in productive, quality research in the past and that you have a well-developed, detailed plan for your next research endeavor, including plans for publication and obtaining funding for this research.

4. Your teaching statement

Your teaching statement should begin by making a claim about the good that can be brought about by education in your field. It can then go on to explain, with real-life examples, the pedagogical methods you use to achieve that good. Your statement should offer quantitative proof that you have done so, and then finish with a strong conclusion about the value of education in your field.

The teaching statement will need to be tailored to the specific population and pedagogical concerns of the department to which you are applying, but you can save time by writing the methods, examples and quantitative proof sections now.

5. Your diversity statement

Your diversity statement will explain your values and goals around diversity and equity of access to education. It will share how you exemplify those values and achieve those goals in your research, your teaching and your service. The diversity statement is highly individual — for example, a diversity statement for an institution focused predominantly on teaching and serving a population comprising mainly first-in-family Spanish-speaking students might look very different to one intended for an R1 institution with a majority-white student body. It will be helpful to draft a basic diversity statement now that contains information about your diversity and equity efforts to date, and establishes your personal values and goals.

Preparing now for the academic hiring cycle will take some of the pressure off later. Starting to draft your documents in advance allows you time to polish them well before they’re needed. Once the postings in your field go out, you can then devote your time and effort to researching your target institutions and tailoring your documents.

This article originally posted at Career Services, University of Colorado Boulder. Visit