Academic Job Search Timeline

This will vary slightly by year.


If you have not already, discuss going on the academic market with your advisor. Consult with them about their schedule for reviewing your materials.

Pre-request 4-6 recommendation letters. Ask your advisor or another recommender to visit your class so they can address your teaching.


Prepare your materials; if possible, have your advisor review them. This is also a good time to polish an article for submission, if possible. Look at submitting for the important conferences in your field.

*Note: Certain prestigious fellowships may have deadlines that are very early! Look ahead and be prepared!*



Revise materials for submission to placement directors. Request or re-request 4-6 recommendation letters, including ones that address teaching. Have a recommender visit your class to be able to speak to your teaching, if this has not previously occurred.

Send your draft materials to your recommenders. This is crucial to helping them craft strong letters.

Late August

First round of review! Submit CV, cover letter, research/teaching/other statements to your assigned placement director. Prepare your 20-25pp. writing sample.

Early September

MLA Job Information List (JIL) appears online. The list is updated each Friday. Also check Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside HigherEd, and individual schools/institutes for postdocs. Placement directions will supply the institutional username and password if you do not have an individual membership.

Late September

Second round of review! Submit revised materials.


First wave of application deadlines (postdocs often earlier). Have materials ready to go. Many deadlines will be in October/November as schools have moved to Skype/phone rather than MLA first-round interviews.

Notify committee members and placement directors of top 5 job openings.


Late October/


Meeting on interview process. Mock interviews.

Skype interviews for many schools will take place in November/early December.

November/early December

MLA interview requests may come at any time. Some schools will do campus visits in an effort to hire candidates before MLA.


Early January

MLA convention



Mock job talks or teaching demos will be scheduled as needed. Consult with advisor/placement directors about any campus visits. Campus visits generally occur now but may be pushed into March.

*Note: job talks should not be derived from the writing sample.*


February-early summer

Spring hiring round. Look widely for VAPs, lecturer positions, and even spring last-minute TT listings.