Frequently Asked Questions
Going on the Job Market
Should I go on the job market in the fall of 2018?
You should if:
- You will have a job market paper ready by November 2018 and you will have presented it in a workshop (ECON 708 or ECON 709) by that date.
- You can present a seminar on your dissertation by January 2019.
How late can I withdraw from the job market?
You can easily change your mind about going on the market before the first CV packet gets sent out at the end of September. While it is possible to withdraw after this date, you should keep in mind that it may take a while to have your name removed from the department mailing (since copies are made in large batches.) The costs of withdrawing increases as the season progresses, since as your name gets circulated, it becomes increasingly likely that employers will recognize your name the following year and want to know why you are back on the market.
How many times may I go on the job market?
The department will offer placement services for you two times. This can come in handy, for example, if you accept a post-doc the first time you're on the market and need to go back on the market the next year to look for a more permanent position.
Assembling your Job Market Materials & Applying
How do I get my references sent to a school with an early deadline?
First off, be sure your letter-writers are aware of the early deadline and will be able to complete your letters in time. As for the sending of these letters, you have two options:
- If you only have a couple of early deadlines, then the most practical solution is to provide your references with contact information and have them submit their letters directly.
- If your references are able to submit their letters to Emily early, then you can give Emily contact information and she will do her best to accommodate you.
How do I send additional references after the main mailing in November?
You can still submit additional references in November. There is no upper limit on the number of applications.
Can I change my job-market paper or abstract after sending out my packets?
While it would not be ideal to make major changes midway through the job market (e.g., changing the substance of your conclusions), the CV you include in your application packets may certainly differ from what was sent out in the departmental CV packet mailing. It is also possible to edit your job market materials as you are sending out your application packets, so don't worry if the packet you sent to one school is slightly different from the packet you sent to another school.
What should my [CV, cover letters, research statement, teaching statement, teaching evaluations] look like?
You should begin by looking at the samples provided here. Also, here are a few suggestions:
- For the CV distributed by the department, please follow these guidelines.
- The research statement should describe broad research interests and specific projects you plan to embark upon in the next few years. It's fine to include a discussion of your dissertation in your research statement, but you need to go beyond this as well.
- Cover letters do not get much attention, so it is generally best to keep them short and to the point. You should mention what position you are applying for, specify what materials are enclosed, and, if someone at the institution requested your packet, you should mention that it was requested (and by whom).
If the job listing requests a transcript, should I send an official or unofficial transcript? And should I have it sent to them directly or include it in my application packet?
As a general rule, if an employer wants an official transcript, they will state this specifically in their job listing—but if you want this question answered with certainty for a particular institution, then you will need to contact them directly. Also, unless they specifically request otherwise, it is best to include the transcript in your packet, as this will minimize the probability of it getting lost.
Not all institutions ask for my [job market paper, research statement, teaching statement, teaching evaluations, transcript]. Should I send it anyway?
Unsolicited materials are probably less likely to get looked at, but including them is also unlikely to do any harm. To take an example, if 95 percent of the places you apply request a job market paper, then sending it to everyone would probably be fine. On the other hand, sending your teaching statement everywhere would probably be a mistake. Perhaps you could send it to all teaching colleges, but sending a teaching statement to a research institute, government agency, or private firm (and perhaps even Ph.D. granting institutions that haven't specifically requested it) could send the wrong signal.
How should I use the AEA signaling mechanism?
It's probably not the best idea to signal your interest to a top 40 academic institution, as they are likely to assume that anyone who applies is extremely interested. A better strategy is to use this mechanism to signal interest to institutions that are attainable, but where it might not otherwise be obvious that you are interested.
Preparing for interviews
What are on-site interviews?
Typically, a few institutions visit Maryland in October or November to conduct on-site interviews. In the past this included the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB), although last year, there were no onsite interviews. The exact timing of these interviews can vary dramatically from year to year. In 2007, the FRB visited campus on November 20, while preliminary IMF interviews took place during October 10-20, and again during November 6-17. Last year we held a Career event instead of onsite interviews where interested students had an opportunity to meet potential employers informally.
How can I prepare for the mock interview?
You should prepare for the half-hour interview exactly as you would prepare for an interview at the AEA meetings: you should be prepared to describe your dissertation research to a faculty member who is not necessarily a specialist in your area. (We attempt to avoid using a student's committee members for the Mock Interviews.) Aim for this summary to take about 10 to 15 minutes. You should also be prepared to describe your future research interests and (if you are aiming for a job that involves teaching) your teaching interests. Interviewers may also ask you about your previous work experience. You should also look over the interview preparation materials and give some thought to how you would answer each of the sample questions.
If I will be out of town for part of December, can I still do a mock interview?
If you let us know in advance that you'll be out of town, then we will do our best to schedule a mock interview that accommodates your schedule. That said, if you do travel in the month of December, you should remain accessible by phone and email, as it would be a shame to miss out on an interview because you could not be contacted.
Do I have to have my mock interview taped?
Certainly not. Just let us know when you arrive for the interview and we will turn the camera off.
Will there be time to work on my job market seminar after AEA?
In some cases, students have quite a bit of time between AEA and their first fly-out. But in other cases, institutions will call you on Sunday and invite you for a fly-out right away. Given this, it is best to have your full-length job market presentation (in addition to your half-hour interview) completely prepared prior to your arrival at AEA.