Anonymous posted these queries to the permanent job search thread. I'm reposting here for discussion:
Could someone knowledgeable address, perhaps here or in a new thread, what the game plan should be here on out for those of us who did not land a TT job?
I'm a research type and get little placement help. What should I be looking to do over the next couple of months in order to secure a TT job next year or the one following?
Postdocs are an obvious choice, but what about VAPs? How do people feel about those? Would it be much better to do a VAP at a pedigreed institution, or just a place that will leave time for research? Etc.
In general I think it might be helpful to have some thoughts about these matters put down, since it appears that many, many of us are in this boat.
The answer may simply be that there are no answers, since the process is not a rational one.A general answer is difficult without knowing specifics about your CV, and how you're doing on the market right now. Are you getting first-round interviews? Fly-outs?
Have you published? If not, one obvious place to start is to get some papers published or at least in the pipeline. An accepted paper is as good as a published one, but given the time it takes to even get a paper accepted for publication, you need to basically get it to a journal now. Or sooner. Postdocs are a great way to secure time for research and publishing. Mine helped me tremendously on the job market.
Not every place is going to care that you are published in a top journal, although obviously, avoid the really crap pay-to-publish journals.
Do you have teaching experience? A VAP is a good place to get significant teaching experience. You might be a "research type," but most of the jobs are not "research" jobs, so having some good teaching experience will help you.
Finding time for both research and teaching is always a problem. Get used to working your ass off.
And yeah, the market is lousy. So, it might not be you.