One of the best things I ever did in graduate school was to attend a presentation by a new assistant professor about what the job talk is, what it is for, and best practices. It was critical for me to attend that presentation not when I was on the job market, but several years before that. Later today I am giving a similar presentation for our own graduate students. Because the slides may be interesting to some of you beyond Cornell, I’ve posted them here. You can’t get all of the nuances, but you can get the main ideas.
I am late in joining a conversation that happened in 2013 in the political science blogosphere, with contributions by
I am sure I am missing others. These are all incredibly valuable resources, and whereas I disagree here and there, these are mostly minor disagreements. My favorite source of advice is still this document by Robert Axelrod. Read especially about all of the things that are not crimes.
Some of you may enjoy the mildly snarky comments about Beamer and Remark.js. Some of you may not enjoy those comments. For the latter crowd, you may be partially reassured by my planned spoken remarks, which will not take the form of “Beamer is bad,” but rather “Beamer usually doesn’t matter, if you don’t make it ugly.”
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jacobiricks September 9, 2016
I second everything in your slides (and Axelrod’s document). I can’t emphasize enough the importance of practicing the job talk. Having been on a number of search committees now, I think a relatively polished presentation is one factor that can really give a candidate a leg up in the final decision-making meeting.
Oh, and visuals are so important. Get rid of those regression results tables with numbers so small that no one can read them! Save them for the Q&A 🙂