Pointers for a Successful Job Search

This document has been written for mathematics graduate students who either (1) will soon start their own job searches or (2) are at earlier stages of their study and want to be aware of how to enhance their credentials for their future job applications. Some of the material is specific to The George Washington University, but much is applicable to all mathematics graduate students.

The two parts of this document treat academic and non-academic jobs. These parts are not entirely disjoint and those primarily interested in one part may profit from some advice in the other.

Part I: Academic Jobs

The information in this section is most relevant for academic jobs in the U.S. Many other countries have very different procedures for applying for academic jobs (e.g., in some countries, virtually all universities are run by the state and one applies via a central government office, which runs the entire process).

The views mentioned here should not be interpreted as hard and fast rules, but rather as perspectives for your consideration. (It is not hard to find contradictory suggestions in the plethora of material on the job search process that one finds on the web.) Where it seems appropriate, we present a range of views. The aim is more to inform you about the process and make you aware of issues, rather than to provide "the" answer.

To maximize the utility of this document and keep the length reasonable, most of Part I has the form of bulletized lists; apologies in advance to lovers of elegant prose.

Overview of the major stages of the academic job search:

  • In the years before your search: Consider the items in this document and think about what you can do to build up your credentials so your application will be as attractive as possible to prospective employers. For example, get some experience teaching your own course (perhaps during the summer), lead qualifying exam preparation seminars, attend and speak at conferences, make research contacts, and speak in seminars.
  • At all stages: Talk with your advisor, members of the graduate committee, and other faculty about the application process, preparing material, selecting schools to apply to, preparing for an interview, ...
  • At least by mid-July:Consider giving a contributed talk or a poster presentation at the annual Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM; a meeting of AMS, MAA, etc., in January) and participating in the Employment Center (formerly, the Employment Register).
  • Check the Notices of the AMS or the AMS website for the deadlines for abstracts and registration. Deadlines for abstracts have been as early as August 1. If you haven't written an abstract before, seek advice about this.
  • The earlier the better (e.g., in spare moments during the summer): Start preparing the basic items for applications so you can meet the earliest deadlines (which might be early November, if not before). Ask your advisor or other faculty for feedback on the material you prepare. On all items, write, re-write, re-re-write, (re)n-write, carefully proofread many times, use a spell-checker, and get feedback. (Applications with mistakes might be seen as suggesting that the applicant is not very interested or careful.) The items to prepare or plan:
    • CV,
    • Research statement,
    • Teaching statement,
    • Cover letter,
    • The AMS cover sheet (this is required for many applications, and, in any case, it is a useful distillation of relevant items),
    • Think about who to ask for letters of recommendation (ask for the letters in the early Fall),
    • Some schools require graduate and even undergraduate(!) transcripts; often unofficial copies suffice for the application (official copies may be required later).


  • Think about your preferences and, according to how greatly your answers limit your search and how strong your preferences are, pick a strategy (both approaches have merit).
    • The blanket approach: Send 100 or more applications (this is probably the most commonly used approach).
    • The targeted approach: Select fewer school (maybe 30 to 40 very carefully picked schools) and prepare a highly individualized application for each one, aiming to get a particular school interested in you. (This requires finding out a lot about their program so you can argue that you are the perfect fit for them. A good way to find out a lot about a department is to read their department web page and look at the web pages and publication lists (via MathSciNet) of individual faculty members. This strategy may be more relevant for teaching-oriented positions.)
  • Some questions to ponder about your preferences:
    • What do you want in and from your career?
    • What type of department do you want to be in? Large or small? High expectations or low pressure? Highly supportive? Focused on research or teaching? Interested in innovations in teaching? With only small classes? ...
    • What balance of teaching and research do you want?
    • At what level do you want to teach (just undergraduate, or both undergraduate and graduate)?
    • Where to you want to be geographically? What restrictions do personal circumstances impose?
    • Where might you find collaborators, at least in nearby universities?
    • Do you want a post-doc or a tenure-track position? (It is probably wise to apply to a variety of positions, including temporary/visiting positions. Real post-docs (with reduced teaching loads --- at most 2 and 2, preferably less) can open up opportunities for you to later aim for a more research-oriented job at a better school than you might be in the running for straight out of graduate school. Not all jobs announced as post-docs really are; check the teaching load carefully.)
    • Keep in mind the career options you'd like to have open in five or ten years. (In particular, once in a heavily teaching-oriented department, it is hard to move to a research-oriented department; the move in the other direction is much easier.)


  • Think of more questions that are relevant to you.
  • Starting at least by early October:Periodically (perhaps weekly) check job postings.
    • Check the AMS EIMS (Employment Information in the Mathematical Sciences) website. AMS members can sign up for weekly e-mail updates of the job postings. (GW's institutional membership includes a membership for each of our graduate students.)
    • There are often a number of teaching jobs announced at the MAA website that are not on the AMS website.
    • Check the SIAM website. (Click on SIAM Job Board. Many, but not all, jobs listed here are non-academic. SIAM also has a Personal Job Alert e-mail service, accessible under their Job Board.)
  • As you find interesting announcements, send out your application.
  • October: Familiarize yourself with the on-line application process that some schools use.
  • Late December to early January: Prepare, or at least sketch, an interview talk. (Interviews are often scheduled on short notice, and you want to make the most positive impression possible, so planning in advance helps. Giving a seminar talk on your work in the Fall (perhaps in the graduate student seminar) is a good place to start.) If you are giving a talk at JMM, plan it carefully and practice it several times.
  • January: If you have registered, take part in the Employment Center and other events at the JMM.
  • February through May (or later): This is the time for preliminary phone interviews, on-campus interviews, and negotiating an offer.

Comments on the various stages of finding an academic job

Participating in the Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM; January):

  • The advantages of participating in the JMM include meeting prospective employers, meeting potential future collaborators, hearing about other work in your field, letting others hear about your work by giving a talk, ...
  • The Employment Center is (sometimes) a good way to make some initial contact with prospective employers. (The Employment Center gets mixed reviews.)
  • If you are going to participate in the JMM, mention this in your cover letter and in any (possible) follow-up email. Definitely bring it to the attention of schools you are particularly interested in. If you are giving a talk, mention this (with the session name and the scheduled time and location, if you know them), and alert potential future collaborators in departments that interest you.
  • Sources of funding:
    • If you are giving a talk, CCAS can provide up to $400 per fiscal year, with a department match of $100.
    • For details, see Scholarly Travel Instructions and Guidelines.
    • Complete the E-Travel Form well before your travel; the purpose of this form is to have GW agree to support your travel. Once you get it, keep a copy of the e-mail from the dean's office approving your travel so you can include it with the material you submit for reimbursement.
    • Retain all your receipts for reimbursement.
    • Upon your return, give your receipts, an itemized list of the expenses that you are seeking reimbursement for, a copy of the travel approval, and your basic information (name, address, social security number) to the department's executive aide so your reimbursement can be processed. (The executive aide is happier if receipts are taped to letter-size sheets of paper so he can scan and fax them.)
    • The department usually can supplement what CCAS provides, if needed.
  • Independent of whether you are giving a talk, the department typically can at least partially (often fully) fund travel to the JMM, whether through the chair's funds (talk with the chair) or through the Rodica Simion Memorial Fund (talk with F. Baginski or J. Bonin).
    • The same policies about making arrangements in advance, saving receipts, and turning all information in to the executive aide apply to these forms of support as for CCAS support.
    • When possible, use CCAS funds before asking for department funds so that the department can stretch its resources.
  • Bring plenty of copies of your CV, teaching statement, and research statement to give out to all prospective employers you meet.

The Employment Center:

  • Before the Employment Center starts at the JMM, schools (resp., applicants) submit lists of applicants (resp., schools) they would like to meet with. A computer program matches applicants and schools for 15 minute interviews scheduled at 20 minute intervals. Applicants typically get between two and fifteen such interviews.
  • Many of the schools that use the Employment Center are small and teaching-oriented and they often have very limited budgets for flying applicants in for on-campus interviews. This preliminary screening allows these schools to use their resources effectively. It helps them, for instance, screen out people with poor communications skills. They may also try to gauge the applicant's level of interest. Taking time to learn about the department in advance (e.g., via their website) can serve as the basis for a conversation that conveys interest on your part.
  • The JMM often has other (many say better) opportunities for meeting prospective employers. For example, by phone or e-mail in advance, or via the on-site message boards, you can request meetings outside of the Employment Center with schools you are especially interested in. The self-scheduled (by employers) Interview Center is a supported venue for such meetings.
  • Mailing your applications well before the JMM may lead to more requests for interviews.

Include your name on all application material (CV, research statement, teaching statement, ...) in case items get separated.

Given the high volume of applications that most departments receive, it is typically appreciated if you do not send material that is not asked for (e.g., reprints and preprints). If there is someone in the department whose research is particularly close to yours, you might send reprints and preprints directly to that person (this personalized approach greatly improves the chances that someone actually reads what you send); you might ask them by e-mail first if they'd like to receive copies.

What to include in your CV (suggested section titles are in bold fonts):

  • Your contact information should appear at the top: home address and phone number, office address and phone number, e-mail address, web page. If you have a web page (and especially if you list it), make sure it is up to date and that it is the sort of page that you want prospective employers to see. A web page can be a useful way to provide more information about yourself, but an out-of-date or shabby web page might work against you. Keep in mind that web pages are easy to find even without listing the location.
  • It is relevant to mention your citizenship and visa status if you are not a US citizen. (There may be some advantage for U.S citizens to list their citizenship too.)
  • Education: List your educational background from your Ph.D. back through your undergraduate degree(s). Include your advisor's name, your (tentative) thesis title, and your expected graduation date (month (typically May or August) and year).
  • Employment: List your (academic) employment (include your TAship) and all relevant internships. Substantial teaching experience prior to graduate school (e.g., teaching in a high school) or during the summers is relevant. Items that are clearly several notches below your TA experience (e.g., working as a tutor while you were an undergraduate) are probably best omitted.
  • Teaching Experience: This information should be divided into several categories, according to the experience you have, each with a heading that clearly indicates the category: (1) a list of the courses you have led recitations for, (2) a list of the courses you have taught (i.e., giving the lectures), (3) a list of the qualifying exam preparation seminars you have led, and (4) other experience (e.g., teaching in high schools, special summer programs).
  • Research Interests: List your main research interests, both the general area and the specialties within that area.
  • Publications: List all of your refereed research papers that have appeared or been accepted. Give arxiv addresses for papers that are on the arxiv. If you have non-refereed papers, they should be in a separate category or be designated as non-refereed.
  • Research Papers Submitted: Separately from the last category, list all papers that have been submitted but not yet accepted. Give arxiv addresses for papers that are on the arxiv.
  • Research Papers in Progress: Separately from the last categories, list all papers that are at least in the form of a preliminary manuscript.
  • Conferences Attended:
  • Honors: Optional.
  • Awards: Optional.
  • Grants: Optional.
  • Research Lectures outside GW: Starting several years after graduation, it is important to distinguish invited talks from contributed talks, but it is not so important for a first CV. For each talk, list the title, location (university/conference), and year.
  • Research Lectures at GW: For each talk, list the title, seminar (e.g., Topology Seminar, Graduate Student Seminar), and year.
  • Professional Memberships: Optional. List the professional organizations you belong to. Common ones include AMS, MAA, AWM, and SIAM.
  • Service: Service generally refers to professional activities that fall under neither teaching nor research and that contribute to the smooth operation of the department, the university, or the broader (non-mathematical) community, or that enhance the intellectual environment for members of these groups. (Professional activities that relate to the broader mathematical community (e.g., referring papers, organizing conferences, reviewing research proposals) are typically put in a separate category called professional activities.) Among the possible items to include under service are organizer of ... seminar, peer advisor, and panelist for the teaching seminar. (Department and university committee work also goes under service, but it is rare for graduate students to be on committees.)
  • Computer Skills: Optional. List such skills only if they are particularly relevant and beyond the base-line expectations (otherwise this can look like padding). For example, saying that you know LATEX and Excel does not distinguish you from any of the other 1200 or more job applicants, but saying that you've created mathematical models and run nontrivial simulations on a network of computers using your own code written in C++ does separate you from many applicants.
  • Languages: Optional. This item is more relevant for those whose native language is not English. For native English speakers, list languages only if the issue seems particularly relevant (otherwise this can look like padding).
  • Additional Information: Optional. A variety of items could appear here, but make sure only relevant items are listed. Avoid padding. One possible item for inclusion would be a significant amount of course work that you have taken in a related, relevant field. For example, if someone in applied mathematics has taken significant course work in an area related to his or her research (perhaps physics or biology), some short description might appear here.

Other comments on CVs:

  • A LATEX template of a CV (and more information on some sections) can be found at cvtemplate.tex.
  • If you are not sure whether an item is appropriate for a given category, or you are not sure what category an item goes under, ask your advisor or a member of the graduate committee.
  • Within each category (e.g., education, publications), items on your CV should be listed in reverse chronological order (the most recent items first).
  • If you have a cell phone, think about potential advantages and disadvantages of including your cell phone number on your CV. A cell phone allows you to get your calls wherever you are, but do you want to answer a call about a possible job wherever you are?
  • For the future, keep in mind that the items Professional Memberships and Conferences Attended are fine for the CV of a recent Ph.D. (they are tertiary signs of interest), but after one has been out of school a few years and other areas of the CV have been built up (publications, talks, service, etc.), it is probably best to delete them.
  • For the purposes of the CV of a new Ph.D., it is okay (but not required) to list major projects, such as a senior honors thesis or a paper based on a summer REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program. Whether these should be under publications or a separate category depends on whether they actually appeared in print. After a few years, such items might remain only if a published paper resulted, in which case only the paper is listed.
  • Students having a Master's degree can list it after the Ph.D information, following the same format. Listing a Master's thesis (if any) should follow the outline used for the Ph.D. dissertation. (Information about degrees and Master's theses always remains relevant.)
  • Also for future reference, once you get a job and need to submit a CV at that school for annual reports or other purposes, consult your colleagues there about preferred formats and the level of detail appropriate for different categories. (Some categories, such as publications, are standard throughout academia; how much detail is appropriate about the courses you teach varies considerably from school to school.)
  • CVs usually also include a section of Professional Activities (refereeing, conference organizing, editorial work, roles in professional societies (e.g., serving on AMS committees), etc.) and a section of Visiting Positions (e.g., other institutions at which one spends a sabbatical, extended research visits), but it is rare for graduate students to have such items. (Keep this in mind for the future.)
  • While it is easy to keep track of certain items (e.g., publications), keeping track of others (e.g., service) can best be done by simply keeping a file and inserting a note every time you do something that should appear in this category. This tip applies both for graduate students and for faculty. (Faculty usually have to submit a report of activities each year.)
  • It is wise to avoid unexplained large gaps in your employment history. While it is probably not a good idea to list non-mathematical summer jobs, if you spent considerable time working before returning to graduate school, it might be helpful to list the positions you held in the Employment section.

What not to include on your CV: 

Anything that looks like padding. Restrict your CV to relevant, academic and mathematical items. For example, volunteering at a soup kitchen is undeniably admirable, but it is not relevant to getting a job in a mathematics department and, if put on a CV, it can appear that it is trying to hide a gap, even if the other items are all strong. Departments that receive several hundred applications may (by necessity) scan applications rather quickly to select those they deem most worthy of close scrutiny, so it is important make sure your CV focuses precisely on the relevant items --- do not give the hiring committee any grounds for skipping over your application. If you want to demonstrate a broader range of activities, discuss them on your web page.

Cover letter:

  • It is wise to write several templates of cover letters, one for each type of position you might apply for (e.g., post-doc, teaching-oriented school, research-oriented school), and to adapt the letters as needed for each school. Be sure to individualize each letter as appropriate. At the very least, insert the school name and address, but with a modest amount of effort, you can produce letters that make a very positive impression.
  • For research-oriented schools, cover letters are probably best kept short (3/4 of a page is plenty) unless the job announcement specifies otherwise. For teaching-oriented schools, keeping the letter within two pages is generally good.
  • What a cover letter should address:
    • Identify the position you are applying for. This is especially important if a school has several openings and they are of different types. It suffices to say, for instance, "This letter accompanies my application for your tenure-track assistant professor position in (area)."
    • If you are applying for a tenure-track position, indicate whether, if you do not get that, you would want to be considered for any visiting positions that may be open. This has to be phrased carefully so you do not come across as selling yourself short or setting low expectations for yourself. One option is to leave this to the AMS cover sheet, which simply has a box to check for this issue.
    • State when you anticipate graduating (May, or August, or ...) and when you can start working for them. For example, "I anticipate graduating this coming May and so will be available to join your faculty for the Fall 20... semester."
    • Briefly mention the general area of your research. Do not go into detail. For instance, it would suffice to say, for instance, "My research is in algebra with an emphasis on Lie algebras."
    • If you'll be at the JMM, mention this and say that you'd like to have the opportunity to meet with someone on their faculty who will be at the meeting. If you are giving a talk at the JMM, give the scheduled time and location (if known) and invite them to attend.
  • Some (typically small or teaching-oriented) schools may mention particular issues in their job announcements that they expect applicants to address in the cover letter, so read job announcements carefully.
  • If you are especially interested in a particular school, you might want to state the basis of your interest in the cover letter (e.g., someone on the faculty you should be able to collaborate well with or some program they feature that you'd like to be involved with) and mention other things that might help your letter stand out. (This clearly needs to be based on knowing a fair bit about the school.) Similarly, a strong reason for seeking a job in a particular geographic area might catch the attention of some search committees. (Geographic preferences would be seen as secondary factors by search committees; the rest of the application would need to be attractive for geographic preferences to give you an edge.)
  • Avoid anything that could be interpreted as stretching to make a connection with the department. For example, don't say you'd like to work with Professor X in the department unless there really is some considerable common ground to serve as a basis for working together.
  • Avoid repeating a lot of material that could be read more easily from the lists on your CV. At most mention carefully selected highlights that really set you apart (e.g., a particularly noteworthy publication or perhaps a teaching award).

Research statement:

  • Research expectations have been increasing even among teaching-oriented schools, so the research statement is important for all applications. For everyone, maintaining an active research program helps keep you intellectually stimulated and engaged.
  • If you are applying for some teaching jobs and some research-oriented jobs or post-doc positions, it may be good to have two research statements, one for each category, where the more research-oriented one, of course, is more technical. However, it is probably wise in all situations to downplay technical details as much as possible and stress broad mathematical ideas whose spirit, at least, will be understandable to any mathematician.
  • The length can vary from roughly two to six pages, but an upper bound of three pages might be wise since search committees have to read many applications and so do not want to spend a huge amount of time on any one item. If you have a potential collaborator in mind in a target department, you might send a more detailed research plan to him or her; if he or she is interested, he or she might become an advocate for you.
  • Make your research statement as interesting as possible to as wide an audience as possible; search committees have to read many applications, so do not give them an excuse to stop reading yours. Get comments from faculty and fellow students outside your field since they may be a better "test audience." Also get comments from those in your field as a double-check of accuracy and perspective.
  • Your research statement should concisely convey the types of problems and techniques that interest you.
  • The description of your research area should put your work in context: address the history of the problem, other work on the topic, the big questions in the field, etc.
  • Include a description of your dissertation work, but not in the greatest level of detail. If applicable, describe other research you have done.
  • Include directions and questions you plan to pursue in the near future. Research plans are more striking when a good selection of the future projects represent genuinely new directions, as opposed to continuing exactly what you started as a student. Of course, some common basis with your thesis work is good so that the direction is seen as a natural next step, but continuing exactly what you've been doing might suggest a lack of the initiative and research spark that is needed to keep you productive in the long term.
  • Be careful about the amount of detail given on future projects; don't sketch out a project so completely, with a detailed plan of attack, that someone might get "overly inspired" by it. On the other hand, extremely vague descriptions might not be very convincing. Many directions for future projects (even on grant proposals) are work that is already half done (although these should be balanced with some more ambitious goals).
  • Teaching-oriented schools may be interested in whether there are spin-off projects that can start undergraduate research projects (which many schools look highly favorable on).

Teaching statement:

  • Just as a research statement can help you collect your thought on potential future work, so your teaching statement is perhaps best approached as an exercise in focusing your ideas about teaching. For example, while writing your teaching statement, you should ponder what it is that you aim to achieve, beyond covering the required syllabus, in an introductory course.
  • For valuable advice on writing a teaching statement, including how to avoid making your statement sound like everyone else's, see James Oxley's guide. In particular, this guide recommends starting not by reading other people's teaching statements but, instead, by asking yourself certain questions (see the document for the questions).
  • Steve Krantz's book How to Teach Mathematics can serve as an effective springboard for developing your own ideas about teaching. You might agree or disagree with his ideas; thinking about the issues and developing your own ideas is the point. This process is also shaped and informed by your experiences as a student and as a TA.

Letters of Recommendation:

  • Read job announcements carefully to see how many letters are required.
  • Typically, applicants have three letter addressing research and one letter addressing mainly teaching. However, heavily teaching-oriented schools may want more teaching letters and fewer research letters.
  • For jobs in which research plays a significant part, it is highly desirable to have one (perhaps two) of your research letters be from an established researcher outside of your own university. Definitely seek the assistance of your advisor on this point since, in particular, he or she might have a good idea of who writes effective letters.
  • Your advisor can help you establish contacts with researchers outside the department and perhaps get you an invitation to give a seminar on your work at another school, thereby providing the basis for such a letter.
  • As an alternative to a seminar, perhaps a meeting with such an outside researcher can be arranged, giving you a chance to describe your results to him or her. Perhaps the person can be invited to give a seminar here and several hours can be reserved so that you can talk with the person and describe your work.
  • Writers can also base such letters on reprints and preprints.
  • Keep in mind that the contacts you develop at conferences might potentially serve in this capacity.
  • Keep in mind that a wise choice of the outside member of a dissertation committee (which might be subject to the availability of funding if the person is coming from a distance --- CCAS pays a token honorarium only) might open up options for letters in the future (changing jobs, tenure, promotion).
  • In Summer 2007, the graduate committee will start the (obviously useful) practice of having faculty visit summer classes taught by graduate students. If you are teaching a summer course, talk with the graduate committee chair about your preferences for a visitor so that the person you'd like to have write a teaching letter has the greatest possible amount of relevant information to base a letter on.
  • Give your letter writers plenty of time to write their letters --- give them at least a month lead time --- and let them know the deadlines by which the letters are needed. Give them all of your application material (or as much as is ready when you ask for the letters) and any other potentially useful information (e.g., course evaluations, e-mail from happy students, referee reports on papers). Tell them what types of jobs you are applying for. Invite letter writers to visit your classes. Give a seminar on your work and schedule it at a time that is convenient for your letter writers.

Sending Out Applications:

  • For schools that are set up to use it, submit applications electronically via mathjobs.org. (Job announcements should include information on how applications should be submitted.)
  • If paper copies are to be sent, an efficient way to send all application material is to have each of your recommenders give a copy of his or her letter to the secretary; when you want to send an application, you can supply the secretary with your material (a copy of your cv, teaching statement, research statement, and the (individualized) cover letter) and she can prepare the final package, including copies of the recommendations along with a letter she signs to the effect that she prepared the final package and that you have not seen the letters.
  • Applications can go out in the department mail, with the department paying the postage.
  • If a school has not found the ideal candidate among those who submitted their applications on time, they may accept applications late, so you can apply after the deadline (of course, your file may or may not be considered). On the other hand, by all means try to apply on time or (much better!) early so that your application gets full attention (in particular, before those reading the applications have gotten burned out).
  • For programs you are particularly interested in, it can be useful to send follow-up e-mail, especially if you can identify one or more natural contacts (potential advocates) in the department (e.g., potential collaborators). E-mail is probably preferable to a phone call due to the high number of applicants for most positions. Similarly, asking your advisor to contact people who he or she knows can help your application get more attention.

On-campus interviews include a variety of events designed to allow the department and the candidate to learn about each other. Among the typical events are a research talk (or, in more teaching-oriented schools, perhaps a teaching talk; sometimes there are both), meetings with faculty (individually with the chair; either individually or in small groups with other faculty), a meeting with the dean (sometimes also with higher administrators, at least in small schools), meetings with students (perhaps a talk to a student group), lunch, dinner, ... Without coming across as overly anxious, try to get as much information as you can in advance about the events. (Most departments provide the candidate with a schedule for the interview by e-mail before the candidate arrives.) Even social events (e.g., lunch and dinner) can leave impressions that influence the outcome of the job search. It is important to listen, ask questions, provide information, be yourself, and appear interested.

Dressing For An Interview (Employment Center or on-campus):

  • Your clothes should be neat and professional looking, and probably somewhat more formal than is typical for faculty, but don't go overboard.
  • For men, it is good to have a suit coat, but one doesn't have to wear it all day. One can put on a tie when meeting the dean, but don't feel like you have to wear it all day.
  • Women have a greater range of options (pants, a skirt, a dress are all fine --- anything that is neat and professional is okay).

Things to keep in mind when preparing a research talk for an interview:

  • So you can pitch your talk appropriately, ask the person organizing the interview who is likely to attend. Is the audience likely to include graduate students? Are any undergraduate majors expected? Do most or all faculty attend, or just those in certain areas? Is anyone outside the department likely to attend?
  • Ask what background you can assume of the audience.
  • Especially if a broad cross-section of the mathematics faculty is likely to attend, most of your talk should be accessible to a wide audience. Most faculty, and often even many members of the search committee, would most likely not be in your field and often they are, at least in part, trying to get a sense of your communications skills.
  • It is crucial to include appropriate background and motivation, invite questions, put your work in context, and paint the big picture.
  • Interview talks can be effectively done in any of the standard formats: chalk board or white board, with transparencies, with a computer, or a mix of these approaches. Each format has its advantages and disadvantages. Many departments prefer board talks for interviews since this format is closer to the typical classroom setting and so may help the department more accurately gauge your teaching style. Transparencies and computers allow for more complete statements of background and results without requiring a lot of time (and potential tedium) for writing on the board, but if you use these formats, be very careful to avoid the temptation to go too fast. It is not uncommon for computer and software problems to delay the start of talks that use computers; this is one of their drawbacks. Make sure you are comfortable with whichever format you choose.
  • Aim to make your talk very accessible. For instance, if your topic is geometric, make sure you provide pictures to help the audience follow; if the pictures are difficult or time-consuming to draw, have the pictures prepared in advance on the computer or on transparencies.
  • A good plan is to give a "graded" talk: make the first five or ten minutes very elementary (clearly accessible to everyone); make the next 20 to 30 minutes accessible but not so elementary; in the last 20 minutes, while keeping it as accessible as possible, make sure people realize that there is something substantial to your contributions.
  • Clearly state the results and constructions that you use. For instance, do not say "by X's theorem" without saying what X's theorem is (unless it is commonly known, not just known to experts in the area); do not refer to a particular invariant of your object without saying what that invariant is (unless it is well known). Perhaps a good guide to what is "commonly known" is what appears in the typical first-year core graduate courses in most departments. (For example, everyone should know what a homology group is; on the other hand, not everyone knows what the Tutte polynomial of a matroid is.)
  • Be ready to explain why your general area, as well as your particular results, are important --- if you don't address this question directly in your talk, people may very well ask!
  • Plan your talk carefully so that you can devote enough time to your results. You should convey the sense that you have really accomplished something.
  • Be sure to include directions for your future work.
  • Technical proofs should be avoided. Sketches of proofs are useful only if they really give the audience insight.
  • Practice your talk (perhaps several times) in advance so you can iron out any problems. This can be done in a seminar, or before a small group of faculty and fellow students.
  • For any talk, especially for an interview talk, it is good to have in mind multiple potential natural stopping points, each of which allows you to present at least a reasonable number of your results. This is important since, especially with an unknown audience, one typically cannot anticipate how many questions will be asked and how long it will take to address them.
  • It might be wise to scout out the research interests of the faculty (via the department web page) so that you can think ahead about possible relations between your work and theirs. (People might ask about this.)

Some teaching-oriented departments require a teaching talk. This can take a variety of forms (e.g., substituting for one of their faculty for a class, giving a general talk to their majors, talking about teaching, ...) If you have to give such a talk, get as much information as you can on the format, expectations, and audience from the person organizing the interview so you can discuss the options with your advisor and members of the graduate committee and so that you know what to prepare. If you have to teach someone's introductory class, do not try anything too ambitious (e.g., expecting a lot of interaction with students) since classes with a teacher who is new to the students can be awkward (like the first day of many classes) and the presence of faculty observing the class can only amplify the difficulties.

Questions to be prepared to answer during interviews (at JMM, by phone, or on-campus):

You may find it useful to ask friends or faculty to stage a "mock" interview if this helps you get comfortable answering such questions.

  • Describe your research. (Part of the point of the question is to hear how you explain mathematics one-on-one.)
  • How many papers do you expect to get out of your thesis? Out of other current projects? To which journals might you submit these papers?
  • Are you aware of any potential collaborators in this geographic area? Do you have any specific contacts?
  • What projects do you have lined up for the next two years?
  • What level of research activity do you want?
  • Would you prefer a post-doc or a tenure track position?
  • What computer resources do you need? What library resources do you need? What other resources do you need?
  • Do you intend to apply for grants?
  • Where would you like to see yourself professionally in five years? In ten years?
  • (For departments that have graduate programs.) Do you want to start working with graduate students soon? Do you have problems to suggest to graduate students? (These questions are more appropriate for a candidate who has some experience as a post-doc, rather than a fresh Ph.D.)
  • What led to your interest in mathematics? Why did you decide to go to graduate school and pursue a career in mathematics?
  • Are you interested in being part of a team organizing an REU program? Do you have potential projects in mind for REU students?
  • Are you interested in guiding undergraduate research projects?
  • What are you looking for in a department?
  • If you could decide which department would hire you, which would it be?
  • What courses have you taught? What courses would you be most interested in teaching?
  • What teaching strategies do you use?
  • What do you try to accomplish when teaching introductory courses?
  • Are you interested in using technology in the classroom? Are you interested in new approaches to teaching? (These are potentially loaded questions since some people hold strong and unpredictable views on these issues. It is safest to not be too opinionated.)
  • What would appeal to you about teaching at (school name)? What interests you about this position? Why did you apply? What do you know about (school name)? (Familiarity with the department and the school, e.g., via their web page, obviously helps.)
  • Deans commonly test your ability to communicate with non-specialists by asking you to describe your research. Be prepared to give a (highly non-technical) description of your work. It is perfectly valid (and probably wise) to describe instead closely-related or broader problems if they are more accessible than your own work (e.g., describe an application of the general area, even if that isn't the focus of your own work).

On-campus interviews are a chance for all parties to see if the match is good. The department is looking over a potential future colleague, so they expect to see someone with interest and enthusiasm who is ready to pitch in toward the common goals of the department (however the department defines those: high-quality teaching, research excellence, whatever) and who they have reason to anticipate will maintain a reasonable level of activity (however they define "reasonable"). You are looking at a department where, potentially, you might spend the next 40 years; if instead you change jobs, which department you are in can influence your prospects for your next job. Ask lots of questions so that you get a lot of information about the school. Asking lots of questions also gives the impression that you are on the ball and you have thought a lot about what is important to you.

Some questions to ask on an interview (perhaps multiple times (to different people, of course)):

  • What would you identify as the goals and priorities of the department?
  • What is the teaching load, both the number of courses and the distribution of courses (introductory, for majors, and (if applicable) for graduates)?
  • Do research-active faculty get teaching reductions?
  • If the teaching load is more than two courses a semester, how many preparations are involved? (E.g., sometimes if one teaches three classes, two are the same, so there are only two preparations.)
  • What is the typical class size for (a) introductory courses, (b) courses for majors, and (c) (if applicable) graduate courses?
  • If there are large classes, what type of support is there? (TAs? graders? etc.)
  • Is there an expectation that computers are used in classes? Is there technical support for those faculty who want to use computers in class?
  • What is the typical number of math majors in a graduating class?
  • What are the teaching/research/service expectations for tenure and what relative weight do these three categories have?
  • What is the department's record on granting tenure? How many people have applied for tenure in the last ten years and how many have been granted tenure?
  • Do people in the department collaborate on research?
  • (Especially for those in applied mathematics:) Is there much interaction with faculty from other departments?
  • Are there seminars and colloquia? Are there seminars and colloquia at nearby universities?
  • Is there an expectation that faculty get grants? Is there support for grants (staff to handle the budget, to ease the burden of the paperwork, etc.)?
  • How good are the library facilities? Is there a good inter-library loan system? How long does it take to get journal articles that the library doesn't have on hand?
  • How are the computer facilities? Is there a support staff? If a computer breaks, how long does it take before it is fixed? Are standard packages like Mathematica and Maple readily accessible? Is MathSciNet accessible from all faculty computers?
  • Does the university provide travel support for conferences? If so, what is the level of support?
  • Are internal grants for summer research support available? If so, how competitive is the selection process?
  • Do new faculty get any type of start-up package (money for a computer, printer, books, travel, visitors, ...)?
  • Is it common for undergraduates to do research projects? Are such projects expected?
  • What are the benefits (insurance, retirement, tuition benefits for children and spouses, etc.)?
  • What do you like about the department? The university? What do you dislike about the department? The university?
  • How much administrative work and committee work do faculty do?
  • Do faculty have reduced service loads prior to tenure?
  • What is the university's policy on sabbaticals? Are sabbaticals fairly automatic granted for faculty who maintain a reasonable level of activity? What support does one get during sabbatical? (E.g., common arrangements are full pay for semester-long sabbaticals and somewhat more than half pay for year-long sabbaticals?)
  • Does the university allow half-sabbaticals (one semester) at the half-way point to tenure? (Some universities have this to allow candidates to build up their research credentials.)
  • What is the student body like? Homogeneous or heterogeneous? Is it made up of mostly local students, or is there a large national or international presence?
  • Is child-care available? What is the policy on maternity leave?
  • What is it like to live in the area? Is it interesting? Are there bookstores, restaurants, concerts, outdoor activities (fill in your favorite interests)...? How affordable is housing? Do most faculty live reasonably close to the school?
  • It is best to ask deans broader questions, such as the following. How is the department viewed by the rest of the university? Is the department seen as mainly a service department, a research department, or somewhere in between? Is the department seen as improving, holding steady, or going down? Has the university recently been able to attract new faculty of the quality and level they are satisfied with? Is the institution in sound shape in terms of, for instance, a steady and large supply of high quality applicants? Are enrollments growing? Is the school going through any major changes, or are any on the horizon? Are there reasonable options for getting special funds if one seeks to introduce innovative programs, such as starting a series of talks aimed at majors? (In some small schools, you might also meet with higher administrators, who can be asked similar questions. Keep in mind that talking with deans (and other administrators, if applicable) is important --- they must approve hiring you.)

Of course, the questions above are just a sample of the potential questions and not all of these questions apply to everyone and in every situation. You should think about what issues are important to you and formulate your own questions.

For all interviews (Employment Center, phone, and on-campus), take notes: after going through several interviews, you may easily confuse which information applies to which school.

It is wise to spend time looking at a department's website before an interview: it will be easier to catch people's names if you've already seen their web pages and perhaps their pictures; you'll know more about the interests of the faculty and the programs that the department offers; in general, you improve your chances of coming across as interested and on top of things in conversations.

Learn from your interviews. After each interview, figure out what went well and what didn't, and think about what you can and should do differently for future interviews. Discuss your interviews with your advisor and others.

Typically once you get a job offer, the department and the school have a vested interest in seeing that you accept, so you can often get them to boost the salary modestly (although this can be delicate, depending on many, many factors).

We have sometimes hired our own students as visiting professors. (This option, of course, is not always available --- the dean has the say over what positions we can offer.) Although this has been the best thing in certain situations (e.g., for students who, perhaps for family reasons, are restricted to working in the DC area), it is generally not a wise career move to work where you studied --- it can be viewed as suggesting that you couldn't get any other job, and such perceptions, even if unfounded, can work against you later.

Some useful websites not already cited:
The AMS web pages of advice on various aspects of finding a job
Young Mathematicians' Network
Advice and links from the UC Davis Galois Group
Advice from the LSU Mathematics Department

Part II: Non-Academic Jobs

The writer of this document had no first-hand knowledge of searching for non-academic jobs; this part of the document was prepared with significant input from the people who are credited at the end and it includes some of the common themes mentioned in several of the web pages cited below.

The avenues for finding non-academic jobs, and the procedures for applying for them, are more varied than is the case for academic jobs; it is probably not realistic to give the sort of rough outline that was given above for academic jobs. It may be best to start your search by reading the variety of perspectives found in the web pages cited below before you blaze your own trail. Also, at some point early in your search, you should take advantage of the services offered by GW's Career Center. Below we mention some key points you should keep in mind.

[coming soon]

It is often recommended to start your job search the better part of a year before you anticipate graduating. The degree of flexibility about how much time you have to decide whether to accept an offer and when you start on a job will vary from employer to employer. You can apply for both academic and non-academic jobs simultaneously.

During your search, learn from your experience. As you get feedback on applications and interviews, reappraise and revise your application material and interview style. Refine your search strategy. Figure out what level of detail on your resume is appropriate for the type of job you are seeking and adjust your resume accordingly. Refine the various ways you describe your research and your skills to the full range of interviewers that you talk with. (Keep in mind that their level of technical background is likely to range from nil to advanced, but even those with considerable technical background are likely to be in fields that are different from yours.) In short, continue to revise your application materials and strategy as you learn what works.

Non-Academic jobs might be found by:

  • Posted announcements (e.g., on the SIAM or AMS web pages; several such websites are listed below),
  • By word of mouth (networking is important; talk with faculty about which graduate alumni and other people with a connection to the department (e.g., former faculty, SPWM alumni) are in industry and feel free to contact them and ask if they know of any leads; when possible, seek to make contacts with people working in industry when you are at conferences, e.g., at the JMM mentioned in the first part of this document),
  • Applying to businesses that you think could effectively use your skills, even before they announce a position; aim to convince them that your skills could indeed benefit them,
  • Professional career advisors (expensive!) or university career services,
  • Job fairs.

The array of potential employers includes government, national laboratories, and federal research centers, as well as almost every branch of business and industry. Use web resources (including those given below) to locate potential employers and to learn more about what they do and how you could fit in. A very practical approach is to use your connections --- your friends, your relatives' friends, your friends' friends, and so on. Having a contact inside a company through whom you can submit your resume can make a huge difference.

Some federal government jobs require a Ph.D. in mathematics or statistics. Many, but not all, government-related jobs are open only to U.S. citizens; these include some positions in government departments as well as at consulting firms that are contractors for the government. The federal government has its own official government job listing website. (Search engines can easily locate the counterparts for states.) You can also go the websites of individual federal departments and find their job listings.

While there are postdoctoral opportunities in academia and these are mostly announced in the venues that list academic jobs, in some research areas there are also postdoctoral opportunities in academia or national labs that can be created by identifying a person to work with (a mentor or advisor) and together developing and submitting a proposal to a funding agency, such as the National Science Foundation (see, for example, MSPRF), or to the National Research Council's Research Associate Programs. Talk with the faculty who have worked at NSF since they might be able to point you to the most promising programs. Industry (e.g., very large companies like Microsoft) may also be a source for postdoctoral positions; again, contacting and working through a particular potential mentor is the recommended route. Networking and using all possible contacts are absolutely crucial to identify possible mentors.

The GW Career Center can help with many aspects of non-academic job searches; you should explore their website and schedule a meeting with them. For instance, they offer advice on writing the sort of resume that will attract attention in industry; they also offer a resume critique service. (In contrast to academic CVs, resumes are short: 1 page is often said to be ideal; the focus is objectives rather than academic accomplishments.) The Recruiter-in-Residence program offers job interview advice and practice (mock interviews); this service is run by volunteers from employers. Recruiters come to our campus; sign up for interviews. More complete information can be found on the GW Career Center's website. Check the website periodically for announcements of jobs, job fairs, and more. The GW Career Center's e-mail is [email protected].

Advice from a university career center has the potential to be too generic, so, while you can probably gain much from their services, it is wise to also get as much feedback as possible from those knowledgeable about the specific area and the type of work you are seeking. One of the points on which you may see differences between a career center's recommendation and that of people in the field is on how much information should be included in a resume --- in some fields, it is considered helpful (especially for applicants with no work experience) to include all relevant projects in a resume.

Some head-hunters (people hired by companies to find the right people for specific jobs) search the web, and companies may look at applicants' web pages, so create or update your web page with this in mind. Post a copy of your resume there in a very accessible form (e.g., as an html document, perhaps with a pdf version for printing). Include some keywords that head-hunters might search for. Your resume can give your web page address and you can use your web page to mention additional relevant items that, for one reason or another (perhaps space constraints), do not appear on your resume.

Especially for someone without work experience, a successful job search starts with an effective resume. Post your resume on the major job search websites, among which Monster, CareerBuilder, and Dice come recommended by some alumni of our graduate program.

Some recruiting companies have expertise in jobs that involve mathematics; one such company is Analytic Recruiting, Inc. Their recruiters will try to find positions tailored to your interests. Many such services are free for applicants (companies pay for the service).

Identify and stress what you have to offer potential employers, especially things they might not have considered. Emphasize skills that you have acquired during your research that may be useful on the job and that may benefit from elaboration in your application; for instance, if your research involves significant computing, make sure that potential employers are aware of this. Make clear your desire to continue learning. It would be quite unusual if your graduate education included all of the background required in a particular area of application; almost surely you will need to learn much about the context (e.g., you would need to learn some biology to work in bioinformatics) and you will likely also have to learn or develop some new mathematics. Studying mathematics, especially at the graduate level, gives one the intellectual agility to pick up new technical skills relatively quickly and demonstrates success in mastering technical information --- you want to capitalize on this.

Think about what you want in a job and what will keep you happy and interested year after year (e.g., new intellectual challenges, supervisors who encourage innovation). Seek out employers who have a reputation for supporting what you see as important.

Keep in mind that a first job may be used as a stepping stone to develop your skills and acquire the experience that will improve your position for getting more desirable jobs later. Indeed, a few months spent on one job might suffice to improve your mobility considerably, and in today's job market it is not at all looked down on to change jobs after three to six months.

It is important to recognize and be in tune with the differences between academia and industry. In industry, people typically work in groups, the members of which have a wide range of backgrounds (often not in mathematics); the focus is solving specific problems (not building theories), and the problems are dictated by management or customers; deadlines are extremely important, so a reasonably good solution soon is better than a brilliant solution that comes after the deadline.

The greater your computer skills, the more opportunities you will have in industry. At a minimum, learn at least one programming language since knowing one computer language makes it relatively easy to pick up others. Familiarity with both high-level languages (e.g., Maple, Mathematica, Matlab, in which a lot of common operations are built-in) and languages in which the programmer has to do more (e.g., C++) is helpful. How much you would be expected to do with computers will vary with the type of job and with the size of the company; large companies may have a programming staff, but mathematicians may be expected to play this role in small companies and in such situations you would be expected to adhere to the standards of software engineering. Likewise, familiarity with spreadsheets (e.g., Excel) and database systems (e.g., SQL) is an asset. Statistics and statistical software (e.g., SAS, SPSS, and the open-source system R) are heavily used in many areas. The names of some software packages are sometimes keywords that employers look for. Even limited experience, or being in the process of learning, can be a big plus for first-time job searchers. (For students interested in working in industry, the graduate committee has often accepted some computer science and statistics courses as part of the students' programs.)

Communications skills, especially the ability to communicate with non-mathematicians, are very important in industry --- non-mathematicians will want you to solve certain problems and they will need to understand what you do. Before an interview, think through how you can effectively convey the spirit of your research to non-mathematicians, being careful to avoid the technical terms we use when talking with other mathematicians. (You can discuss your research on a more technical level with those who have enough background, but be aware that in many settings, it is unlikely that you will encounter someone with whom you can discuss your work at the level of a research seminar. For each person you interview with, try to gauge his or her background so you can pitch what you say at the right level, neither blowing the person away nor insulting his or her intelligence.)

Teaching skills are an asset in industry and can considerably further your career. Jobs in industry often include giving presentations to other team members or to customers, and the skills you have developed for making difficult ideas clear and breaking concepts down into bite-size pieces that are accessible to those will little or no technical background can make your presentations highly valued by all parties. These skills can also help your daily interactions with other members of your team. The same skills will put you in a good position to handle a variety of other tasks that may come up, such as writing proposals or preparing manuals for the users of your products. In case employers are not already aware of the value of your teaching experience, discuss it during interviews.

Of course, technical, problem-solving, and deductive skills are a mathematician's biggest asset. While many applications of these skills may be obvious (e.g., designing algorithms and verifying their correctness), other are more subtle; for instance, it may be important to explain to a customer or a fellow team member that the various criterion that he or she desires in a project are not mutually compatible (Arrow's theorem is a familiar instance of this; telling people that their project cannot be done might make them think you simply don't care to do it, but proving that it cannot be done will probably lead them to have great confidence in your analytic skills).

Dress professionally for interviews. Show respect for everyone during an interview.

It is essential to go into an interview with some understanding of the employer's goals and with ideas about how you can contribute to them. Think in advance about what you can say to help a prospective employer see that your research skills can be used to address the employer's problems. In industry, you are not going to be paid to continue the research you pursue in graduate school, but the many skills you have acquired as a graduate student can be effectively translated and applied to new settings: make it clear that you are flexible, ready to work outside your research area, and eager to contribute to the employer's projects.

Some interviews for non-academic jobs have two parts, one very technical, the other less so. The technical portion aims to verify that you know what you claim to know on your resume (e.g., you might be asked to write computer code on a white board, both pseudo code and syntactically correct code). The less technical part of the interview aims to determine if you are a good fit for the company (e.g., whether you are likely to be satisfied with the work environment and whether you fit into the culture of the company). Both you and the prospective employer should be trying to determine whether the match is good; asking questions and being yourself are important.

One popular approach that companies use to interview their candidates is known as the behavioral interview. The questions posed can surprise you if you haven't prepared. However, there is a fairly standard set of questions asked during behavioral interviews, and these can be found by searching the web; one website that discusses this technique and the questions asked is Quintessential Careers.

Interviews should involve a two-way exchange of information, so ask plenty of questions. Asking insightful questions during an interview is a key factor in making a positive impression; not asking questions may make you appear naive or uninterested. You won't know everything about the job and the work environment before your interview: ask about things you don't know. Ask for details about the job and the group you'd be working with. Different questions are appropriate for different types of jobs, but here are a few questions for starters; you should think of more that fit your situation.

  • Are new ideas encouraged?
  • Are the group dynamics positive?
  • What level of work is expected; for example, would you be expected to develop broad ideas, devise algorithms, or actually write code?
  • Would you be interacting mostly with people within the company or directly with customers?
  • How challenging and satisfying do those you'd be working with find their jobs?
  • What opportunities are there for advancement?
  • To what extent is learning encouraged and supported?
  • What are the benefits (health, retirement, and professional development)?
  • Will the company pay tuition for you to take advanced programming or statistics courses? Are there in-house courses?
  • Is work limited to the 9-to-5 hours, or are you expected to take work home with you? Are you likely to get calls at home in the evening or on weekends?
  • What sort of vacation time do you get? Will your vacation be respected, or are you likely to get calls from the office?

Ask about issues that can arise due to the location of the company (e.g., if the office is in a densely populated area, asking about parking or typical commuting times might be relevant). Asking such question conveys the idea that you are serious about this job opportunity.

If programming is likely to be a significant part of a job, it may be good to take to the interview a portfolio of programs that you have written (make sure that the format is appropriately portable, that you know what operating system you will have access to during the interview, and that you remember the details of the programs well enough that you will be able to answer questions with no problems).

Think in advance how you would answer the question "Why are you looking for a non-academic job?" (Of course, it is not good to say "Well, the academic job market is bad now." Don't be put off by this question, if it is asked. Academic jobs and non-academic jobs have different advantages and disadvantages, and together they can meet a wide variety of tastes and preferences. Industry certainly has a strong need for the skills of Ph.D.s in mathematics; industry also has a variety of challenging problems that are of mathematical interest.)

Certain postdoctoral positions may have a research talk as part of the interview process; in such cases, the same guidelines (above) apply as for research talks for academic positions.

For those preparing to enter industry in a few years,

  • acquire some computer skills and some background in statistics,
  • go to conferences to meet people (network) and make your work known,
  • consider doing an internship (e.g., at NASA, NSA, NIH, NIST), and
    • Consider taking part in an industrial mathematics workshop, such as
    • The industrial workshops organized by the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA; Minneapolis),
    • The program Industrial Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Workshop for Graduate Students, which is run by the mathematics department at North Carolina State University,
    • The Workshop on Mathematical Problems in Industry, started at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and held in a variety of locations.

Among the many other research centers that regularly host workshops on applications of mathematics are the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) at UCLA, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) at Rutgers, the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery, and the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS).

Websites with job announcements outside of academia:

  • Job postings on the SIAM website. (Click on SIAM Job Board. Also see SIAM's Personal Job Alert e-mail service part of the Job Board.)
  • Job postings on the AMS website. AMS members can sign up for weekly e-mail updates. (Most jobs listed are academic, but the number of non-academic jobs listed there is increasing.)
  • A wide range of jobs in the U.S. and abroad can be found at http://careerjet.com.
  • For a wide variety of jobs world-wide, see http://mathjobs.com and http://jobs.ac.uk.
  • For jobs in finance, see http://www.wilmott.com. (Click on Latest Jobs.)

Websites with advice on finding non-academic jobs:

General information about non-academic jobs:

Help keep this document up to date

Help make this document as useful as possible for everyone. If you notice a significant omission, some incorrect information, or have some suggestions or feedback, please send e-mail to [email protected].


Thanks to Laure Helme-Guizon, who provided valuable feedback on an earlier draft of this document, and to Katie Gurski, Robert Kingan, Sandra Kingan, William Miller, and Hongxun Qin, who shared ideas and resources that have greatly furthered the portion of this document devoted to non-academic jobs.