Graduate Student Resources
This page provides professional development resources for graduate students, including information on job postings, writing resources, and interview skill building.
While these resources are useful, only about half of academic jobs are posted to job boards. If there’s a particular area or institution you’re interested in working for, it’s a good idea to look at the institutional website directly.
- Handshake (MTSU Career Center)
- MTSU subscribes to this database which allows you to create a personal profile and view and apply for jobs and internships. You can also attend virtual professional development events and learn information about employers, communities, and career paths.
- MLA Job Information List (JIL)
- The JIL posts academic Liberal Arts jobs. It is free to access and requires no log in for searching.
- This job board provides extensive services, including job alerts, news, advice, and a space to create a profile and upload/maintain a resume. It posts academic and administrative positions both in and outside of university settings.
- This interactive map allows you to see rhetoric and composition jobs in their geographic locations. It links directly to the postings. You can also follow their frequent updates on Twitter.
- Inside Higher Ed
- Similar to the Chronicle, this board posts tens of thousands of positions and provides alerts and document storage. It also sorts positions by type and employer.
- MTSU Transcript Request
- Follow the instructions using this link in the event that a potential employer asks for official transcripts to be sent from MTSU. Unofficial transcripts can be copied from Pipeline.
- MTSU Writing Center
- The Writing Center can help you brainstorm, construct, or edit any professional document you are preparing.
- MTSU Career Center, Document Drop
- Submit a Word document here for global and rhetorical feedback on your professional development documents.
- RefWorks (via MTSU Library)
- Archive research materials and get citation help using RefWorks. You can download an extension of this software to both MS Word and Google Docs to easily integrate source and citation material.
- MTSU Library Resources for Graduate Students
- This link provides a menu of Library services specific to graduate students.
Cover Letter Writing Resources
- MTSU Career Center, Cover Letter Writing Guide
- The Career Center’s downloadable pdf provides the basic outline and parameters for any general professional cover letter. It’s a solid resource to start your letter development.
- OWL Purdue, Academic Cover Letter Guide
- OWL Purdue explains the difference between business and academic cover letters and provides rhetorical advice along with an outline and sample. Finally, they link to their Career Wiki, which, while based in Purdue University, still provides extensive and helpful information for any job seeker.
- Inside Higher Ed, “Understanding Cover Letters"
- Cheryl Ball, a leading compositionist, offers an excellent article, clearly describing the do’s and do not’s of academic cover letter writing, paragraph by paragraph.
- Indeed.com, “How to Write a Cover Letter for Jobs in Academia”
- Indeed provides both a video and written recommendations for collecting content for your academic cover letter. Unlike the other resources, this article is not an outline; rather, it provides preparation advice.
CV Writing Resources
- MTSU Career Center, CV Writing Guide
- This incredibly practical downloadable document not only explains the differences and nuance between a CV and Resume, but it also provides step by step instructions to collect information, templates, and 3 models.
- OWL Purdue, CV Writing
- Purdue summarizes a CV template and contents and provides a list of other helpful resources.
- Indeed.com, “Academic CV Guide”
- With both an article and video, Indeed clearly explains the difference between resumes and CVs and gives insightful recommendations about category headings and making modifications for your audience.
- Higher Ed Jobs, Resume/CV Advice
- Higher Ed Jobs collected several CV advice articles and put them all in one place.
Teaching Philosophy Resources
- MTSU LT&ITC, "Developing or Updating Your Teaching Philosophy Statement"
- Tom Brinthaupt, an expert in Philosophy writing, is an MTSU Psychology Professor. This video is an hour-long workshop he provided for graduaate students.
- Chronicle of Higher Education, “How to Write a Statement of Teaching Philosophy”
- Gabriela Montell, an education writer and editor, writes an advice column for academic job seekers overviewing the purpose, tone, and preparation of teaching philosophies.
- Sample Teaching Philosophies from MTSU English Department [file/link coming soon]
- This annotated PDF provides the teaching philosophies of several MTSU English Department members.
Interview Skill-building Resources
The academic interview process is varied, and you can expect several steps incorporating different interview types including phone, video, conference, campus, presentations, and follow-ups. Any of these interviews may take place with an individual or a panel made up of faculty, admin, staff, and students. The purpose of this process is to ensure that a candidate fits a department and campus culture in teaching, scholarship, and engagement. The resources listed here offer general preparation recommendations and descriptions, but you are always advised to review questions and materials with a mentor and colleagues.
- MTSU Career Center, Big Interview
- Big Interview is an “online interviewing preparation platform that combines training and practice to help improve skills and build confidence.” After setting up a free account, you can use the software to participate in mock interviews, review a huge database of questions with answers and tips, and share your own interview answers for feedback.
- Chronicle of Higher Education, “A Guide to Campus Interviews”
- Julie Vick and Jennifer Furlong, both career services directors, explain the different types of interviews an applicant may encounter and make some excellent, direct suggestions for preparation for the various stages. They also link to several additional, useful articles with more specific advice.
- Tenure, She Wrote, “I Can Haz Job? Tips and Tricks for the Academic Interview”
- Although female focused, this blog post provides loads of practical advice for any gender about what to bring and wear for a campus interview. It also discusses preparing questions, sounding confident, observing toxic behavior, and what to do if you don’t get the job.
- National Institute of Health, “Preparing for Academic Interviews”
- The Office of Intramural Training and Education provides this wonderfully succinct PDF that outlines key subjects to prepare, along with some very direct Do’s and Don’ts.
Department of English
Middle Tennessee State University
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Main Office: Peck Hall 302
Chair: Dr. Stephen Severn
Telephone: (615) 898-2648