The Professor Is In

The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D Into A Job

By Karen Kelsky

Three Rivers Press, 2015

PhDs who have struggled on the academic job market over the last decade may be familiar with the name Karen Kelsky. With her social media presence in support of her consulting services at The Professor Is In, she has become known for providing both stern warnings and focused, specific advice regarding the academic job hunt.

Kelsky is not one to provide generic or ambiguous advice. She explains exactly how you should approach the academic job hunt, and how to present yourself as a serious academic. Her approach may seem cynical or calculating at times, but this is because she knows the hyper-competitive job market can be very unforgiving to candidates who don’t follow the many unwritten rules of engagement.

The book contains highly practical advice on topics like maintaining a CV, crafting job documents, handling interviews, negotiating offers, and writing grant applications. While it is an essential resource for PhDs preparing to enter the job market, graduate students who read this book early in their programs and consult it regularly should derive even greater benefit.

The last section of the book looks at work outside of academia, and although she provides some excellent tips, this is not Kelsky’s area of expertise. The Professor Is In is designed to help you become an employable academic, and for that it is one of the best guides available.