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anon anon anon

I think it looks tacky, especially when someone has very few other professional talks and so the job talks really stand out, but I'm just one person. (Also there's a flip side of what Marcus says above: if you have a lot of job talks, but no job (or a "less desirable" job than where you give job talks), people may think there is something wrong with you socially, or that something about your flyouts makes people who were previously excited about you less excited. Maybe this is unfair--I am not endorsing it! But I suspect it happens.)


Maybe I'm pessimistic, but I've always been confused about why this seems like a desirable thing to do. I've given job talks for TT searches at some nice institutions, and I didn't get any offers.

I could list all of these as research talks. Maybe it sends a signal that I'm somewhat competitive - after all, they only flew out a few people each. But on the other hand, it means that I'm supplying everyone with a list of institution that thought I was pretty good, but not good enough. And then various committees could think, "Well if this guy's not good enough for X College, then he's not good enough for us, obviously".

job talks

FWIW, Karen Kelsky strongly opposes listing job talks on CVs and alongside other presentations. Her argument is that these are a different sort of thing than actual research presentations and invited talks, and that failing to distinguish between job talks, presentations, and invited talks suggests that candidate is padding their CV and/or does not understand the differences among these.

Having never been asked to give a job talk, I don't have an especially strong view myself, but here simply report hers.

Assistant Professor

I see people do it under "invited talks" and it is obvious they are job talks (especially if you were at all aware of what departments were hiring in a given AOS in a given year) and I personally find it a curious practice but to each their own. Here are my necessary (but not sufficient) conditions for including them on a CV:

1. The hiring season is already over (you are not putting them on there to show a department your other potential options)
2. You did in fact land a job (otherwise it looks like you are invited to interview but always passed over, as the various "anons" say in the comments)
3. You think that the places that interviewed you reflects particularly well on you (for reasons you would have to fill in for yourself) in ways that outweigh how it could look negatively on you

elisa freschi

I might be wrong here, but I would say that what @jobtalks says depends a lot on the kind of talk you were invited for. I was once invited for a job talk that was really a teaching demonstration. I would not mention it in my cv, because (although I prepared for days), it was not about presenting new research. I could, by contrast, insert a research talk at a research institution where I was invited to present my latest research results and there was an interesting Q and A after it.

I also agree with the suggestion that I would take care of having many more talks (having just job talks looks suspicious).

William Vanderburgh

Would the job talk you gave for the job you got be worth anything in your tenure file at that institution? I doubt it. By that logic, job talks don't go on the c.v.


Well this is frustrating. I've listed a job talk on my C.V. I didn't think much of it. I certainly didn't think it seemed especially desirable or that it would really impress anyone all that much. It's just part of the record of my work. I also didn't think it would cause worries among search committees. It didn't even occur to me. No one I've showed my C.V. mentioned anything about it - none of my letter writers nor the placement director. I'm at a top program that has been comparatively successful at placing students. And yet by the tone of the comments and post, I've made a non-trivial mistake...

Alright, c'est la vie I suppose. I know for next time. I just hope committees can avoid inferring much by such a tiny C.V. construction choice. Most of us are trying to teach, write a dissertation, get publications, sitting in on various departmental committees, organizing next week's colloquium, writing a conference presentation, improving our writing samples, improving our teaching, research, and diversity statements, and improving our cover letters. I understand the problem with flight risks and suspect that's unavoidable. However, I hope committees - since I am constantly reminded how overburdened they are - can have the wisdom (empathy?) to look at a small C.V. choice and, sans flight risk, think little of it.


I don't think it is a problem to list (research) job talks on the c.v. - I certainly wouldn't hold it against a candidate applying for a job given that there is no consensus in the field about whether to list them.
That said, for some folks, you might think about having different c.v.'s for applying for jobs vs. internally for the Dean/University you work at, for tenure and promotion. Contra William, having a lot of talks listed on your c.v. (whether they were job talks or not) might at least help inform internal T and P committees that you're active in the field.
Of course, you're right that the value here is probably minimal (nothing like a publication). But if there is a point of putting any talks on your c.v., I don't see why you can't also include job talks. For our annual reviews, we're supposed to list places we have given (research) talks on our c.v., regardless of whether they were job talks.

If you gave a talk somewhere and got useful feedback on a paper, you might even thank the audience at University X, etc. So why not put it on your c.v.?

If you really think it looks like it will be sending a "bad signal", then I suppose you could leave it off the c.v. you use to apply for jobs.

However, when I was on the job market for a few years, I gave regular colloquium talks and (research) job talks. I didn't distinguish them on my c.v., and so I don't see how the reader would even necessarily know which were job talks and which were just talks where someone I know invited me to give a research talk...

Daniel Weltman

Even after hearing people express what they don't like about it I can't for the life of me see why anyone would dislike seeing job talks listed on a CV unless the job talks are distinct from normal colloquium talks. At some universities they are, and at some universities they aren't. If your job talk is not like a normal talk, then like Elisa says, that is not something to list as a normal talk. But if it's a normal talk, and the only distinction is that they are (by the way) thinking about hiring you, then I don't see why people would be upset about listing it like a normal talk.

So e.g. with respect to it looking tacky (anon anon anon) I don't understand why. With respect to Karen Kelsky, I think she has in mind disciplines where job talks are never normal colloquium talks. With respect to whether the talks would contribute to one's tenure file (William Vanderburgh) I think one's talk at one's own institution would not count but that a talk at some other institution would, wouldn't it? So listing job talks that didn't result in a job would be fine. I think at one point in the past I heard someone express the thought that job talk invitations are extended under different criteria than normal colloquium invitations. But I think there is not enough uniformity among normal colloquium invitations for this to make a difference: my one colloquium talk exists because I was going to be in the area and I asked someone I knew at the nearby university if I could be invited to give a talk. Etc. Maybe there are other reasons to dislike listing job talks but I can't remember finding any of them convincing.

There are of course prudential reasons not to do this, and I think those have been elaborated pretty well by various people in this thread. I can't even remember if I have my job talks on my CV (I only gave 2, one at the place I'm at, so I think that one at least is not listed). I know at one point I did and at one point I didn't. I think probably for people on the job market it's safer to err on "don't list them" since I think the general rule of the job market is that it's worse to piss anyone off than to present oneself as slightly less attractive than one could. But for people off the job market I don't see why you would leave them off, except that other people expect you to leave them off (which is not a bad reason, but again I've never seen a good justification for the expectation).

Pretty good.

The set of people that a department invited to a campus visit but did not hire is extremely small and it is very difficult to be a member of that set.

The set of people a department did not invite to a campus visit is usually regrettably large and, concerns about applications becoming continually onerous not withstanding, fairly easy to be a member of that set.

Therefore, listing job talks on one's CV indicates that one has been a member of a small set that is very difficult to become a member of. It seems clear to me that this is a positive feature of a candidate. Not as good as being hired, of course. But still pretty good.

That said, how members of a search committee *should* respond to a piece of information about a candidate may differ, sometimes greatly, from how a search committee member *does* respond to a piece of information about a candidate.

A lot of the challenge of being on the job market boils down to trying to anticipate how a bunch of people with vastly different personalities, most of whom you know very little or nothing about, will react to what you include in your application materials.

anon anon anon

Frustrated: as the first person who commented here, and someone who has been on a number of search committees... please do not despair. This, like many (but definitely not all!) issues discussed on this blog (in particular about small issues about CVs, etc.) is extremely unlikely to make a difference to your application. And for every person who thinks "oh that's slightly annoying", or forms some very slightly negative idea from some tiny choice about your CV, there is often another one who thinks "oh that's impressive", or whatever. (I know I contributed to the discussion! But I should have prefaced what I said by saying "this is extraordinarily unlikely to make a difference between being interviewed and not interviewed". I truly can't imagine it ever making that difference!)


I never listed job talks on my CV but I can't understand how it could be so obvious just from looking at a list of talks that some of them were job talks. That is, unless you write "job talk". Isn't the norm to just list a title and the place where you gave the talk (maybe with an indication whether it was invited or not), unless the talk was part of a conference or workshop? How can someone tell whether my talk at University of X was a job talk or a normal colloqium talk? I know some universities don't really have normal colloqium talks, but they would likely be universities that are more teaching focused and so you wouldn't be likely to give a colloqium-style talk there anyway.


I don’t put mine on my CV simply because I think it would be sort of obvious they were job talks and I don’t want people to be able to look at my CV and see all the places I interviewed! Not cause they are bad schools but it’s just not info I want publicly available. Plus I don’t think it would make a major difference to anyone’s CV either.

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