I’m going on the academic job market for the first time starting this coming fall. What should I expect?
That depends a lot on your field and your subfield, as well as on your own qualifications. But there are certain common features that hold true across the tenure-track market, which tends to be highly competitive in many disciplines and sub-disciplines, though far worse in some than in others. At any rate, let me try to enumerate some of the many things that you can expect as a first-timer on the faculty market:
You can expect the competition to be fierce. In many fields you may find very, very few tenure-track openings for which you can apply. In certain humanities fields, the number of positions advertised over the course of the entire job cycle in 2015-16 may be in the single digits.
You can expect to receive little or no acknowledgment of your applications from departments. You may well never be told that you have been removed from consideration.
You can expect to depend on the Jobs Wiki for information on the progress of searches. You can expect to be Googled, once you make the long shortlist…