American Sociological Association

Job Seekers

The ASA Career Center will once again host the Annual Meeting Employment Fair as well as the popular Prep Talks series.

Prep Talks

This year we are excited to expand on the Prep Talk series. Prep Talks are short dynamic presentations on an array of topics that will be helpful to job seekers at all stages of their career search. The presentations are scheduled for Saturday, August 10 in conjunction with the Employment Fair. Your meeting badge will be required to enter.

9:30 - 10:15 a.m.
But Why Do You Love Teaching? Applying for Positions at "Teaching Institutions"
Diane Pike, Augsburg University
It’s a question of degree, not of kind. R1 universities make claims about good teaching--they may not sufficiently reward it, but they promise it to the parents of students. At the same time, liberal arts and comprehensive colleges, as well as R2 publics, often have significant scholarship and research expectations--for which there is widely varying financial support. This interactive session focuses on how to make the case for your fit with a primarily teaching institution attending to approaches, evidence, and presentation of self.

10:30 - 11:15 a.m.
Seeing Success After the PhD: Three Things You Can Do Right Now to Jumpstart a Successful Career Outside the Academy
Rachel Leventhal-Weiner, Connecticut’s Office of Early Childhood
Your professional life is happening right now and most graduate programs provide little advance preparation for students thinking about working in the public or social sector. No matter your stage of graduate work or your career, there are things you can start doing to take your professional life out of the academy. In this Prep Talk, Dr. Rachel Leventhal-Weiner offers three things you can do right now to plan for your future professional life: 1) Forge your path; 2) Talk to people; and 3) Fill in the gaps. An educator, researcher and advocate, Dr. Leventhal-Weiner is a sociologist of education with a passion for data and information. Dr. Leventhal-Weiner has written and spoken about faculty and family life, balancing the personal and the professional, and about the importance of bringing sociology into the public sector. She was most recently appointed to Connecticut state government to lead the research and planning efforts in an agency focused on early childhood.

11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
How to be Interesting for 45 Minutes
Stephanie Bohon, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Job talks provide answers to the following questions:  1) What did I do?  2) How did I do it?  3) Why is it important?  And 4) What did I find?  A good scholar can and should answer those four questions in about five minutes.  However, a typical job talk is 45 minutes long, so 40 of those 45 minutes are filler.  Often, this filler is overly pedantic, unnecessarily technical, and excruciatingly dull to all but a few people in the audience.  Fortunately, there are proven strategies for sounding smart AND interesting to the entire audience.  In this talk, I discuss the job talk from the audience’s point of view and provide advice for giving a job talk that makes a great impression all the way through. 

12:30 - 1:15 p.m.
What Does the Job Market Look Like?
Teresa Ciabattari, ASA
Whether you’re looking for a job now, or still have several years left in your graduate program, it is important to understand the contours of the job market in sociology. This presentation will present data from ASA’s 2018 Job Bank to answer questions such as, what areas of specialization are most sought after and which geographic regions offer the most jobs? The ASA Job Bank provides insights on the types of jobs available for sociologists and strategies that can lead you to them.<

1:30 - 2:15 p.m.
Money Isn’t Everything: The Dos and Don’ts of Negotiating an Academic Contract
Verna Keith, University of Alabama at Birmingham
What happens after you get an academic job offer?  What are the components of a contract? What does a “good” offer look like?  What steps are involved in reaching a mutually beneficial agreement between you and the institution?  These questions and more are addressed in this prep talk.  We explore general issues such as prioritizing needs versus wants, researching the department and institution, and strategies involved in negotiating with department chairs.  Nuts and bolts issues are also discussed, including salary considerations, relocation and housing, health and retirement (never too early to think about the latter), tenure and promotion requirements/timeline, teaching and advising, service expectations, and dual career/family issues.  A key topic for consideration is the start-up package consisting of resources that enhance your probability of success--- release from teaching during the probation period travel funds, workstations and software, graduate student and staff support, research leaves/sabbatical, release from teaching during the probation period.  See, there’s more to this academic job thing than “money.  Please join us.

2:30 - 3:15 p.m.
Writing a Cover Letter for the Academic Job Market (slides)
Victoria Reyes, University of California, Riverside
Whether you’re are an ABD on the job market for the first time or you are a postdoc or lecturer preparing for your fourth or fifth time on the market, the process of applying for tenure-track positions is often filled with anguish, disappointment and mystery. In this prep talk, I'll focus on one of the essential parts of your job market materials: the cover letter. I'll discuss the purpose of the cover letter, provide tips for writing a successful one, suggest common phrases to stay clear of, and tackle your specific questions, experiences, and dilemmas when writing one.  

3:30 - 4:15 p.m.
The Sociological Interview: Thoughts on Navigating the On-campus Interview (slides)
Anthony Paik, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Most sociologists have some expertise in conducting research interviews.  This talk considers whether this expertise carries over into job interviews and how job market candidates can navigate interviews with sociologists.  In this presentation, I seek to go beyond rules, conventions, norms, and expectations in on-campus interviews by considering the interview as a strategic interaction between departmental members and job market candidates.

4:30 - 5:15 p.m.
From Applying to Hiring: Experiences with Post-Doctoral Positions
Fernando Rivera, University of Central Florida
In this talk I share my experiences as a post-doctoral scholar and as a senior researcher hiring for a post-doctoral position. In particular, I discuss the expectations for such positions and how it continues to impact the professional and intellectual growth of social scientists.

Employment Fair

Any meeting registrant, whether currently on the job market or a future candidate, is invited to attend the Employment Fair. There is no fee beyond meeting registration to gain entrance to the Employment Fair. Your meeting badge will be required to enter the hall.

When: Saturday, August 10; 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Where: Hilton New York Midtown

The informal environment of the Fair is designed to be flexible to fit with your meeting schedule. The open Fair on Saturday offers the opportunity to meet with employers and discover more about their institutions, as well as positions currently available or future employment opportunities.

Sunday and Monday, August 11-12, are reserved for employer scheduled interviews. To increase your chances of receiving an interview, job seekers should contact those employers participating in the Employment Fair with whom they would wish to meet prior to arriving in New York. While this will not guarantee an interview, it will indicate your interest to the employer and increase your chances of receiving an interview. Please see the current list of 2019 Employment Fair employers for more information.

ASA members on the job market are encouraged to activate or update their Job Bank Resume Listing to ensure it is active through August 20, 2019. Having your resume listing active means that employers with a current listing in the Job Bank can review your resume. While this will not guarantee an interview, it will make you more visible to employers.

Coming Soon: Directions on how to indicate you will be at the ASA Annual Meeting on your Job Bank Resume Listing

Job Seeker FAQs

View 2019 Registered Employers


Questions? Contact Jamie Lynn Panzarella at
(202) 383-9005 Ext. 875


2019 Pearson
2019 Fordham University
2019 Hofstra