Take up ALL the space in the chair (you can do this even if you are a small woman—it’s in the body language). Do not, under any circumstances, fuss with your hair, clothes, or jewelry. Women, work on any tendency to a high pitched nasal tone.Speak in a lower register if you can—lower tones are the tones of authority, for better or worse.Provide those, and chances are your “radical” perspective will get a balanced hearing. This is understandable, because their status is insecure.I’m not saying you won’t have to fight for your perspective. One outcome of the insecurity is that you tend to “pile on” examples that “prove” that your topic is a legitimate one.But it will be a fair fight, not a case of your total persecution by the “powers that be” in your field. It’s the classic dissertation disease of seeing your topic in every single thing in the universe.Job market: Dark tales of victimization at the last conference and mutterings about how “my argument has really pissed off some people in the field” will not make you look mysterious and desirable. Everyone suffers this to some degree while writing the dissertation.Job market: paranoia is extremely unattractive and a major red flag signalling an immature candidate not ready for prime time. department signals how you will talk about your future department.
Search committees will reject anyone who appears immature and insecure.You must appear at your interviews as if you are a person who is already successfully employed as an assistant professor.Your clothes must be new and must fit you at your current weight, and be hemmed (sleeves, pants, skirt) to the appropriate length.Grad student: I have a 102 fever but it’s ok—I spent the morning in the library and as soon as I get through teaching my 3 sections I plan to skip dinner and make up for the writing I didn’t get done over the weekend! They also display their lack of capital through old, worn clothes and ungroomed hair.The cover letter version of this advice: Don’t discuss what your dissertation doesn’t do or still needs to address. Job market: Search committees are hiring a colleague, not a graduate student.