How to Give a Great Job Talk


Instructor: Carl M. Cohen, PhD

President, Science Management Associates


Enrollment limit: 15


Do you know the crucial difference between a job talk and a research seminar? And even if you do know the difference will your job talk be a help or a hinderance to your candidacy?


Giving a job talk is about far more than the slides you show and the data you present. Many scientists mistakenly believe that all they need to do is present stellar research results to clinch a job offer. In doing so they forget the cardinal rule of recruiting— people hire people, not research projects. How you present yourself and your information is every bit as important, and sometimes more important, than what you’re presenting. If you fail to come across as collegial, responsive to questions and interested in what others in the department or company are up to you may as well not give a talk at all.


This workshop is a practical guide on how to structure and deliver a scientific job talk that shows your work and, more importantly, shows you in the best possible light. Prior to the workshop, participants will receive guidelines on how to structure and present a job talk. During the workshop each participant will have the opportunity to present a short version of a job talk to the other workshop participants and to receive real-time feedback on content, delivery and responsiveness to questions. You will learn how others see you and how you come across to an audience. You will leave the workshop with a new sense of your strengths and with a roadmap of how you can improve.


Because of the nature of this workshop (each participant gives a very short talk and gets feedback) there will be a limit of ten to fifteen participants per half-day workshop. For larger groups the workshop can be repeated.


Workshop format


Three weeks before the workshop participants will receive guidelines on how to prepare and deliver a job talk. Using these guidelines, each participant will prepare a five to eight minute (depending on the number of workshop participants) “mini” job talk with slides and will present their talk to the entire group during the workshop. Using rules set by the instructor, workshop participants and the instructor will give each presenter feedback (5 to eight minutes) on their talk (content, format and organization) and on its delivery, focusing on what they did well and what they could do better.

Contact: Marian Jakubiak,

    • Best foot forward, Part 3: How to give a great job talk Block 1
    • 12:00 PM
    • Best foot forward, Part 3: How to give a great job talk Block 2