Philip Guo (Phil Guo, Philip J. Guo, Philip Jia Guo, pgbovine)

My faculty job application materials

Here are all of my application materials for tenure-track assistant professor positions. I went through two rounds of job searches, first in 2012–2013 and then in 2015–2016.

2012–2013 materials, applied when I was a software engineer at Google (not so good ... the next set is much better):

2015–2016 materials, applied when I was a second-year assistant professor at the University of Rochester (much more proud of this set of materials):

Also, letters of recommendation are a crucial part of these job applications, but those are confidential. In fact, my hunch is that they are more important than anything the applicant writes. Without strong letters, it's really hard to get interviews.

Here are some quick tips about applications.

If you want examples of top-notch materials in computer science, see Björn Hartmann's application materials for HCI, Eugene Wu's materials for databases, and Jean Yang's for programming languages (CV, research, teaching, diversity).


Most of my interviews were in CS (Computer Science), CSE (Computer Science & Engineering), or EECS (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science) departments.

Spring 2013 interviews:

  • University of Rochester CS*
  • University of Utah CS*
  • North Carolina State University CS*
  • University of San Francisco CS*
  • Oregon State University EECS*
  • Northeastern University CS*
  • Dartmouth College CS
  • Washington University in St. Louis CSE

Spring 2016 interviews:

  • UCSD Cognitive Science*
  • UCLA CS*
  • UC Berkeley School of Information*
  • Yale University CS*
  • CU Boulder CS
  • Northwestern University EECS and SESP (joint position)

*The asterisk means that I either had a personal faculty contact in that department or had someone I knew strongly refer me. It's evident from this data that having meaningful personal contacts matters a ton for getting interviews.

Here are some brief tips about interviews.

Job talks

I was very happy with both sets of job talks and had a lot of fun giving them (some tips here).

My talk in Spring 2013 was called Programming On Demand: Wrangling, Iterating, and Opportunistic Learning.

Here is me at Dartmouth:

My talk in Spring 2016 was called Interactive Systems for Learning Programming at Scale.

Here is me at UC Berkeley:

For more information about this process, read my complete faculty job search guide PDF or the related articles below.

Created: 2016-05-18
Last modified: 2016-05-18