The Importance of Networking and Self Promotion on the Tenure Track

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Sari Van Anders, a social neuroendocrinologist from U. Michigan gives some insight as to how to network and why you should really be self-promoting yourself! Why self-promote?

  • Help in finding allies and mentors
  • Demonstrate the relevance of your work
  • Community building

Why do you not self-promote?

  • Fear of scrutiny (tall poppy syndrome – “the tallest poppy gets cut down”)
  • Fear of appearing arrogant (you might be considered arrogant simply for being present)
  • Very challenging for introverts
  • Time management – where to find the time?

How to get started

  • Start when your first paper is in press
  • Speak to your peers as well as faculty
  • Your peers are future faculty and scholars
  • Be welcoming to your peers!
  • Accept offers of help – let peers and colleagues learn about your work!
  • Tweet, post on Facebook and share via department email

Networking via e-mail

  • Ask experts for pre-reads of papers and feedback (check with your advisor and follow norms in your field!)
  • Respond to messages in a timely fashion
  • Follow up meeting at conferences via email
  • Use e-mail as an easy way to avoid worries about your age, gender, social status, etc
  • Err on the side of formality – use titles!

Social networking

  • Join professional organizations and seek mentors (or become one!)
  • Ask questions at conferences
  • Use Google Scholar,, a personal website
  • Congratulate others
  • Be authentic


  • Apply
  • Don’t be humble
  • Have a mentor sponsor you – it’s sometimes who you know
  • Self nominate (you may be one of the few who do!)