One of the best ways to prepare yourself for the job market is to become familiar with the Chronicle of Higher Education, an important trade periodical for our profession. The Chronicle sponsors a useful site called, Vitae, which includes a variety of articles on how to prepare your job application materials, including cover letters and teaching portfolios. The site includes advice on when to go out on the job market, how to balance finishing your dissertation with the time-consuming process of applying for jobs, how to choose who will write your letters of recommendation, and how to prepare for interviews both at the MLA convention and on campus. I recommend you create an account (it’s free!) and read through their archives, which contain useful, practical advice.