After a decade or more of higher education, postdoctoral experience, the papers, proposals, rejections, and successes, one might think that earning a post as an assistant professor would not be so tough. Wrong.
Many consider academia the pinnacle of the job market for Ph.D.s, particularly in the sciences. If we are not the best that we can be, we will not be funded, publish in well-read journals, or land that sought after job in the ivory tower, if that is our desire. Unfortunately the academic job hunt, particularly in the United States, is a labor-intensive, time-consuming, feedback-less, and drawn-out affair where excellence in one's chosen field and likely successful fulfillment of the job requirements are often not the determining factors as to whether a candidate is made the offer.