I think one of the most brutal experiences I have had is being on the academic job market. Another faculty I know equated it with being audited by the IRS for 18 months straight . . . which I think pretty much captures the mental anguish involved. If you are going on the job market, or thinking about going on the job market, you might want to read this post by Tenured Radical.
Like Tenured Radical I was lucky in that I did not spend the five grueling years on the market that some now spend. The professionalization committee at the University of Albany did a fantastic job of helping those of us who were on the job market with our materials and preparing us for interviews. Especially for those in places where you are not getting good job advice this post is more than worth your time. And, I just want to highlight the first thing she says: “Don’t waste your time applying for jobs where your field is ruled out from the get-go.” Personally I think I spent too much time on jobs for which I was sort of qualified . . .better to spend the time making your materials approach perfection for the jobs for which you are qualified.
For those who are interested, last year I wrote this post about using Devon for the job search. It helped me tremendously, and even if you don’t have Devon you might want to check this out and adapt the system for whatever information software you are using.