So you are considering an academic job in the USA… First thing to note is that US jobs open early! Universities will start advertising jobs in May, June, July for a start date the following August. In fact in my area there are already over 100 jobs listed in the USA for start dates of next August (13 months away)! Most positions will be filled by Oct or November … at the latest by December more than half the jobs will be filled. This is great news if you are moving counties as you are going to need that lead time for your visa application. Some positions take longer and even if they are we are talking about a 5-7 month application process. Be prepared to wait, then wait some more. US universities are hiring a colleague (literally the new hire will be chosen by the people within your discipline) so the process takes much longer as they figure out who they want to work with for at least the next 5 years or perhaps the rest of their career.
As with the rest of the world, budgets are tightening in USA academia so additional positions will open later. Also, some hires will fall through so applications for positions can re-open. There will be another increase in adverts in January/February as those people who have accepted positions let their departments know that they are leaving.
Verdict: Start searching for a position at least a year in advance and be patient. It is going to be a long and frustrating process but I am evidence that it is possible – read about my experience here.
Still interested? Check out my post on the role conferences play in the US academic job market.