Thursday, August 04, 2011

A Piece of Job Market Advice

So....a job advice column. You know how some schools have you fill out an application PLUS send letter, references, CV, teaching philosophy, CV etc...and after the upteenth time of filling this out, you just start putting "see my CV" on the application.

Let me give you a piece of advice. Don't give in to that temptation! Oh, I know how tempting it is. Your time is precious and short. You are trying to teach, research and write, and apply for jobs...enough for anyone but you have other obligations too. And all that information you have supplied in multiple ways already!!

Thing is, as I've recently discovered, those applications are likely the first thing that a search committee will see at those institutions and will make a determination of the first cut on the basis of those applications and only really begin to look at the materials you've provided if you make the first cut. Do you have the essential credentials? They can tell at a glance on those applications. If you've not filled it out completely or said "see my CV", chances are your application will hit the round file. Essentially you've asked the committee members to do extra work on your behalf, to go look elsewhere to see if you are worthy of their consideration. It's like a student asking for extra credit when they haven't done the work in the first place: why should I have to do extra work for a student who hasn't worked at all so far and now wants a favor? Same thing here. So let me advise you facing job markets: no matter how time consuming or how frustrating (and it is so very frustrating from the job hunter's point of view), if you want to be considered for that slot: fill out the application thoroughly, completely, and use even that document to make yourself shine as much as possible. Give them every reason to consider you and make the first cut.

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