You don't know job misery until you run a search almost entirely on your own. Okay, so my colleagues are official members of the committee, but as the junior female of the group I somehow got all the clerical bullshit. I get to vet all the applications, sorting them into Yes, No, and Not in this Lifetime!
Our job ad - field unimportant - says clearly: "Letter, vita, writing sample, evidence of classroom excellence, and three job letters addressing teaching and dated this year must be sent as a single PDF file to We'vegotjobsandyoudont@XxxxxxxUniversity.EDU.
I am happy to tell you that I'm dying to hire someone. We desperately nead a new faculty member, and so I'm doing everything I can to be flexible. But here's what I normally find in my email inbox:
- Long emails explaining that candidates letters are only available through a dossier service or direct from referees. "No" pile.
- Emails with as many as 5 separate attachments, DOC files, TXT files, even a fucking JPG of a transcript and we didn't ask for that. "No" pile.
- Job letters that talk about the candidates research first and sometimes teaching not at all. "No" pile.
- Job letters with 2010 dates. One had a 2009 date. The explanation? The person had retired. "No" pile.
- Emails asking me to further specify the above requirements for a single PDF file. One person wanted to know where he could find software for that. Well, open up Microsoft Word and use it.
I, too, have been on the job market fairly recently, but do not have much sympathy for the complaints of jumping through the job hoops. We have a job, folks; it's your job to show us you want it. Start by following directions. Get it right, people, and then we'll talk.
- Nella in New England