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Author Topic: Essay on SC Ettiquette  (Read 7923 times)
cantor_non_est
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2012, 8:17:38 AM »

As a member of the SC would it be too much to ask candidates to inform me that they are off the job market?


I'm sorry, but my human resources department prohibits me from contacting search committees with any relevant information once the application has been processed.


Asymmetric indeed.
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gbrown
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2012, 5:15:37 PM »

I guess I'd prefer an actual rejection letter or e-mail rather than the updated notice, "no longer under review" posted on the online application submission system that rejects me. Ugh!
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2012, 6:04:04 PM »

I guess I'd prefer an actual rejection letter or e-mail rather than the updated notice, "no longer under review" posted on the online application submission system that rejects me. Ugh!

I'm sorry, but unless you have been interviewed that is indeed a lot to ask - there are often > 300 applicants per job out there, and most SC's are doing all of the paperwork themselves (one wonders what HR are doing 90% of their time, doesn't one?).

I'm a big fan of automated systems:  you know that  your application has been received and when (which I think is the most important thing), you know the status of a search and your application as soon as it is permissible by HR rules, and all of that without taking up more than a tiny amount of time on the part of the SC.
Of course, there are SC's that fail to update their systems, and systems that fail, but hey, why should academia be any less fvcked up in this regard than anybody else.

There are places that write directly in the job ad, or on the job application page, that they will contact you if they are interested, and if you haven't heard from them in a certain amount of time, than you should assume that they aren't interested.  This was, if I remember correctly, British and Australian places, I don't remember if any US universities ever had that statement on the applications.

It is good to remember that, as unhappy as it makes us as job applicants, the SC doesn't really care that much about the applicants for their job searches, and they really shouldn't.  Faculty members on search committees have many many other things to do with their lives, almost all of which are more important than keeping all the applicants on a job search updated. 

Think, people, each one of the members of a SC has students in courses, student advisees, grad students (depending on the school), collaborators, colleagues, department heads and deans, not to mention families.  Each faculty member on the SC had research, courses, grant proposals, and other committees, not to mention family activities.  Basically, members of an SC have a multitude of people who have more right to the faculty members' time, energy, and emotion than any one of the 200 applicants in a job search, and dozens of tasks that have a higher priority than notifying every applicant of their specific status in a search.

This doesn't mean that SCC's are permitted to be dicks, and in fact, many SCC's take the opportunity of the little power that this gives them to be total dicks.  However, many, many more search committee members, in my experience, take this as an opportunity to be wonderfully helpful human beings, taking the time to respond to inquiries with personal responses and a kind or helpful word.  In all my job applications I can count on the fingers of one hand the times that I have been the recipient of dick behavior, while I have a couple dozen cases of SCC's going out of their way to be helpful and supportive to one of many applicants. 

Of course there are many SNAFU's, but only a small number of them are the fault of search committees.

I do agree, though, that the rules of etiquette change when dealing with campus interviews. 
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polly_mer
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2012, 6:29:24 PM »

There are places that write directly in the job ad, or on the job application page, that they will contact you if they are interested, and if you haven't heard from them in a certain amount of time, than you should assume that they aren't interested.  This was, if I remember correctly, British and Australian places, I don't remember if any US universities ever had that statement on the applications.

I've applied to US universities that had a statement like that right after words to the effect of "We apologize, but due to the expected volume of applicants".  One of those pages mentioned 800 applications last season for a similar position and I believe them (broadly defined job duties in a highly desirable place to live).
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leobloom
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« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2012, 7:51:35 PM »

I'd probably want to hear from places who made me jump through an unusual amount of hoops during the application process: official undergraduate and graduate transcripts, additional statements and endorsements, nonstandard application process etc. But again, next time I just might act more pragmatic and cut my losses by giving these places a low priority in my application list. Who knows, maybe what Ladybug was complaining about a few weeks back could also be partially due to this.

Now I'm going straight to the website of an application from which I haven't heard for seven months. I want to withdraw from that search.
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2012, 12:05:49 AM »

But again, next time I just might act more pragmatic and cut my losses by giving these places a low priority in my application list.
You could just not apply at all.  Nobody "made" you jump through any hoops.

We are required by our HR department to ask for transcripts.  We also get hundreds of applications per search from people who probably shouldn't be applying.  It doesn't take much effort to go online, look at our faculty profiles, and see that we all have PhDs, generally from strong departments in our field or one very closely related, that we are all publishing regularly in good journals, and that most of our faculty under 60 have grants.  If we only received application that roughly met this profile, we'd probably be better about keeping them informed on the state of the job search. - DvF
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leobloom
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2012, 2:51:39 AM »

Fair enough. Now, given that I sent five different official transcripts from my previous five degrees, plus a statement of faith and a recommendation from my priest, and a 15-page long questionnaire, did I show enough interest for the job to warrant a measly e-mail of rejection five months after the job has been filled?
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2012, 3:32:59 AM »

The problem is there's no reason to expect a connection between your level of interest and our level of responsibility to you.

5 months is nothing.  I'm still optimistically waiting to hear on job searches from almost 30 years ago. Fingers crossed! - DvF
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polly_mer
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« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2012, 8:52:29 AM »

Fair enough. Now, given that I sent five different official transcripts from my previous five degrees, plus a statement of faith and a recommendation from my priest, and a 15-page long questionnaire, did I show enough interest for the job to warrant a measly e-mail of rejection five months after the job has been filled?

Honestly?  No, that's not enough interest.  I'm not being sarcastic; Daniel_von_Flanagan wrote:

We also get hundreds of applications per search from people who probably shouldn't be applying.

Anything for which you aren't a dead ringer, as deemed by the search committee, probably means you haven't shown enough interest, much like the student who wants an A for "trying so hard" when trying hard evidently means "managed to type some vocabulary words on a page at 6 am to end up with 5 pages when the 10-page assigned-at-the-beginning-of-the-term-and-scaffolded-from-here-to-Christmas research paper is due at 8 am".

You spent an hour filling out a form and fifty bucks on transcripts?  That's nice.  What did you did with the previous five years and how closely does that match what is desired?  If you had shown enough interest by doing the research and being a nearly perfect match, then you would have been contacted for an interview.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 8:54:01 AM by polly_mer » Logged

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leobloom
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« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2012, 4:34:28 PM »

You're probably right. I was talking about not even getting rejection notices, but the game is about getting invites and offers, that's where I thank you for reminding me of the real goal. As I spent most of my last five years in school, I have a lot more to learn about how the process works.

I was recently surprised by a SCC who said that, no matter what, I'll be notified ASAP about any change in my application status (interviews are not over yet). But I guess this approach is not representative for the process as a whole. Or am I doing better at weeding out a**holes (who would nevertheless pay a salary?) Time will tell.
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