Is it just me, or are the PFOs way, way better this year? I've gotten tons of actually decently written, responsibility-accepting rejection letters this year. Here's an example, from Pittsburgh:
Dear [Mr. Zero],(Not that I expected to be welcomed into the Cathedral of Learning, or anything.)
I am sorry to inform you that the Junior Appointments Committee has decided not to pursue your candidacy further at this point. We received nearly two hundred responses to our advertisement, including a great many from highly talented and accomplished applicants. Obviously there are many different considerations on which our decisions are based, and I hope you will appreciate that I cannot go into specifics about individual cases. We will keep your dossier on file until next year, when we shall probably be advertising a junior position again.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider your credentials, and let me wish you the best of luck in your job search.
I've received a staggering number of PFOs like this. The Committee takes responsibility for making the decision, politely tells me to fuck off without being a prick about it, and wishes me luck. It's really, really weird--I got exactly one letter last year that approached this level of competence, and about 100 that varied between mild impoliteness and unspeakable rudeness. Could it possibly be that the burgeoning online philosophical community of which we have been a part of the past year or so is having an impact on the behavior of hiring committees? I know it seems crazy, but there it is, in black and white.