-Publish because if you don't have publications you will obviously be an unproductive colleague, are a lazy shitstain, and your app is going straight to the trash.Maybe these are good prescriptions, but I doubt it since I don't think everything (anything?) we hear from SCs constitutes actual decision rules they employed. I have strong suspicions that they aren't. Instead, I think what we get are post-hoc explanations that tell us why they picked the particular candidates they have in the past.
-Build a time machine and attend a Leiterrific school because your ability to build a time machine looks good as an extra CV line, but if you can't do that your app is trashed.
-Make sure you match up perfectly with the job ad because if you don't you are a poser (PHONY!!!!) and your app, well, is going to the trash.
-Don't have a gap year in your CV because if you do SCs will think you have gone stale and, in your staleness, are unable to catch up to the fast-moving world of philosophy; additionally, you will be assumed to have forgotten all the philosophy you did for the past 5 - 10 years and your app belongs in the trash.*
In other words, I think SCs think about these things only when prompted by the Philososphere, then, realizing that stories are nice to give to those who, through something beyond their control, were unable to be placed on shortlists or unable to be offered jobs, they construct a story about their decision procedure that makes it seem like it fits into a tidy flowchart.
Let me be careful in what I'm saying here: I'm not implying that SCs don't make the right decisions in most cases or have no decision procedure at all; I think they do, but I think their decision procedure is this: "Which application do I find most interesting and the best fit?" and this varies wildly across schools and maybe even within SCs. As such, I think we should liberally salt the plates they serve to us.
What I take from my conjecture is that the trick to the job market isn't speculating about the decision procedures of SCs and trying to tailor your application and life accordingly (How do I explain my gap year in my application? GASP. Does adjuncting look worse on a CV than VAPing? OH NO!). The big-picture stuff gets you or doesn't get you jobs. The trick is to make every part of your application really fucking awesome such that it makes a compelling case for the SC to choose you.
That's all we can do: Sell ourselves as philosophers who are interesting, smart, and fit well with the school to which we are applying. And this, I think, can be accomplished without worrying about particular decision procedures SCs do or do not use.
So, stop worrying and get to work on being awesome. Sure, oftentimes that's not enough, but it's better to think about than wondering how that typo on the first page makes you come off.
*The last one is my personal favorite: What? You mean we aren't still asking why is there something rather than nothing? We solved that problem last year while I was slanging coffee? Fuck, I am stale!