A few points:
- Constructive criticism should involve "construction:" building up before tearing down or pointing out strong structural features already there.
- If you have more than three days after making a terrible first impression to make a better one, then take that chance.
But, as many of you have pointed out in the comments, the APA's new JFP is wanting in certain important respects. First, AOS and AOC should be listed prominently in the title for the job ad rather than in the tags that accompany each post. Tags are notoriously unreliable since the poster may forget to include them after posting the other information; I certainly forget to tag my posts here all the time (or in the heydays of my posting). Second, the search function for AOS and AOC should not simply be the tag cloud on the right of the website, but should resemble something like the interface at PhilJobs. Third, on any given page, you'll only find ten jobs. Fourth, are we able to sort the jobs according to application deadline? I haven't looked closely enough to check, but that'd be useful too.
Admittedly, these might sound like small quibbles. But, these small quibbles with the APA's JFP pile up on top of all the other frustrations that come with being on the market. Sure, I can do what I did today to find the jobs I want to apply to at the new JFP: open up every job, quickly scan the ad for my AOS, then star it. Not too big a deal, but frustrating. And, I can also check Phylo and PhilJobs and the JFP and the Chronicle and InsideHigherEd for other jobs that might not be advertised in one or another venue. Not too big a deal, but frustrating. I can also submit my teaching and research materials to your HR website and then send, under separate cover, my letters of reference via Interfolio. Not too big a deal, but frustrating.
But, if I learned anything my three years on the market it is that success - "success" construed broadly to mean: keeping one's mental health, not yelling at the computer, not being a dick to one's friends, being able to submit more than one job application a day without wanting to tear your hair out while also teaching and doing research - requires a well-oiled machine. These tiny frustrations tend to pile up during job market season and by the end of it, I'm shook. If my file size is too large for an HR department's website, I want to start smoking again. If I missed a job because searching through the tag cloud on the JFP's website is unreliable or because it's hard to navigate their website, I want to immediately stop what I'm doing and get drunk. Etc. Etc.
Of course, I can manage all these frustrations with applying for jobs, because I've been doing this for three, going on four, years now and I also love doing philosophy. It's an amazing gig. Besides, I think I am a well-oiled machine now. But, I sometimes wish these gears didn't require so much lubrication; I'm bound to run out at some point.
-- Jaded, Ph.D.