Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A new dossier service, now-shifting deadlines of the job market, and advice dump

(Ahem. Moving on.)

It's job market season. A few things.

I was e-mailed a while back about a new, FREE dossier service from Chronicle Vitae. Check out the FAQ, here. You might wanna use it.

As was pointed out by "ArrghJobMarket" in comments here (skip over all that other stuff; I got a bit carried away; ¯\_(ツ)_/¯), some departments are asking for applications to be submitted by October 1st, mentioning Princeton and Stanford.

These deadlines sounded like they were attached to post-doc apps, since these tend to have much earlier deadlines than do philosophy departments (something to keep in mind!). Sure enough, the Princeton application is for the Society of Fellows. (See Zombie's advice about applying to post-docs here.)

However, the Stanford job that was mentioned was for an Asst. Prof. job. So, it seems like Zombie's advice is spot-on and worth emphasizing:
There is no more print JFP. There is no more print JFP deadline, and hiring departments can set their application deadlines to suit their own needs/schedules. Consider the deadlines to be rolling for PhilJobs. Get your letters and dossiers together, peoples.
Now that it's advice-giving season, I came across this post from Philip N. Howard (UW-Seattle, Communications) on the twelve lines that should be part of any job application. It seems like it could be pretty helpful when adjusted for philosophy job market expectations.

For some insight into these expectations, see this recent post at Philosophers' Cocoon (and browse through their archives). Other, older discussions about prepping job materials are in the comments at the Smoker here (2011) and here (2012). See also these 2011 discussions, here and here, at NewAPPS (mentioned in Mr. Zero's 2011 post; browse through our archives/tags too).

And be sure to check out Karen L. Kelsky's, who does some paid consulting, but also offers can't-miss free advice at The Professor Is In .

Of course, the best advice in preparing job materials is "Make them good," where "good" can't be captured in any magic formula. Thus, more advice: Take all advice with a grain of salt. The only thing that can for sure take you out of the running for any job is a shitty application. This too is likely false; there are many other things that can take you out of the running, but it's the job application that you are directly in control of. Make it good and trust, as much as you can, your own judgments about quality while doing enough prepping to feel good about your judgment.

(And if you are on a search committee, consider this post about Eastern-APA interviews, Zombie's post about remote interviews, and consider filling out this form gathering information about first-round interviewing practices.)

-- Jaded, Ph.D.


zombie said...

I think this (from Howard) is utter bunk: "Because of my graduate training, my doctoral research, and my teaching [experience/interests], I am uniquely qualified for this job."

There are few jobs in philosophy that any one candidate is "uniquely" qualified for, particularly by dint of the abovementioned "qualifications," unless he is using "uniquely" to mean something else, like 5 out of 10. I'm sure the search committees would get a good laugh out of seeing a line like that.

However, if you have particular interests/experiences/work history that make you an unusual or unusually qualified candidate, by all means mention that stuff. I think the ability to fill multiple needs in a department (even needs they did not know they had) is valuable, and makes you stand out. This could be especially true if you are applying to interdisciplinary departments (e.g. Humanities, Phil and Religious Studies, etc.), or if you have interdisciplinary teaching experience that would make your classes a draw for students from other departments.

zombie said...

Also, DAMN. A free dossier service run by CHE? I already reupped with Interfolio, and updated academicjobs (although only used that once last year, I think.)

I am finding that keeping up with the various websites offering to connect me to my peers/spotlight my research/manage my dossier, etc. is turning into a job of its own. I get some traffic from, but I've had to let Researchgate slide. I don't know if I can handle Chronicle Vitae too.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is "uniquely qualified" for any job. That makes you sound arrogant and presumptuous. Which is to say, a philosopher.

Anonymous said...

I MUCH prefer Karen Kelsky's cover letter advice to Howards. Howards would result in a 3+ page if you actually devote a paragraph to each thing he thinks should get a paragraph.

zombie said...

It has been my experience that there is no consensus in philosophy about what should/should not be in a letter, CV, etc. This seems especially the case with CVs, as I have gotten a variety of advice (which is not always compatible) from various people.

Anonymous said...

A question concerning what should be in one's applications: when choosing a writing sample, is it a bad idea to use a paper that's been rejected for publication (only once so far, out for review at second place)? My guess is no; it's still my most recent and hopefully best work, and acceptance has too much of luck for rejection to say much about quality. Is that right?

zombie said...

1:37 -- others may disagree with me here, but I would send something that has been recently published in a peer reviewed journal, if you have that. If not, send the best sample you have.

I think that showing that you are published (hence publishable) is an important consideration, and tells the SC something. You might also be applying for a job where your AOS/AOC is not represented in the SC, and giving them something that's already passed the audition, so to speak, makes it easier for them.

Obvy, your CV will show all of your pubs, but I still feel that you're making it easier for the SC if you send something published.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or is the job season starting extremely slowly this year? It's already the second week of September and there have been very few listings so far on Phil JObs.

zombie said...

The job season started early this year, but as a trickle rather than a full blast of dashed hopes and disappointment. My guess is, things will pick up soon (already starting). Most schools are just starting, and SCs have to meet about things like job ads.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope you are right, for as of now things look pretty abysmal across all areas.

Anonymous said...

Are people planning to use the phylo wiki to track (read: obsess about) the progress of searches this year? Is there a different site on which people plan to post this info?

Also, has anyone heard anything from Bristol?

Thanks in advance!

Lost said...

One year later, how does Vitae compare? Does anybody have preferences they'd care to share? Is it worth maintaining two or three dossier management services?

I want to try Vitae, but I know Interfolio works... I need a push from somebody who tried it last year.