Monday, November 3, 2014

Hopefully Only Once More Unto the Breach

Obviously, it's job market time again. I'm doing job market stuff. It sucks. Here are some stray observations:
  • I have between 35 and 40 jobs to apply to as of right now. This is slightly below average, but not too bad. Unless you consider that in the two years prior to the Great Recession I applied to now fewer than 75 jobs a year, and have not been able to apply to more than 45 in any single year since. Then it's fucking terrible. 
    • Just for clarity's sake: I include 2008 as a year prior to the Great Recession. 
  • 100% of the jobs I will apply to accept online applications. The trend against paper/snail mail applications is nearing its inevitable endpoint. 
  • I'm doing applications while watching Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Feels somehow appropriate. 
  • There's a new application-management software package some of the HR departments are using. It's basically fine, but for some reason it won't let my browser autofill any information. (I'm using Chrome, but not for any particular reason. Should I be using something else?)
  • I'm glad to see that AcademicJobsOnline is being used more. I will use it six times this year, as of right now. It and Interfolio-for-search-committees are the easiest ways to apply for a job, and AJO is slightly easier than Interfolio. 
    • And another thing. AJO and Interfolio allow you to bug your letter writes once (each), instead of bugging them anew every time you apply for a job.
    • Is there a way to use AJO or interfolio to forward your letters to institutions that use their own in-house HR software package? For free? 
  • One school's application-management software, which seemed to be idiosyncratic, wants you to click "apply now" before you can go to the page where you upload all of your documents. Not sure I see the logic. 
  • This sucks. But only a little. 
    • Just kidding; it sucks a lot. 
  • I would rather not have to keep doing this year after year. 
  • I've applied for jobs at some of these places before. Some of them more than once. They should really consider hiring me. The way I see it, it's a total win-win. 
  • I mentioned this last year or the year before, but it's still true and I still don't like it: every year I see advertisements for jobs I find very attractive. Maybe it's a good school; or I'm friendly with some of the people who already teach there; or it's close to where I grew up; or it's in a nice area (not near where I grew up); or something else--who knows. When I see that, I automatically start thinking about what it would be like if I were to be hired--how nice it would be teach at that school, or have those colleagues, or live in that area, or whatever. Which then sets myself up for the inevitable disappointment when it doesn't happen. I wish I could stop, but it seems that I can't. 
    • There's also the question of where the motivation to apply for these jobs might come from if I wasn't/didn't allow myself to become interested in them. 
    • There's also the question of where the motivation to apply for these jobs is coming from in light of the fact that, if past experience is any guide, I won't get any of them anyway. I leave this as an exercise for the reader. I have no idea. 
  • I continue to be happy with the JFP/PhilJobs merger. Although I miss the time when there would be a "JFP Day" in October and then another in November, I like being able to search by AOS/AOC, and being able to save ads I'm interested in, and being able to download a spreadsheet with pertinent details of all the ads I've saved--makes it so much easier to execute a mail-merge. I especially like not having to wade through two print editions and two supplemental online editions that are loaded with duplicate ads in order to find the few new ones that would come out after November JFP Day. 
  • This whole thing is very frustrating and unpleasant.
  • Good luck, Smokers. 
--Mr. Zero

112 comments:

Derek Bowman said...

Let me repeat my comment from an earlier thread about uploading letters:

The department I graduated from offers a free dossier service for its students (and former students) on the market. This means that I never have to decide between paying bills and applying for jobs, and I never have to worry about whether my faculty letter writers are around when I need a new letter sent.

I greatly appreciate the hard work of the office staff who make this possible, because it means I can apply as widely as possible, which is the only rational way to approach the academic job market.

If your department isn't offering that to your students, then you should be offsetting their costs of paying Interfolio to do it for you.

If you can't afford that, then you can't afford to have a PhD program anymore. If you're still training PhD students in this persistently awful job market, it's your responsibility to support your job candidates.

Anonymous said...

"I've applied for jobs at some of these places before. Some of them more than once. They should really consider hiring me. The way I see it, it's a total win-win."

I'm applying to the same department, for the same job, for the second year in a row. I want to note in my application letter that if they hire me, they won't have to refill this position next year. I want to work there. I want to live in that community. And maybe, when I inevitably apply to this job again next year, I will tell them this flat out.

Anonymous said...

I wish you the best of luck MR ZERO! Thanks for your work on this blog.

Anonymous said...

question from a first-time marketer: when do post-doc positions post? There are a few on philjobs already, but judging from many schools' placement records, there are *a lot* of post-docs people are getting, so I'm assuming more will yet post? (I know some of these post-docs might be general humanities post-docs, but surely not all of them are...)

anyone have info? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

speaking of the Great Recession, it's now been about 5 years since the implosion of the philosophy market. Does this mean that there is *still* a continuing bottleneck effect where the people who haven't gotten jobs in the past 5 years are still trying? Or has it been long enough that some of those people unable to find a permanent position have moved on to non-academic jobs? (I hope that question does not sound insensitive -- i am *not* in any way implying that said people should move on. Just wondering what the present bottleneck status is).

Anonymous said...

So here's the question: Mr. Zero seems to think that this year is a little below average, but is it? I'd say that if one has 35-40 jobs now that probably means that one will end up with something like mid forties to mid fifties or at least that's my estimate. I figure that jobs will continue to dribble out at a decent pace for at least the next two weeks, and then slowly start to taper off. I've got about 45 jobs to apply for myself now and I figure that before all is said and done I'll apply for about 55 to 60. Am I being wildly optimistic here? It does seem to me that there's no way that the jobs for this cycle are done. It's just a question of how many more postings we can expect. So anyone want to hazard a guess what percentage of ads that will be posted have been posted?

Anonymous said...

"Is there a way to use AJO or interfolio to forward your letters to institutions that use their own in-house HR software package?"

Yes, Interfolio provides a unique interfolio email for each letter uploaded by a recommender. Use that email instead of your recommender's uni email, and Interfolio will be contacted by the HR site and will upload the letter. This seems to be working (based on confirmation emails also sent from the HR sites). But who the hell knows. I could be fatally shooting myself in the foot. Ain't this grand?

Anonymous said...

Good luck, Mr. Zero. I hope you finally get the job you are looking for.

Stuart W. Mirsky said...

A modest proposal:

If the philosophy market is punk then perhaps it's time to move on to other arenas. Granted folks who've invested so many years in obtaining a philosophy degree have a lot to think about foregoing by taking this sort of advice, especially when their investments of time, dollars and personal energy were made because of a passion for the subject itself (which can be the only real reason to make that kind of investment in the first place since academia isn't all that lucrative). But perhaps the market is telling us something. Perhaps what's needed is some retrenchment now and, who knows, maybe other careers will prove sufficiently fulfilling -- and, besides, they might only be temporary.

I left philosophy before getting a graduate degree back in the early 70's because I doubted two things: 1) my ability to contribute at a high enough level to warrant trying and 2) because the job market at the time didn't look promising. I spent my subsequent working years elsewhere and, while never fully content, I learned to enjoy and even thrive in a more mundane field. Now, in my retirement years I've turned back to philosophy, at least somewhat, though I have no expectation or interest in making it any sort of career (probably too old for that in any event).

I guess my real point here is that perhaps some of you younger folks ought to move on, at least for a while, and wait until a turn in the market opens things up for philosophers again (if that happens of course, since there's no guarantee). Being a professional philosopher carries with it no promise of prosperity or even a job and most philosophers in earlier times have made their living elsewhere. You don't need a post at a university (in any capacity) to do philosophy if you've got something to say. And if you do and say it, maybe recognition will eventually find you. Just my two cents based on my own experience. Hope no one takes offense! Good luck all in your search though.

Anonymous said...

Stuart,

Thanks for the input. I would be more than happy to put philosophy on hold and do something else for a few years. The problem, however, is that once you're out, you're out. Unless one is just extraordinary at philosophy, you have only one window at a tenure-track job, i.e. the roughly five- or six-year window from ABD on.

Anonymous said...

Stuart,

I think you should consider the many ways in which your gender, race, class, and historical era made your particular choices possible. Your results, while great for you, are not (in any way), the norm for people who leave philosophy.

Stuart W. Mirsky said...

Yes, I see your point. If one's heart and head are set on that path, it's very, very hard to choose something else, even a temporary deferral of that ambition because, as you say, there is a cost to doing so. I wish there were better answers.

When I took up philosophy as an undergrad everyone told me there was no real future in it at the time but I took it up anyway, just because that's what interested me. Caught a lot of hell from family and even some friends for doing so. But I didn't care and figured, going into it, that I was less interested in a career than the study itself. By the time I graduated, though, I had changed my mind slightly and thought seriously about making a career of it. But a brief stint in grad school convinced me that the cost and my potential probably didn't balance out and so I decided to step away. Sometimes I do, in fact, regret having done that but then I think of how much I learned and grew in the work I did end up doing and figure that maybe it was the right choice, at least for me.

Looking back now I think I might have enjoyed an academic career more but then, when I see all the stuff you folks are enduring, I remember why it seemed smarter to me at the time to walk away. Take my remarks, then, as no more than a suggestion that there's life after academia and even, if you're serious enough, philosophy.

zombie said...

Interfolio charges a premium for uploading your letters to university online systems -- you have to pay for each letter individually, rather than paying for the whole package of all your letters, as you would if delivering via email. Interfolio's explanation for this is that it requires a hands-on rather than automated delivery of letter.

If your question was is there a way to get this done cheaper, or free there isn't. At least not from Interfolio. And I don't think AJO does this at all.

Is anyone using CHE's Vitae?

Stuart W. Mirsky said...

Gender, race and class are always factors in everything. So are height and weight and native intelligence including one's inclinations. That's just how the world is. I could have gone into philosophy and probably done okay but I made a different choice, partly for reasons like those besetting you folks. I could have gone into business, too, but it wasn't my inclination. We're all somewhat constrained by what we are and the circumstances we're born into. But that's not the whole of it. Everyone has constraints. So what? We have to make the best of what we are while we're here or we'll end up regretting too much. Better to act than complain about our disadvantages or blame others for them, I think. Again, just my small contribution to this discussion in which, alas, I have no current part.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:33

Vitae is almost useless. APA/PhilJobs/PhilPapers needs to set up an application system. It's 2014 for Christ's sake. They've managed to centralize everything EXCEPT that which would actually work to cut costs for job applicants. Really? A single system, which holds confidential letters for applicants, posts job ads, and receives applicants' applications. Applicants pay like $30 a year for it. Done.

Jason Costanzo said...

Much thanks Stuart for your comments. I’d also like to add a few thoughts of my own.

As I see it, there are reasons to quit and there are reasons to forge ahead, even when the signs reveal otherwise and you appear to stand at a great disadvantage. The problem, however, is that we have to be very clear as to why we are doing what we are doing, because if we are not, then we might end up either staying put or else running out of fear, when neither option is best for us.

For my part, I chose to pursue philosophy. I could have pursued another perhaps more profitable career path and in retrospect maybe I would have had I known how difficult getting at least a tenure track job would turn out to be.

But we live only once, so why shouldn’t we pursue what we truly want? Still more, if we bail out on our dreams, we might end up chasing a lesser dream and not even getting it. There are no guarantees either way.

This year I’ve decided not to worry about whether or not I get a job in philosophy. I’ve put in the work, pushed out a few more publications, put effort into teaching, will put out the apps that I need to put out and for that, I’ll rest content in the realization that the final decision is likely up to fate.

I think what Stuart is saying is true—there is life beyond the Thunderdome. But as for me, I prefer to battle the gods and lose than to run away before the fight is done.

Derek Bowman said...

Jason,

I think a better way to take Stuart's suggestion is to expand your dreams. Don't let your dream of being a philosopher be constrained by the idea that you must have a faculty job to be a philosopher. Start thinking of other - possibly even better - ways of realizing that dream.

To be clear, I don't yet know what those other ways are - that's why I'm still on the market. But the job market doesn't just damage applicants - it damages the practice and teaching of philosophy.

At any rate, I took Stuart's suggestion to be an invitation to broaden our horizons, rather than anything like an attempt to blame job applicants for our own misery.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this deserves a thread of its own, but if you send out applications, and only later (but before interview time) find out that you got a paper published, should you write the hiring committees to update them? Or is that just annoying?

Anonymous said...

a bit off topic, but I noticed from looking at jaded's ongoing survey of whether schools are doing skype or apa interviews that both Berkeley and UC San Diego are foregoing first-round interviews altogether?

Is this something all UC schools do? Does it mean they fly out more candidates for campus visits? Anyone have any experience with this?

Derek Bowman said...

@3:37

You should definitely let any committees that you've heard from know. (e.g. first round interviews, requests for additional documents) I don't know about for those you've heard nothing from. My sense is it can't hurt but may be unlikely to help.

Also unrelated, but fuck any job that requires an application fee - application fee: https://chroniclevitae.com/jobs/0000857105-01

Mr. Grieves said...

My own experience is that I spent eight straight years on the job market before finally landing a tenure-track job. So, I would not necessarily buy into those who say that there is no chance after 3 years or that Ph.D's always grow stale over time. Here are some further passing thoughts from my experience:

1. During my eight years on the market, I was continually employed as a philosophy professor/instructor, usually as a full-time visiting professor (and one year as a part-time adjunct). My sense is that it's important to have continual employment in philosophy without any significant gaps in which you weren't employed in philosophy.

2. I was able to keep publishing in decent journals in my area, and continued to build teaching experience and improve my teaching abilities. For many, many schools, your teaching record and teaching abilities are really going to be one of the most important considerations.

3. I doubt I would have continued going on the job market every year if I was not getting first-round interviews almost every year and the occasional campus interview in which I was a finalist for a job. This gave me hope and told me that I was close but just needed to keep working + get a little lucky and find the right fit with some school.

My advice to someone on the market for multiple years would be to continue on only if you are continuing to get interviews each year.

I think you also have to think hard about what types of schools you are applying to (research or teaching-focused) and what strengths are you emphasizing in your job applications.

zombie said...

3:37-- I assume that the paper was under review when you sent out applications, and was listed as such on your CV.

I would say do NOT send a letter or email or whatever announcing the publication. Once the application deadline has passed, the SC is reviewing dossiers. Your announcement will either a) annoy the SC that you are attempting to amend your CV or b) get lost in the shuffle.

But if you think you are CLOSE to getting a paper accepted, then hold off on applications until the deadline, just in case you want to edit your CV. And keep your web presence updated. SCs do check personal webpages, in my experience, so there's the place to provide notifications. I'm finding that I get a lot of traffic on academia.edu these days, so that's worth keeping updated as well.

Anonymous said...

3:37,

It's already on the CV, and if they are reading your documents generously, they may already see it as in the works. (If they like your application, they will see it as an eventual publication. If they don't, they won't.) Updating SCs won't really help one way or the other.

Save that update for the interview. Gives you something to talk about that makes you look good.

Anonymous said...

Zombie, you are so, so off on this. You should absolutely let SCs know of accepted papers. This is an a no-brainer.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Grieves advises continuing to apply for jobs only if one is still getting interviews every year. For what it is worth, if I had followed his advice, I would not have ended up with a tenure-track post. I applied for more or less every job I could for two seasons before being getting my PhD and for a third season after getting it. I had one interview as a result, and nothing came of the interview. I ended up spending two years outside of academia, but eventually managed to get a temporary academic job. In my case, what got me back into academia was ditching my supervisor’s letter of reference and finding someone else who was willing to support my applications.

Anonymous said...

4:46,

Berkeley hasn't done first-round interviews for years (10 at least). They usually fly out around 5 candidates. There are other schools that also skip first rounds altogether. I don't believe these practices are UC specific.

zombie said...

10:09 (or anyone else with experience) --

what's wrong with Vitae, specifically? I'm not using it, since I don't really want to be an early adopter when it comes to something as important as job dossiers, but if you have reasons for dissing Vitae, I think many people here would like to know what they are.

Anonymous said...

zombie and 7:03AM,

I think somewhere in the middle of your two positions is the best one.

One important factor is the quality of the journal. You should certainly contact the committee if a paper of yours was accepted in The Philosophical Review, which I suspect would cause the search committee to give your file a serious look if they haven't already. I'd advise against it, though, if it were accepted in Lithuanian Graduate Journal on the Philosophy of Badminton. You don't want the most salient piece of information to be that your most recent work was published (and perhaps only could be published) in a very low-ranked journal.

But what about a good-but-not-stellar journal (say, Philosophical Studies)? That's hard to say in general.

If you have less than one publication on the CV they're looking at, then you should definitely update them (I've heard of several departments that immediately trashed files with no publications). If you have quite a few already in equally good journals, then it might not be worth it on the off chance that someone will get annoyed. (Although I think this possibility is overblown.)

Whether the publication fits within your research program (search committees like evidence that it has traction), or fits into an AOS/AOC category in addition to those substantiated in the file, are also factors.

This is all to say that there's a much more complicated decision here to be made than a generic "yes" or "no" across-the-board.

(Believe me. I'm supposed to hear back from three separate journals very soon, but I was finally on-the-ball this year and already sent off most of my applications in mid-October...)

Anonymous said...

I tried to use Vitae for one application. But it is not a well-designed website. So I gave up and just submitted my application through the HR website.

Anonymous said...

Could you please tell me where I can see jaded's survey?

Anonymous said...

Don't update your application. As someone already noted, it's on your CV already. We know the work you're doing and where you sent it. If it's your strongest piece, we're probably already reading it as your writing sample. If you sent something else as your writing sample, then that article is not your strongest piece. But either way, getting published doesn't really make your application stronger. (If we're reading the article, we already know it's strength. If we're not, you don't want us asking why not. If it's not good enough to be your writing sample, it's not worth bragging about to the SC, which is basically all you're doing at this point.)

Also, SCs get lots of applications. In some cases, well over 200. When you send a SC an update, whether you like it or not, you're asking the SC to give your application special notice. That may sound like a good idea, but it isn't. If your application isn't already standing out, this won't push it over the top. If it is standing out, then you don't need the extra push. Because when you ask the SC to give your application special notice, they will. You're asking the SC to consider your application as more worthy of notice. And if it isn't already standing out, then this one change - moving the paper from "submitted" to "accepted" on the CV - won't suddenly make your writing sample seem stronger, your letters seem more glowing, your teaching materials seem more impressive.

Nobody ever lost out on a job because they didn't notify a SC that a paper had been accepted for publication. No SC ever looked at a CV and thought, "we like this applicant, but that paper hasn't been published yet; if only."

Anonymous said...

7:03 am here -- thanks for the thoughts, especially 7:27 am.

In my case, I only have one journal article and both it and the journal I'm expecting to hear back from are among the better in my area, but maybe aren't A-level in overall philosophy journal rankings (they don't suck, but they're not Phil Review!).

Anonymous said...

"But what about a good-but-not-stellar journal (say, Philosophical Studies)? That's hard to say in general. "

Phil Stud is a bit of an odd case, I think. They are known as being the good journal that grad students and other junior people publish in - if a graduate student is ever reputed to have published in a 'top' journal, for some reason it's always Phil Stud. (Fast review time and they publish a lot, I guess.)

So for me, seeing a Phil Stud publication has a similar effect as seeing something that's been typeset using the default Latex format (including that horrendous typeface) -- it marks them out as slightly tryhard graduate students. I know that's not fair, and these are biases I'm trying to overcome, but I don't think they're uncommon.

Jaded, Ph.D. said...

7:59: I'm going to have a reminder post go up tomorrow, but here's the link to the form.

The results are here

Anonymous said...

I would expand 7:27am's suggestion to something like, "do report a publication if the publication occurs in a leading journal for your AOS (which is presumably- hopefully - the area the SC is searching in)"

what "leading journals" is subject to dispute and will require a judgment call, but there are a few obvious candidates - and they are not exhausted by Phil Review and Nous. E.g. if your AOS is Ancient, do report a publication in Oxford Studies or Phronesis. Do not report a publication in Apeiron. If your AOS is ethics, do report a publication in Ethics or PPA. Do not report a publication in the Journal of Value Inquiry.

etc.

Anonymous said...

First timer's question about the job market: Does anyone know when, at the earliest, SCs start making contact with the people they're going to interview (on Skype, or APA)? The wiki does not seem to be really working this year.

zombie said...

10:46 -- if past experience predicts future timing, mid-December. Sometimes early December, esp if they're doing phone/Skype interviews.

But I once had a call for APA on Dec 22.

zombie said...

7:27 -- while what you say is reasonable, it is not always the case that the SC will KNOW what the best journals in the AOS are. In a small department, or a SLAC or teaching-focused department, the new hire might be the only person doing research in that AOS, and, they might have no particular expertise in that AOS or know which journals are considered good.

Which is another point against sending that update if you're applying to a teaching-focused dept. They might perceive your touting of your forthcoming publication as making you more research-oriented and not a good "fit."

My CV changes on a weekly basis, at least. It would be ridiculous and incredibly annoying for me to update every SC every time something changed. And also an incredible waste of my time. That's what your website is for!

Anonymous said...

"My CV changes on a weekly basis, at least. It would be ridiculous and incredibly annoying for me to update every SC every time something changed. And also an incredible waste of my time. That's what your website is for!"

Really? Either you're incredibly productive or your CV is full of fluff... what could you possibly be updating so quickly?

zombie said...

12:37: I write a lot. I publish as much as I can. I am an active member of my department and the profession. I get invited to do stuff. I've given 5 conference talks in the last month. I've got several legit things under "works in progress" plus things that are forthcoming, upcoming, and under submission.

My CV changes often. I'm not saying they're major changes. They are things that move from one column to another as the work progresses through its stages.

I don't pad my CV (and I don't have to, but thanks for your concern!). If any of you have not been strongly advised that you should NOT pad your CV, let me be the first. I had a really crap CV my first year on the market, but honestly, I've seen people get hired with pretty crap CVs (as long as they're not from crap departments)

Anonymous said...

OK the conference talks sound legit (good for you!), but "in progress" and "under submission" always sound like padding to me. I know others disagree.

zombie said...

I suppose they could look like padding to some if you don't have completed, published work on your CV, or nothing recent. But I have plenty of published work, as recent as this year. And I have work in progress that is really in progress, and under contract, and more than just "an idea for a paper I've been thinking about."

You certainly don't want your works in progress to be the longest section of your CV, even if you're very junior.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:53 says:

Phil Stud is a bit of an odd case, I think. They are known as being the good journal that grad students and other junior people publish in - if a graduate student is ever reputed to have published in a 'top' journal, for some reason it's always Phil Stud. (Fast review time and they publish a lot, I guess.)

So for me, seeing a Phil Stud publication has a similar effect as seeing something that's been typeset using the default Latex format (including that horrendous typeface) -- it marks them out as slightly tryhard graduate students. I know that's not fair, and these are biases I'm trying to overcome, but I don't think they're uncommon.

I am curious (i) how to read this, and (ii) how widespread this opinion is? One of my two publications as a grad student was in Phil Studies, the other was in a top specialist journal. Am I to take it that the 9:53 is saying that a Phil Studies paper is going to be seen as lackluster, or not a 'top-tier' publications because, hey they publish grad students and junior faculty and shit..."? Or is it true, as my program faculty told me at the time, that this was a very significant and impressive accomplishment and something that would likely benefit me on the Market? And finally if this is what the author is intimating, how many people out there share the sentiment?

Anonymous said...

I'm with 2:56. I was pretty damn proud of my first publication in Phil Studies, and most people I interacted with thought it was a significant accomplishment. I know lots of established scholars who have had difficulty publishing there, and I was under the impression that pubs in Phil Studies mattered more than, say, knowing how to use LaTex.

How widespread is the view expressed above?

zombie said...

I realize it's really expensive to live in Australia, but that job at U of Sydney pays a shit-ton.
By my calculation, US$80-95K.

Anonymous said...

2:56, 3:29

I don't think this bias against Phil Studies is that widespread. I have heard from several colleagues that a publication there is an achievement. And you can see many famous people at top departments publishing there.

I also wish that people would stop pretending that there is a magic formula that sorts good papers in "top five" journals, bad papers in "no name" journals, etc. In the end, especially at top journals, it is but one referee's opinion that breaks or makes a paper. Even very good papers need luck at this stage to avoid unsympathetic, arrogant, biased referees.

Anonymous said...

A publication in Phil Studies is an excellent achievement, especially for a grad student/young philosopher.

Anonymous said...

@3:37

Yes, yes. My recommendation is that you update your CV and then email the updated CV to the department administrator, asking that the old CV be replaced with the new.

An accepted paper, especially at a respected journal, could easily be a difference-maker.

(I'm on a search committee this year, and have served on other search committees, at a SLAC.)

zombie said...

Having not looked at Vitae until today, I'm distressed to see jobs listed there that are NOT on philjobs. WTF peoples. List your jobs at philjobs!

Anonymous said...

According to Leiter's informal journal rankings (can we refer to these anymore or does doing so cause harm?), Phil Studies comes in at #7. I'm not sure why anyone would look askance at a publication in this journal, especially if it's from a grad student or junior faculty. I've never heard anyone disparage this journal. As anyone who has looked at many CVs should know, lots of people have tenure at nice schools in nice places without even one publication in a journal as competitive as Phil Studies.

Anonymous said...

@5:56,

How much would such an update matter in your deliberations? Would an applicant, whom you otherwise would not want to interview, make it to an interview based on such an update?

Derek Bowman said...

So to be clear, the consensus among experienced applicants and search committees is that you should never update committees if you get a publication accepted, you should always update committees if you get a publication accepted, and you should do so under some circumstances but not others.

Also, Phil Studies is a great publication except when it's not.

So pretty much par for the course with job market advice.

Derek Bowman said...

@5:56 Wait, don't SLACs prioritize teaching over research? Shouldn't candidates be updating you if they have a really successful classroom observation instead?

7:27AM said...

zombie,

Thanks for your response, and thanks as well for all your good work here (while I'm at it).

Good point -- I hadn't thought of how the research/teaching school distinction might affect matters. Although that's partly because I have serious suspicions about how the distinction is typically drawn. But setting that aside, I'd still think it'd be wise to update in at least the following two cases, which I alluded to my previous comment:

(i) The CV you sent had zero publications. Why? Even small/SLAC departments may, as a matter of principle, cull files for having zero publications. This can, and does, happen.

(ii) The search is in AOS #1 and #2; your file presents you as clearly having AOS #1, but not clearly having AOS #2; the new publication is in AOS #2. Even small/SLAC departments may, as a matter of principle, cull files for not having each advertised AOS. This can, and does, happen.

I think it's consistent to say that one should update a department in cases like (i) and (ii), but not in other cases: I certainly wasn't recommending that people update a department if, say, they received a referee assignment or a conference invitation!

7:27AM said...

9:47 AM,

Thanks for your response. Regarding your first argument: I guess I'd resist your assumption that a new publication should be "on your CV already" and that a search committee will already know "where you sent it". I realize that many people are starting to do this, but I think it's not a good idea to list where you've submitted works-in-progress, unless they're revised & resubmitted or conditionally accepted.

Why? Here is the impression I've heard it gives to search committee members I've spoken with: (i) It's obvious CV padding. (ii) It comes off like you're illicitly taking credit for a status that your paper might not deserve. (iii) It makes a file look less from a colleague whose research has traction (these people don't need to state where their articles have been submitted, and typically don't) than a graduate student.

Perhaps those impressions are unfair. But they are impressions people have of what I and others take to be an annoying recent trend. Since (if you agree with me!), we shouldn't be participating in this annoying recent trend, updating a search committee with a new publication will be genuinely new information.

Regarding your second argument -- which is that even if it's genuinely new information, it's not helpful -- I think you're ignoring one of two ways updating with a new publication might help an applicant. I'm willing to grant that it won't make the difference between "interview" and "no interview" (although I could see this happening if the publication is at an absolutely top-rate journal like Mind). But I'm not willing to grant that it won't make the difference between "consideration for an interview" and "no consideration for an interview", i.e. that it can't help ensure that you make the first cut.

As I alluded to in my first comment, and as I said in my response to zombie, I've heard of applications that are otherwise very, very strong be rejected because they either have no publications, or they don't satisfy enough of the AOS desiderata. Even if this new publication won't help push an applicant over-the-top, it may well ensure that her application gets a serious look at all. Since for all you know this may be the search committee's policy (and I hear more and more that search committees are adopting such policies), clearly you should update them in such a case. And that's so even if you shouldn't update them if, say, you already have a strong publication record.

Anonymous said...

I have taught at several universities outside of the US, and for a number of them, accepted publications were a requirement. One school, for example, would not hire anyone without at least four articles published in journals indexed in the Arts&Humanities Citation Index. So, if you only had three articles accepted, you would have no chance. So updating your CV with an additional article when accepted would be the only way to have any chance at such a job.

Anonymous said...

I'm the Anon who said that Philos Stud looks a bit grad studenty, so I should clarify. Publishing in PS during (or outside) grad school is a huge achievement, and it's one you should be proud of.

But if you compare a publication there with another in a similarly elite journal (AJP?), the latter is likely to have more impact, because PS is the obvious place for grad students to publish. This is not to take away from your achievement.

I certainly roll my eyes at anything listed on a CV as 'in progress' or 'under review' (especially if some top-name journal is listed). That's just padding. Revise and Resubmit is tolerable. Under contract is OK, especially if it's basically akin to an acceptance.

Here's a dilemma: if you already have good publications on your CV, then that's enough evidence that you are productive and will probably get more. If you don't, then listing under review just looks like particularly egregious padding. Either way, listing unpublished work doesn't help your case.

If you want to describe what you're working on at the moment, I think a research statement is the place to do it.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Derek Bowman, I'm glad we've got this all sorted now.

Anonymous said...

I realize it's really expensive to live in Australia, but that job at U of Sydney pays a shit-ton.
By my calculation, US$80-95K.



Can others chime in on this? Is that number out of whack with starting asst prof salaries in other expensive cities (New York, San Francisco, D.C., Boston, Miami, Toronto, Vancouver, London, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Salaries in Australia are set by unions, and cross disciplines, so philosophers don't make less than, say engineering professors in the same way they do in the US. Australia takes care of its academics - you're going to live very well on a starting philosopher's salary, and you're going to get really significant raises as you work your way up.

7:27 AM said...

Derek Bowman and 5:29 AM,

Your attitude baffles me. Surely you're not implying that advice (about anything?!) is only useful or worth voicing if the advice-givers are in complete agreement. So I will be charitable and assume that this is not what you're implying something as unreasonable as this.

Presumably, the point of a forum like this is that advice-givers -- even if not in complete agreement -- can provide reasons for deciding one way as opposed to another. Those seeking advice may be made of aware of reasons they hadn't considered, and may see how to weigh competing considerations in ways they hadn't considered.

So yes, of course, "pretty much par for the course about job market advice". But that's no reason to ignore or belittle it.

Anonymous said...

I want to register disagreement with 5:21 am. I do appreciate a CV section that lists the number and title of papers that constitute serious work in progress or that are under review, to get a quick sense of what body of work the applicant has - and can make! - available. (I agree that the research statement is the place to describe the topics of these papers in greater detail.)
Three caveats though:

-Never list the names of journals where the paper is under review.
-Clearly separate this section from the sections detailing published papers or accepted (forthcoming) publications. (!)
-Be prepared to distribute the papers you list as drafts or as under review to the SC.

Anonymous said...

All the opinionating about whether PhilStudies is good or not strikes me as bloviating at best and sour grapes at worst. Look there are several rankings of journals and it comes in close to the top on every one. If I had something there I'd certainly contact a SC. For those of you who are interested, Brooks's ranking of journals is a pretty good one:

http://the-brooks-blog.blogspot.com/2011/09/journal-rankings-for-philosophy_29.html

Getting a paper in anything that even makes this list is pretty good and definitely an accomplishment. I think for anything that's on the A list here it's a no brainer that you report it to a search committee. Further down it becomes a judgment call. So if I got something in PhilStudies or Philosophy and Public Affairs you can bet I'd let every search committee I could know about it. If it were say Ethical Theory and Moral Practice or the Southern Journal of Philosophy it would be more of a judgment call, but of course in some cases that would make sense too. Say if for instance you claimed a AOS in early modern but had never published in early modern before and had a paper accepted on Spinoza or something.

Anonymous said...

@ Nov. 5 10:19 wrote...

"... if your AOS is Ancient, do report a publication in Oxford Studies or Phronesis. Do not report a publication in Apeiron. If your AOS is ethics, do report a publication in Ethics or PPA. Do not report a publication in the Journal of Value Inquiry."

This is bad advice without the proper qualifications. There are some departments which will not be impressed by publications in "lower-tier journals." The chances of getting a job in one of those departments is approximately 0%. If, like most of us, you are applying to positions at average SLACs, smaller branch campuses, etc., then reporting a publication in JVI or something similar might help and almost certainly wouldn't hurt.

Anonymous said...

9:22

This ranking is highly misleading. To give just one example, for someone who does Ancient, an acceptance by Oxford Studies in Ancient Phil. is every bit as impressive (and will be treated as such by every informed SC member) as a Mind acceptance for a Lemming.

Anonymous said...

I've reviewed several times for Phil Studies. In all those cases, I recommended rejection, and once a heavy R&R (which was still reject because of reviewer 2). The editors of Phil Stud ask to be extremely strict in recommending acceptance or R&R.
Grad students get published in philstudies not because it's an easy journal to get into, but because it's a good practice journal (double anonymous, editor generally follows recommendations of referees, relatively quick decisions). There are disincentives for publishing in the top-5 for grad students. For instance, I can imagine that tenured people would hesitate less to send to a journal where papers routinely are under review for 6-12 months, or get "forgotten". Also, tenured people can afford to wait when they have a Lemming or other general philosophy paper to submit to the 2 well-run journals, which are closed half of the year.

Derek Bowman said...

@7:27

No, certainly don't mean to suggest that soliciting and giving advice is useless, since I think it is valuable for precisely the reasons that you give.

But I think it's also valuable because it highlights the capriciousness and irrationality of the job application process, and the impossibility of 'doing things right' in any unqualified sense.

This is important for lots of reasons. Two in particular stand out:

1. It means you can let yourself off the hook and get rid of both the misplaced fantasy that you can get a job if only you do everything right, and so the misplaced guilt of having done something wrong. You're not screwed up - the market is.

2. It also means that search committees cannot reasonably interpret listing or not listing works in progress, listing or not listing whether something is under review, listing or not listing the venue for under review, publishing in Phil Studies or not, etc. as evidence of any particular attitude or expressive act on the part of candidates (e.g. trying to hard, not trying hard enough, padding their cv, not being an active scholar, etc).

Anonymous said...

This is 9:22 and in response to 10:42: I never said the ranking was perfect. Part of what I do is history and I'd much rather have a paper in say the "British Journal for the History of Philosophy" than I would any other journal he groups in the C list or a lot of stuff in the B list, and for a history paper I'd take "Journal of the History of Philosophy" over anything that's not A*. But the Brooks ranking is pretty decent. I'd take it to be more reliable than is Leiter's ranking or the earlier ERA rankings. No journal rankings are going to be perfect, but this one isn't bad. And if someone doesn't have enough sense to know what has a particularly good reputation in their own field and what doesn't then no rankings are going to help them.

Anonymous said...

10:34

but wouldn't those places care predominantly about teaching credentials anyway?

Anonymous said...

"but wouldn't those places care predominantly about teaching credentials anyway?"

Not really, in my experience.

Anonymous said...

@ Nov. 5 10:19 wrote...

"... if your AOS is Ancient, do report a publication in Oxford Studies or Phronesis. Do not report a publication in Apeiron. If your AOS is ethics, do report a publication in Ethics or PPA. Do not report a publication in the Journal of Value Inquiry."

Since I am working in Ancient Philosophy (in Europe), your comment is quite interesting to me. Actually, I have a paper in Apeiron, 1 in CQ, and 2 short notes (in CQ & Mnemosyne). Would you advise me to put the big paper on CQ and drop the others?
For me it's hard to see how a paper on Apeiron may count AGAINST you. It's a pretty decent journal, even though it's not Phronesis. My expectation would be that it would not harm at leitterific departments, and that it would be a plus in all other places.
Any idea from more experienced Anc. Phil. scholars?
(A european grad student)

zombie said...

Get your papers published in peer-reviewed journals that are important in your field. Avoid the scammy pay-to-publish "open access" journals.

Better to be published than to hold out for a "top" journal -- in the majority of jobs, what they want is proof you cen get published in legit, PR journals, which constitutes proof you'll be able to get tenure. As noted above, a philosopher working in X will not necessarily know (or care) which are the best journals in Y -- and for many, many jobs, the SC is composed of people doing W, X and Z, but not Y. Which is why they want to hire someone who does Y.

Anonymous said...

@2:56

I agree that Apeiron is a perfectly decent journal that publishes good work. Publishing in there should not count 'against' anyone. I just don't think it has the halo effect that would warrant emailing a search committee, that's all.

Anonymous said...

I find it a mixture of entertaining and depressing that so many people seem so concerned about which journals they get published in.

Just out of curiosity, when doing your own research, do you only considering reading work published in top journals? If good work was published in a non-top journal, would you dismiss it? Not bother reading it?

7:27 AM said...

6:36 PM,

Some journals are read far more than others, in part because they have a reputation for publishing important research. Moreover, these very same journals often have the most rigorous standards of peer review, and are widely perceived as having such.

So if you're concerned about whether your articles will be widely read, very well regarded, and much improved from its state at initial submission, then you're damn right one should care where one's articles are published.

To answer your questions: no, of course one shouldn't ignore or dismiss such work. But that's completely consistent with also believing that such work is less likely to be as good or as important as what's published in top or near-to-top journals and acting accordingly.

Anonymous said...

I’m an academic at USyd (ex-philosopher, working in another faculty), so a few comments about the USyd job:

It’s a level B appointment. (Level B and C are roughly equivalent to asst prof, level D is associate prof, level E is full prof. You only get hired on level A, if you haven’t got your PhD yet.).

The salary ($110-131k AUD) is a standard salary for level B appt, as was negotiated in the last enterprise agreement. This amount consists of: the cash portion of the salary (currently between $93-111k for level B, depending on which step within level B you get appointed at) plus 17% superannuation (retirement money that the university pays into a fund on your behalf; you don’t see it till you’re old) plus leave loading (17% of 4 weeks’ pay, paid out around Christmas time).

You’ll pay around $24ish k/year in deductions on the cash portion of the salary if you are appointed on the lower end of that salary (deductions = income tax and 2% medicare levy). So the $93ish k is effectively low $70ish k. (higher deduction if you're on the upper end of the salary, obviously). As far as I know, there are no other deductions off your salary (at least none that I’ve noticed on my paycheques).

Just to give you some context re: how much this buys you: for a decent-ish apartment not far from uni, rent is around $500/week (yup, we pay per week), so you’re looking at around 26k per year in rent alone (other bills will run you a few hundred a month, depending on how much you eat, electricity/gas you use, etc.). Forget ever buying real estate in Sydney – normal people without trust funds are unable to afford it, unless they buy far out of the city. But for all of that – one can live a very, very comfortable life on that salary. USyd is a great school; the philosophy folk are lovely, as is Sydney itself (and it’s warm!).

Anonymous said...

6:36:
Either you're posturing, or somehow you actually have missed the point entirely.
I'm mildly curious about which it is.

Anonymous said...

4:44,

I get the point. I'm just annoyed by how often people in the profession talk about publication venue, rather than merits of a work.

I know faculty who have served on hiring committees who, in talking about a writing sample, have spent more time talking about the journal it was published in than the merits of the work itself.

It's annoying as fuck, and is one of the reasons I am coming to hate this field.

Anonymous said...

I'm also coming to hate our field.

Question: has anyone ever given in to the temptation to let a journal editor know how abysmally stupid, mean-spirited, or ignorant a referee report was? This is obviously against professional protocol and certainly wouldn't be in your best interest, but I'm curious if anyone has ever given in to the temptation.

Anonymous said...

7:38. Yes, I have emailed an editor to politely describe how a reviewer badly misread or otherwise negligently reviewed a paper I had submitted. I briefly explained the central problem(s) with the report. I was clear that I didn't expect my email to change the decision. And I was very polite and diplomatic. I didn't fire the email off right after receiving the rejection, but let it sit for a few days until I was confident that my annoyance was justified, and that I wasn't merely angry/frustrated about getting rejected, per se.

Anonymous said...

@7:38

No, but once an editor emailed me (along with my rejection) apologizing for how generally nasty, mean spirited, and totally lacking in constructive content a review I received was.The review was little more than "this paper is shit" with roughly that much argument as to why. I guess it made me feel a little better that the editor recognized what an ass the reviewer was being, but not as nice as it would have been if he/she had sent the article out again to be reviewed by someone competent.

5:56 said...

@5:56,

How much would such an update matter in your deliberations?


It depends.

Would an applicant, whom you otherwise would not want to interview, make it to an interview based on such an update?

No, that's unlikely. But here's a situation: Two members of the search committee disagree about whether a candidate is worth interviewing at the first round. The SC member opposed cites a paucity (or lack) of publications as the reason. In this case, an updated CV may defeat that reason and carry the day.

In a perfect world, one publication would never be a difference maker. But the way actual SCs finalize interview lists is, in my experience, frequently quite bizarre and always a reasonably messy process.

5:56 said...

@5:56 Wait, don't SLACs prioritize teaching over research? Shouldn't candidates be updating you if they have a really successful classroom observation instead?

I'm not sure if this is a joke or not, but very few SLAC I know prioritize teaching over research in a search. The successful candidate has got to earn tenure and even at most SLACs, tenure is mostly determined by publications and scholarship. (At my institution, we care a lot about teaching, but publications matter just as much, probably more, in the tenure process.)

Anonymous said...

"But here's a situation: Two members of the search committee disagree about whether a candidate is worth interviewing at the first round. The SC member opposed cites a paucity (or lack) of publications as the reason. In this case, an updated CV may defeat that reason and carry the day."

For all that I understand your reasoning, it's batshit-fucking-insane that the difference maker here between an interview and a rejection is how fast a journal can handle a submission for publication.

Derek Bowman said...

@9:46:

Yes, it was a sarcastic joke. SLACs often pretend like they prioritize teaching and too many grad students and job candidates believe that rhetoric and think that commitment to teaching is a way to get an academic job.

@7:28:

Welcome to an academic job market in which the oversupply of qualified job candidates mean that the difference between an interview and a rejection (and often between a job and rejection) is some bat-shit-fucking-insane reason. The sooner you come to terms with that, the better equipped you'll be to navigate the academic job market with some semblance of your psychological health intact.

imprecise said...

I want to second what DB says just above. I've been on two search committees, and yes, it's batshit-fucking-insane. When I read 9:41's point about search committee members disagreeing, it seemed eminently sensible. This is because I've seen how SC's work. Is the hiring process crazy? Completely. But DB is right that recognizing this is important to one's well-being. Not being hired reflects absolutely nothing about your merit as a philosopher or teacher.

zombie said...

"it's batshit-fucking-insane that the difference maker here between an interview and a rejection is how fast a journal can handle a submission for publication."

Yeah, but having that ONE publication probably won't make the difference.

I'm on a SC. The first cuts are going to be people who don't match the AOS. Yep, there are a bunch of them. I looked at a whole bunch of CVs last night. Some of the candidates have no published PR pubs. Some of them have 10+. Research matters here, so guess who gets a look? Being able to teach the classes we need taught will also matter, so another round of cuts will be people whose CVs show no sign of having done/being able to do that. Will one publication make a difference there? Unlikely.

The only circumstance in which I can see it making any difference is if the pub shows that the applicant fulfills some critical part of the AOS as a researcher and teacher -- something not already evident from the CV. But since by then we'll already have a list of people with those demonstrated qualities, it's not likely to make any difference if you send us an email anouncing your new pub. You're either ready to do the job you applied for when you applied for it, or you're not.

Anonymous said...

@zombie: is your department getting applicants who don't match your requested AOS because you sent out an ad with an AOS that is unclear, confusing, or makes no sense? In those cases I think you should reasonably expect confused applicants who figure it's worth a shot. On the other hand, I'd be really curious to know if in cases where an ad says something like "AOS: ancient philosophy, preferably Plato" departments still receive ads from people who work on something totally unrelated.

zombie said...

Our ad is extremely specific, and mentions 2 AOS requirements ____ AND _____.
So, we expect both. But we're getting CVs with one.

I know many people will see that and figure it's worth a shot.I don't blame them at all. I've applied to positions where there were multiple AOS/AOCs, and I did not match all of them. And sometimes I got interviews out of them, to my surprise.

Just putting this out there. It can be a risk (of your time and money) to apply when you don't match the AOS. It gives the SC an easy way to eliminate you on the first look.

imprecise said...

5:23, if you had a "clear" AOS like "Ancient, preferably Plato," you would get many applications from non-Plato ancient people ("they said 'preferably," so..."). And if you have two AOS's, you will get applications from folks with one. You will also get applications from folks who don't meet the AOS, no matter how clearly it's stated. In the first two cases, I don't think there's anything wrong with the folks who are applying who aren't an exact fit. I got hired for a two AOS TT job even though I had only one. (The two AOS's were somewhat related, however.)

zombie said...

Some job ads are basically a wish list of several unrelated AOS/AOCs, and it can be difficult (impossible) for the applicant to know if the SC wants all of them or just some of them.

I'm not blaming applicants at all for applying for jobs where they are not a fit for ALL the AOS/AOCs. As I said, I've applied for some of those jobs myself. And you can't possibly get the job you don't apply for. In some cases, the ad might reflect departmental or administration demands, but the SC has their own ideas about what they're really looking for. In other cases, maybe they're just looking for the best candidate who matches at least some of them.

Anonymous said...

I just applied to a job with the AOS and AOC were the reverse of mine. Since they have a grad program, that's probably reason to toss me. But I'm guessing (and anyone who's been on SCs please tell me if I'm wrong) that that might not matter in at least some cases in which there's no graduate teaching.

Anonymous said...

But I'm guessing (and anyone who's been on SCs please tell me if I'm wrong) that that might not matter in at least some cases in which there's no graduate teaching.

I suppose it might not matter at some schools. At my SLAC, we aren't considering the applicants whose AOS doesn't match the AOS in our ad.

What I find particular irritating is when a candidate puts the AOS we requested on their CV, but there is no evidence in their letters, publications, dissertation topics, etc., for that AOS. I understand why candidates will apply for a position outside their AOS -- there's no harm in that. But when they distort the truth about their AOS, I have no problem tossing the dossier into the wastebasket.

Anonymous said...

For those of you on SCs, if a paper being published or not is a huge deciding factor, why not contact the journal where it was submitted? Is there any reason why SCs can't contact journals to ask about an applicant's paper? They could ask about timeline, any existing reports, etc.

For those who are going to say "there isn't enough time," then maybe you shouldn't be considering that applicant in the first place. (You wouldn't do this for all applicants, but only those you want to interview.)

Anonymous said...

I have served on many SC, and also chaired them, all at R! grad programs.

IMO, it is not a remotely close call:

If you get a significant publication (or grant) after submitting, alert the search committee, especially if your CV is currently short.

If you are on the cusp, and the new item addresses a weakness in your file, any advocates you have on the search committee will welcome the information -- and use it in committee deliberations.

I've seen it happen on numerous occasions.

This possibility far outweighs the risk of annoying SC members. It is most likely to be annoying if you are not a serious contender, but in those circumstances, you won't be hurt by it.

Only slightly less confidently: PS is pretty uncontroversially a top ten general journal. They publish less established folks, but placing something there is an accomplishment for anyone. If a PS article is not a significant line on your CV, you don't need to be reading this blog.

imprecise said...

But I'm guessing (and anyone who's been on SCs please tell me if I'm wrong) that that might not matter in at least some cases in which there's no graduate teaching.

If you don't have the AOS, it's probably not worth applying, unless there's a long list of AOCs and you fit most of them. If a candidate lacks everything in the AOS, I ditch their file. But others act differently.

Folks, there are different ways a job can be a stretch. It can be a job at a teaching school and you have no teaching experience. It can be a job with two AOS's and you have only one. It can be a job with and AOS and AOC and you only have the AOS. It can be a job at an R1 and you come from a nonfamous program with no publications but outstanding letters. When you are thinking about applying to stretch jobs, think about *how much* of a stretch it is. If there is only one stretch factor, you might as well apply. If there are multiple, it is much more likely that you'll be rejected. In other words, some of the questions posted on the thread are hard to answer in the abstract.

Derek Bowman said...

It is an unreasonable burden to expect individual candidates to self-select out of applying for jobs when and make judgment calls on what is 'too much of a stretch.' As 'imprecise' says, there are no rules to settle this in the abstract, but it's impossible for applicants (especially new applicants) to have enough insight into the process to be able to exercise the needed degree of judgment.

That's why committees shouldn't draw any bad inferences about candidates for how they make those judgment calls, and it's why hiring departments and graduate-training departments should work together to ensure that job candidates do not have to bear the cost of the application process.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:24 and 8:43, I'm the one who applied to a job with the switched AOS/AOC.

First of all, thanks for replying. Hearing directly from SCs is really helpful in thinking about how to strategize time.

"If there is only one stretch factor, you might as well apply." This seems to make sense, since it seems that we don't know where any given SC has some wiggle room.

For complicated personal reasons, I am only applying to tenure track jobs (yes, I understand this is not in one's career best interest, and yes, I really do want to be in philosophy - believe me when I say those reasons are extremely compelling). Last year, I was much more willing to stretch where I applied. I made 45 apps, received 4 interviews, no offers. All 4 interviews were zero stretches.

This year, other than this one AOS/AOC switch, I applied only to jobs that were not totally out of my league (e.g., no Pitt) and involved zero stretching. (Well, a 1/2 stretch - I do phil of mind, yet applied to M&E jobs even when they didn't say "broadly construed.") Which left me with 17 jobs so far. Now I wonder if maybe I should have stretched a little more up till now and stretch more from here forward.

Anonymous said...

It can be a job at an R1 and you come from a nonfamous program with no publications but outstanding letters.

I come from a non-famous (non-ranked) program. I have several publications, one solo in Phil Studies, another co-authored in a the top specialist journal in one of my AOCs, and (presumably) terrific letters. Stll, I would never apply to an R1 job. Because of pedigree, I would assume that I'm simply not going to be competitive. Am I wrong to think so?

zombie said...

My rule of thumb for deciding if a job is out of my league is to look at the pedigrees of the existing faculty. That will give you a sense of who their "kind of people" are. That holds for R1 jobs, and SLAC, R2s, and all the rest. On the other hand, in the current market, with an abundance of highly pedigreed, unemployed philosophers out there, you can get beat out by pedigree for almost any job. So, if you can afford to apply, and you're a decent match for the AOS/AOC, I'd apply. You'll get some practice honing your dossier.
That said, I tend to avoid the R1 open/open jobs since I suspect they're fishing for someone more special than I.

Anonymous said...

I have a slightly different question:

If your research focus is on the history of philosophy, and you've published a paper on, say, Aristotle, Hume, or Descartes, but the paper focuses directly on some ethical issue (e.g. moral psychology), does that count as a publication that counts toward an AOS in Ethics?

Anonymous said...

10:44 here:

My rule of thumb for deciding if a job is out of my league is to look at the pedigrees of the existing faculty. That will give you a sense of who their "kind of people" are.

Thanks for advice Zombie...I did this initially as well. Until it dawned on me that, basically, the majority of faculty in pretty much every department have pedigree that I cannot hope to match. So, basically, now, I simply don't apply anywhere with a PhD program. I do still apply to SLAC schools, and I take it as a good sign if there is at least one faculty member at the target school with a PhD from an unranked State School. But I assume even these applications are a waste of time and that, even with publications, I will not be getting any interviews.

Anonymous said...

"Until it dawned on me that, basically, the majority of faculty in pretty much every department have pedigree that I cannot hope to match."

How long did it take for this to dawn on you? When did you start following where graduates from your program were getting jobs?

zombie said...

7:21 -- I don't think it's as hopeless as you do, I guess. But I think you can definitely discern patterns of hiring preference -- all Ivies, all R1s, etc. Those are hard to compete with, without comparable pedigree, IMO.

Although I hang on to the dream that I will someday be able to drag myself up.

The single most important fact about the current job market is that there are way more unemployed philosophers than there are jobs for them, which means some will not get jobs in philosophy.

Anonymous said...

In other news, the first round interview posting stage has begun on the wiki....and Stanford is first out of the gate...let the distraction begin!

imprecise said...

Derek Bowman and others - when I was talking about judgments about "stretch," I was simply trying to advise candidates on the use of their time. As a SC committee member, I don't make any negative judgments about proper or improper stretch applications. If I don't think a candidate is a good fit, I simply don't put them on a short list. I totally understand why people would apply to a job that isn't a good fit for them. My advice to people I know personally is always to apply as *widely* as you can.

imprecise said...

If your research focus is on the history of philosophy, and you've published a paper on, say, Aristotle, Hume, or Descartes, but the paper focuses directly on some ethical issue (e.g. moral psychology), does that count as a publication that counts toward an AOS in Ethics?

These are the sorts of questions that are difficult to answer in the abstract. Have you taught Ethics? Then you might apply to a SLAC advertising in Ethics. SLACs often need people who aren't too narrowly focused. But unless you have a lot of dissertation stuff on ethics, I can't see an R1 giving much of a look at your file.

Anonymous said...

imprecise,

Thanks for the reply. I actually do have an AOS in ethics, but I've been publishing mostly on such historical figures, with a focus on their ethical views. I was just wondering to what extent departments would look at those publications as strengthening my resume as a researcher.

Anonymous said...

PSA: Please add jobs to the Wiki, and update when you receive any information. It works best if it's crowd-sourced....

http://phylo.info/jobs/wiki

Anonymous said...

Re the Wiki: Is there a mechanism for removing old information (I'm thinking any entry dated before August 2014)? Right now it's confusing to look at the wiki because some of the departments also hiring this year are still listed on the wiki from last year.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the UNC-Charlotte job? Did someone with real information pull it?

Anonymous said...

"I was just wondering to what extent departments would look at those publications as strengthening my resume as a researcher."

Honestly, it depends on the quality of the publications. What you publish on is relevant, but not nearly as relevant as how good your work is.