Monday, December 3, 2007

What I've been doing instead of writing.

How is it possible that I should be busier, more overwhelmed, and more oversheduled during a term when I'm on leave than during a teaching term? Is it my own expectations for myself that change? or people's perceptions of how much free time I must have? or nature abhorring a vacuum?

And can I just say how illuminating it is to be on the hiring committee? So, so many bad applications. As a public service, some tips--perhaps for the next time around (though I'm sure that no one I know, in real life or electronically, needs to hear them). (Yes, they may seem TO YOU to be intuitivie, but apparently....)

1) Think user-friendly: if you submit a bunch of teaching-related materials (syllabi, evals, etc), try to organize it for easiest possible consumption. I'm talking sub-headings, even colored dividers, paragraph synopses before each set of documents, etc.

2) Don't send pictures of yourself enjoying the company of famous scholars.

3) If there's a typo in your cover letter, spend the extra 10 cents in time and materials to reprint, rather than line-editing in pen.

4) Don't say, in your cover letter, how "dazzlingly qualified" you are for the job. That's what your recommenders are for.

5) Long, long CVs with every scouting merit badge you've ever won on them make you look insecure.

6) Don't ask someone who doesn't really know you to write you a letter just because they have a big name.

These guidelines eliminate probably half the applications I've been reading. They seem a bit common-sensical to me, and "common sense" has not been, traditionally, my academic field.


editorgirl said...

But I am "dazzingly qualified."

Lisa B. said...

No one said "dazzlingly qualified"! They didn't! My lord.