Monday, May 16, 2011

Philosophy Job Applications: Getting Through Phase One

The following is a summery of the main point made in a post on The Combat Philosopher regarding getting a job in philosophy. This post focuses on getting through the first round of the application. That is to say, getting to the interview at the APA. These are some suggestions from someone who has worked on hiring commitees. I suggest reading the whole post Here.

Summery of The Combat Philosopher's post copied and pasted:

Having served on numerous hiring committees, both in philosophy and in another discipline, I have a few words of advice for people who are going on the market.

1.  It is a profound mistake, though a common one, to think that the academic hiring process is a rational one.

2.  If you want to have a chance of getting onto the APA shortlist, publications really matter.
Learning how to navigate the world of academic publishing can take some time. Thus, a person who has some publications will be better equipped for life on the tenure-track, than a person who has no publications.  Another reason why publications matter is due to the fact that in most cases, past performance is the best predictor of future performance. 

3. There is always a temptation to apply for the job that does not really sound like you, but which you think you might be able to do, in a pinch. Please, DO NOT DO THIS!!! 

4. Make sure you put a telephone number where you can be reached somewhere easy to find in your application materials. Leaving a message and sending an e-mail and then not hearing back within twenty-four hours is a pretty sure method to lose your chance of that all important first APA meeting.

5) In your application materials, try and avoid saying things which are too obvious. After a day or two of digging through files, reading for the umpteenth time that a person has an 'important' research program, or that they 'love to teach' does not impress too much. Pointing out how some of the research has been accepted into print, is much more effective. 

6. . You may have a black belt in origami, play concert violin, cook world class cookies, or whatever. Unfortunately, none of this is relevant to an application for a philosophy job.
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