Friday, November 7, 2008

In other depressing news

The Times tells us what we already know. Anyone else drinking themselves to sleep tonight?


Anonymous said...

Fuck. Thanks for completely ruining my day. I did already know this, but kept the knowledge hidden away way back in the dustbin of memories never to be accessed.

juniorperson said...

Can't afford to.

Anonymous said...

I'm writing a dissertation in philosophy, of course I drink myself to sleep. Its a part of the package.

Anonymous said...

Yep. At my institution, we were recently told that perhaps more than half of the tt-searches, university-wide, will be cancelled. It is depressing.

Mysjkin said...

I'm fucked. Not on the market this year, but fucked nevertheless. Next year there'll be loads of overqualified seekers, old professors will stay in their chairs hoping for their 401(k)s to rise again, hiring freezes... With the rollover of good candidates the market will be tough for several years (at best). Oh well, pbr still loves me.

FutureSophist said...

Aside from the obvious alternative (drinking oneself into oblivion), I am wondering what people are considering as viable alternatives if the market freezes to such a degree that only the bare minimum of candidates get jobs. Perhaps law schools are going to explode with philosophy PhDs?

Anonymous said...

I thought you might like to read this:

Anonymous said...

I don't understand that rateyourstudents post. First of all, the site is kind of weird because it looks like a blog, but as far as I can tell there aren't comments for the post(s). Second of all, the dude goes through literally EVERY element of an application and says it doesn't matter. Not teaching materials, not writing sample, not CV (!?). I don't get a sense of what DOES matter for him. Am I just missing something? Are there comments enabled on that post?

Third of all, can we talk staples vs. paper clips in application materials? Where do you guys stand? So far I've settled on staples for writing sample, and paper clips for everything else. But I'm not committed on this yet.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to apply to McGill Law is a top ranked school for human rights law and you do not even need to take the LSATs.

Anonymous said...

Paper clips for everything. Here's why:

1) Some committees might want to make photocopies of your stuff (without first mangling and tearing it to remove the staples).

2) Most of your stuff will be only a few pages, and stapling a few pages is nasty business. BTW: if you are just coming out and your CV is more than 4 pages (perhaps even three), that means you are padding your CV (or are using triple-space, 16 pt font).

Just make sure that you page number in such a way that if your stuff gets knocked over, it can be easily reassembled without reading the content.

Anonymous said...

staples for everything. no department is going to make copies of the 200+ files they recieve. The same file gets passed from person to person; if you've used paper clips, it will be in bad shape by the time the 3rd or 10th person rifles through it.

at my department we don't even copy the files of the short list. But even if we did make those copies, our admin asst would be doing it, and she's very good at using the staple remover!

Anonymous said...

Coming off of Leiter's recent post on the market: Strict funding limits (the University of California will stop funding me midway through my seventh year, as they will stop funding all UC graduate students who are Doc2A*) and a shit market; back when I started this Philosohpy PhD ordeal it was just a joke about having to pump gas after graduation.

*Doc2A here in the UC means that you only get university funding for nine quarters after having advanced to candidacy. They won't even let me teach!

You get what you pay UC.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the rateyourstudent's post sounds like a lot of the trolls on this blog - just adding fuel to everyone's anxiety by essentially saying there's nothing you can do right. And the reality is, as I think we've seen, that what is right for some schools will be wrong for others.

Other than all of the obvious points, I'll say that I think his claim about a facebook page is probably wrong. Obviously it shouldn't have anything inappropriate on it, even if you keep it set to private, but I finally broke down and joined facebook, and now I'm "friends" with a number of faculty members.

Anonymous said...

JFP came out on Friday. Where's all the complaining about that? Catharsis, baby, catharsis.

ML said...

Other options:

Get an MBA and become a business ethicist.

Get a JD and become a philosopher of law.

Get an MA in environmental science and become an environmental ethicist.

Then, after you've done one of these things, go out and get a job in business school, law school, or a science program of some kind. There will be less competition, you'll get paid a lot more, and your friends on the "philosophy side" will be kicking themselves for not doing the same thing.

message in a bottle said...

Are people ramping up their applications with the bleak economic outlook ahead? I'm wondering if things will be even more competitive for all jobs this year, even in small places.

Anonymous said...

It is going to be rough –

At my school we are expecting at 8-10% hard cut next year…I have 2 faculty who have been here for 30 yrs who were going to retire next yr – but they have changed their plans on that in light of what has happened to there 403(B) accounts.

Also, our president has said he is now looking at all searches and determining if we really need to hire anyone for the next year –

Cornell and Brown both just announced hiring freezes.

Anonymous said...

ml, you forgot one...

Get an MS in Sex Therapy and become a philosopher of sex and love

...then your friend will really be envious!

NL said...


Is it true that there are more jobs in these fields than it just "Ethics"? Or is your point that the relative size of the pool of candidates for such jobs is small, thus your chances of landing a job goes up. Thinking back to the JFP, it doesn't seem like there were tons of jobs in these fields compared to just plain old ethics, so I assume you meant the latter.

But then I wonder if the pool of candidates that are qualified for, say, the Business Ethics jobs is much smaller, relatively speaking, to the pool of candidates for just a plain Ethics job.

Now Medical Ethics/Bioethics might be different. There seems to be a whole lot of these. But, again, do we know the size of the pool of candidates? I wish we had some numbers on this so that those of us who might want to refocus our research in the direction of the market could make an informed decision in this regard.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:14 writes:

BTW: if you are just coming out and your CV is more than 4 pages (perhaps even three), that means you are padding your CV (or are using triple-space, 16 pt font).

This strikes me as a dumb-ass blanket comment. I'm just coming out and have done a fair amount of stuff while in grad school and my CV is more than four pages in twelve-point font. I've tried carefully to avoid padding (no department level or grad-conference presentations, for example, only professional). I'm wondering, does anyone else think this comment of 9:14's is off base? How long are your CVs?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:16 PM:

The Cornell freeze is only for non-professorial positions.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. 9:14 is a fucking idiot. My CV was nine pages. I got a tt job at a Leiter-ranked institution, largely, I think, because it really was nine pages.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:14's comment is probably mostly true. If you (anon 4:55) are an exception, great. But, no, it does not seem to me to be a "dumb-ass" comment. The gist of it: don't pad your CV. That seems like good advice.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 4:55 -

3.5 pages, 5.5 with research statement and dissertation abstract. 12 font, no padding.

Alias Smith and Jones said...

This is what I suggest for a basic I'm-new-on-the-market streamlined CV:

1st Page: Education and Publications (articles in refereed journals).You shouldn't assume that your entire CV will be read (at least initially), so your first page is the sell page. Works under review ARE NOT publications.

2nd Page: Book Reviews, Works Under Review/In Progress, Conferences/Talks. A lot of mistakes are made here. Works In Progress is not a section for you to list all of your awesome ideas. Don't put something in this section unless you have already written something on it roughly approximating a conference quality paper. You very well might get grilled on these, and if they are just ideas, you will get burned and look the fool. Also, I recommend being somewhat selective with regard to talks and conferences, especially if you gave the same paper ten different places.

3rd Page: Teaching, Awards, References. This should be pretty straightforward. List the classes you taught, relevant/significant awards (again, be selective, $200 travel grants are great, but you needn't put it here), and the names of the good folk singing your praises. I suppose if you absolutely must, you can list the graduate courses taken/audited--do not lie ("audited" doesn't mean that you meant to audit Jane Doe's Metaontology course but stopped going after two sessions.)

I think many folks new to the market have the tendency to cram as much information into the CV as possible. Hiring committees aren't looking for your life-story or an exhaustive list of all possibly relevant things you have done. You need to put your strongest, not longest, foot forward. Finally, the job search is initially like speed dating. Frontload the awesome. If you can't convince someone to hire you after the first three pages, then nothing in pages 4-10 will do it.

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I don't think four or even five pages is unreasonable for a CV. But then again I don't think you should leave off grad student conferences necessarily. They're legit, and many of them are rather selective (and yes--I read the other thread on the issue).

Anonymous said...

"This strikes me as a dumb-ass blanket comment."

No, it's good advice you are hoping you can ignore because you think you are special.

Anonymous said...

I'm at a good (top 2ish)school, and my, and everyone other grad student here's cv is 2 pages, 3 with a dissertation summary. clearly, the problem is not that none of us have done anything. What are you people listing beyond 2 pages that anyone could possibly care about?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:16 PM:

The Cornell freeze is only for non-professorial positions.

Brown's too. The freeze doesn't apply to the faculty.
Of course, Brown isn't searching in philosophy this year anyway, so it's academic.

First year tt guy said...

I don't think there is a 'right' length for a CV. Don't pad it with lots of silly stuff (e.g. presenting the same paper 5 times at grad conferences, a two page dissertation abstract, a list of ten papers in progress/under review), but your CV should accurately reflect your accomplishments.

If you've got the content for 6 pages, include it! But, many SCs will stop reading early if you have a 6 page CV with zero publications (and nothing particularly impressive early on). My CV was five pages including a page of Grad Courses taken (since I had more course work than many students).

Like everything else in the job search, use common sense, practical wisdom, and the advice of faculty from your department. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

About leaving out "department-level" stuff and $200 travel grants: Look, grant/proposal writing and department-level service are standard parts of the job you're applying for.

And in small-ish departments like mine (5-6 regulars), they can be quite big parts of the job. Even those in my dept. who are very, very productive (research-wise) can't hope to make their annual review research score rise higher than their service score--there's just too much time-consuming paperwork and committee work that needs doing.

So when I look at CVs, it matters to me if I see some signs that someone can juggle service, teaching, and research, and that someone can write grant proposals. That bodes well for keeping me from having to pick up the slack.

Anonymous said...

I kept my CV to two pages during grad school. I'm not Mr. Fantastic like Anon 7:50, but I'd done a hell of a lot of good shit before I graduated.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that Anon 7:50 is a) a lying troll or b) got the job despite having a 9-page CV (and despite being an asshole) or c) by "CV" means everything in one's dossier save writing sample, transcript, and teaching evals.

future sophist said...

message in a bottle:

"Are people ramping up their applications with the bleak economic outlook ahead? I'm wondering if things will be even more competitive for all jobs this year, even in small places."

I was going to ramp up my number of applications, but because of the economic crisis, I can no longer afford the postage. Perhaps I should apply only for those jobs that are accepting online applications. ;)

ML said...

NL said:

"Is it true that there are more jobs in these fields* than it just "Ethics"? Or is your point that the relative size of the pool of candidates for such jobs is small, thus your chances of landing a job goes up. Thinking back to the JFP, it doesn't seem like there were tons of jobs in these fields compared to just plain old ethics, so I assume you meant the latter."

*Note: "these fields" include business ethics, environmental ethics, philosophy of law, and other applied fields.

The jobs I'm thinking of are offered by professional schools on the terms of their own profession. Business schools and medical schools hire their own ethicists, many of whom have no joint appointment with philosophy and end up doing most of their collaborative work with researchers in the profession rather than with other philosophers.

These jobs often don't appear in JFP. Business schools and law schools use their own channels to hire business ethicists and philosophers of law. There are many more of these positions than JFP would lead one to believe.

I can't give the final word on the size of the pool of qualified applicants, but my impression is that the ratio of applicants to positions is much smaller than in plain old ethics. At the very least I can say that you don't have to come from a Leitterrific graduate program to get a good job as a business school business ethicist. (Maybe they're just more open-minded than philosophers?) But I'll let someone with more first-hand experience speak to that.

Anonymous said...

My cv is 7 pages: Suck it haters.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:17 AM -

I'm at a good (top 2ish)school, and my, and everyone other grad student here's cv is 2 pages, 3 with a dissertation summary. clearly, the problem is not that none of us have done anything. What are you people listing beyond 2 pages that anyone could possibly care about?


Some of us lesser lights need to be quite active while in grad school. I have an entire page of conference presentations/comments (only one grad conference).

Anonymous said...

I'm anon 7:50. Not a liar. Not a troll. Maybe a dick. But basically, fuckers, I worked my ass off, studied in a few graduate programs, published a fair bit, won a few grants, presented at a ridiculous number of conferences, did a bit of service, worked a few VAPs, taught a lot, and thumbed my big fucking finger at the lazy shitcrackers who think that they only need to have a slick writing sample to land a fine job.

This is a market. Make yourself into something.

So, yep. Maybe a dick.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:17 AM:

I'm at a good (top 2ish)school, and my, and everyone other grad student here's cv is 2 pages, 3 with a dissertation summary.

Of course they are. And none of you have probably done much external stuff to list on your CV. And that's because you don't have to. Pedigree may not be the only thing that matters, but clearly, if you've got it, you don't need much else. You get good training and good in house recommendations. And people are just dispossed to view your application favorable if you come from one of those schools. So your opinion is interesting and all, but I think the opinions of those who didn't win the lottery are more relevant. They're the ones who have to think about their applications. It doesn't matter what you do.

length doesn't matter said...

I'm pretty sure that different academics have very different ideas about what ought to be listed on a CV, and how much detail is needed for the things that are listed. That's why there is such a difference in how long people think the CV should be.

Mark Schroeder's CV is 3 1/2 pages long. I am pretty confident that he is more accomplished, by a very wide margin, than anyone coming out of graduate school (and for that matter than almost anyone coming up for tenure). I suspect that the new PhDs with 9-page CVs are listing items or details that Schroeder doesn't bother including.

Anonymous said...

anon 7:50: awesome.

Anonymous said...


I can't speak to law schools, but most business ethics jobs are advertised in JFP. When b-schools hire someone with a management degree to teach business ethics, it's generally as an AOC, as it were, i.e., they pick someone who's willing to do it, but they hire them to teach something else in the curriculum. When it's taught in a business school, business ethics is often rolled into a course in business law (often called "business environment") and taught by someone with a JD. When b-schools have a course called "business ethics," they often outsource it to the philosophy department -- and then it'll be advertised in JFP (or the Chronicle). Very, very few jobs with AOS in business ethics are advertised in venues that recruit people with business degrees, maybe one or two a year.

I wish you were right though.

Anonymous said...

Hey, 9 pages or more is impressive. If a hot young thing tells me that they are sportin' a 9-pager, I get all tittery and excited. But you know what, most of the time it turns out to be a rather thin 9-pager, and thin is not in. Everyone knows that it is girth over length. So maybe your pixie-stick, twizzler CV impresses the locker room folks, but when it comes down to business, I need substance.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm anon 2:17am. I fear my last post might have struck the wrong tone. I'm genuinely curious as to what would go into a cv that's more than 4 pages - I've worked pretty hard through grad school, and every time I've come up with a decent original idea I've presented it at a handful of conferences. I've taught quite a lot, organised conferences, won a few prizes/scholarships. If I formatted poorly, it could run to 3 pages, but no more. What haven't I done? I'm not asking to be superior - quite the opposite. In spite of having 'won the lottery' (questionable in so many ways), I'm shit-scared of the job market. I know plenty of people from leiterrific schools who have trouble getting a job, and if my cv is genuinely so thin compared to everyone else out there, I suspect I'll be one of them!

Anonymous said...

Well, the jobs report got released last week, and education is one of only three sectors of the economy that GREW. Didn't break out higher ed in particular, but if we don't get professorial jobs, there's always Baltimore public schools. They'll take anyone with a heartbeat. Smile :).

mr zero said...

All the hyperventilating over 7:50's fresh-out-of-grad-school 9-page CV misses one crucial detail: 7:50 says he did "a few VAPs"--which I take to mean more than 2--before his big, fat 9-pager snagged a job at a ranked department. So he wasn't a rookie who padded his CV; he was a three-year (at least) veteran. Who padded his CV--I still find it hard to imagine what takes 9 pages for a three-vap guy to say about himself.

ML said...

Thanks, Anon 7:22 AM. I was aware of two searches in business ethics that didn't make it into JFP, but maybe these are the exception rather than the rule.

Anonymous said...

I would really appreciate some helpful advice from people who have served on SCs. I have a paper that I think is about the best thing I've ever written, and that is forthcoming in a good journal. The paper is pretty short: only 14 pages double spaced. I have longer papers, but they either need revisions that I don't have time to make right now, or they are not as good as the 14-pager. Would I sink my chances by sending out such a short paper as my writing sample?

Anonymous said...

In response to length...

Well, he used a small font and he didn't space much (e.g., in his "Honors and Fellowships" section). Plus, he doesn't need to include courses taken or a disseration abstract. That crap can take up an entire page.

Anonymous said...

Nothing will sink your chances more than a crappy writing sample. If it really is your best work, send it. Hell, you can send two if you want (one long, one short). Short papers aren't so much a problem especially if they are in things like decision theory, phil math, logic, etc. Just no discussion pieces and no nitpicky papers.

Anonymous said...

To anon 12:52: After watching 30-35 page writing samples stream in over the last few weeks, seeing a 14 pager would make me shudder with happiness. Seriously, 35 pages is just too long.

My own take: Any concerns a SC member might feel about it being on the shortish side should be erased by the fact that it is forthcoming in a good journal. I'd recommend making that information obvious on the paper.

Anonymous said...

To 12:52:

Absolutely go with the short paper. 15 pages is actually about the perfect length, if it covers an original idea adequately. and if you've had it accepted in a good journal, I would guess that it does.

I've been a couple of search committees, and kibutzed on a few more, and I would never hold it against someone that they sent a short paper. In fact, it would just make it that much more likely that I would read it.

Post-Adjunct said...

Re: Business Ethics and Business Schools

FWIW: There are business and tech schools that do not advertise in the JFP. I used to teach at one of them. Mind you, these places do hire (they tend to post ads in local newspapers), but I am not sure how many people from philosophy departments would really want to teach there. The place I taught had a Department of Humanities, not a Philosophy Department, and most of the professors there were adjuncts (including me), not tenured faculty. There was only one PhD in the entire Humanities department. The rest were DEd or MBA. There WERE perks to teaching at such a place: sometimes I could design and teach classes that I wanted to teach that I would have had to wait for tenure to teach at other universities. However, the downside was really bad. I am glad that I went through the gauntlet of teaching at such a place, but it was pre-doc. I would recommend getting inside advice from the current faculty and adjuncts if you find such a non-philosophy department job. Also, even though these are business or engineering schools, they traditionally do not pay their non-science faculty well.

3-time SC member said...

Anon 12:52 PM:

By all means, send your short-but-published paper, especially if you think it's top notch. The quality of the writing sample is immensely more important than the quantity.

Philosophy Prof said...

Definitely send the 14-page paper if it is clearly your best work, and then you have lots of time from now through January to revise another paper for the job talk.

Anonymous said...

Don't pad it with lots of silly stuff (e.g. presenting the same paper 5 times at grad conferences, a two page dissertation abstract, a list of ten papers in progress/under review)

Why not list these? It's important to show how prolific you are in "disseminating your research". It shows you keep busy and are engaging more people with your research. And there is always the chance that you are a quick writer of quality papers, which is not something to be ignored.

You know what kind of people write comments like that? The kind that doesn't have grad conferences, etc. to list on their own CVs.

Word, beeacth.

Anonymous said...

One suggestion is to send both the shorter forthcoming piece and a longer piece. Let the committee pick.

On a different note, does anyone else around here get paranoid about the review process? Here's a few worries I've had. First, I've noticed an uptick in people googling papers I have under review. I've now taken to changing titles to deal with this, but if the papers are being presented at conferences there's only so much that can be done about this. Second, I've noticed that an awfully high number of people are publishing work in journals edited by professors that they did graduate work with. Am I just cracking up under the pressure?

Anonymous said...

On the CV thing: My CV is four pages long, and I don't even have any publications. So far as I can tell, there is no padding. I list only conferences that I attended that matter, and two works under review. I do list all of my awards including undergrad awards, and I do list all of the grad courses I've taken, since I feel those are relevant for assessing my claims about my areas of competence. Each of these sections take up a lot of space. But other than those two issues, I don't see how my CV could be any shorter without shortchanging myself. I also does not include a dissertation abstract -- that is separate.

No one who has looked at my CV has had any complaints. So I think a CV longer than 3 pages is fine. But I also agree that each thing on the CV should be substantive. For instance, if I had actually presented the same thing at 10 different conferences, I probably wouldn't list each and every one of those.

Anonymous said...

I second 12:52's question, though I've got the opposite problem. My best paper is about 15,000 words, which has made it hard to place and right now I'm trying to cut it down. But I've seen plenty of job ads that ask for short writing samples (oddly, not many this year) and I'm afraid people won't bother reading mine when it takes two staples even when it's single-spaced.

Prof. J. said...

Anon 12:52,

Just speaking for myself, I would be more than happy to read a very good 12 page writing sample. I'd read it more carefully and enjoy it more than an otherwise-equally-good 24 page writing sample.

Jerkface said...

I have a 7 pager. What's on my cv?

Education: Phd, Mphil, 2 MA's, BA

Pubs: 1 book, 2 chapters, 1 article in decent journal, 2 in conference proceedings, 2 reviews

Teaching: 1 TT job (current), 2 years as Instructor, 2 years as adjunct

Courses taught: 13 different courses at two different schools

Presentations: 7 top tier professional conferences (e.g. apa)

8 local conferences

1 graduate conference

4 as commentator

1 invited talk

10 poster presentations

Labratory Work: 2 different labs

Professional service: reviewer/committee/colloquium organizer

References: 6 (three teaching/three research)

Graduate courses taken: over 50 (remember: 2 MA's)

Oh yeah, and I just finished my diss in Sept.

How's that for girth, bitches?

Anonymous said...

anon 12:52: send the short one. you want to send your best work; if it is forthcoming, excellent. If it is short, good, and forthcoming, it is perfect.

Anon 7:50 said...

Hey Jerkface: I'm waith ya. Same deal. Get a few degrees, awards, and publications, and you'll have yourself a pretty hefty CV.

Anonymous said...

Word, beeacth.

bitch fail.

typo said...

Speaking of CVs and such. I just found a typo in one of my supporting "statements". It has already gone out to a number of places. I read the document a number of times and I had others read it, but no one caught the typo...until now.

So I am wondering if any SC members would like to chime in on whether applications get tossed due to such mistakes.

Does it matter where the typo is found? For example, I imagine that a typo in a cover letter, CV or first pages of a writing sample would be worse than a typo in a supporting document.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jerkface, by "1 Book" published, do you mean your CV, or is that a separate publication?

Anonymous said...

I'm at a top 5 dept, and if you've only got a 2-3 pge CV you are doing something wrong.

mine includes the pubs, refereed and nonrefereed, conferences (only one grad, and it was an important one), honors and awards (that takes up space), and... professional service. Given that this is one of the three legs on which we are supposedly evaluated as professors, it makes sense to put it on the CV. I include here the names of journals for which I've refereed, plus some other stuff. And teaching experience, which I've got a decent amount of.

then, with a list of references, courses taken, diss abstract, and future research statement, I was happy to come in at 9 pages and not longer. If you only have two pages plus diss abstract, you must have next to no conferences or pubs or fellowships to put down.

Anonymous said...

I see, here are two things that account for the length difference:

--some people are sending the list of courses taken and the dissertation summary separately, some are counting it as part of the CV.

--some people have been out of grad school a few years.

If you are not including that stuff, and if you are just coming out of grad school, of course it would be crazy to have more than 3 pages; what would you put on them?!

But if you've been teaching for awhile, and are including some of that stuff, it's not crazy to have 7 pages, like anon 6:02 (although to be honest, 6:02, I'm not sure I'd list the poster presentations, unless perhaps you're in a cognate science field and those are important/hard to get in that field?).

And to add to the advice about the 14 page writing sample: I would love it if the writing sample was that short. (I'm a professor, but not a search committee member this year.) Also keep in mind that committees sometimes ask you to send more work, so if they want to see more, they can ask (or, as already advised, you can include another paper, although if you think other papers are really not as good, I probably wouldn't -- you wouldn't want them to think the awesome short paper was a fluke.)

And to the guy/girl with 15,000 words -- perhaps you can cut out some specific arguments and footnote that you deal with those in your dissertation.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:52 here --
Thanks to all for the advice about the short paper. That puts my mind at ease. (At least about this one thing.)

Anonymous said...

I do not know if anyone will honestly answer this question, even though we have anonymity, but how many jobs is each person applying for?

The reason I ask is that I have heard such large numbers from people (60-100!) that I simply cannot buy that people spend that much time or money applying to jobs that they are most likely completely unsuited for and have no chances of getting an interview. So, I am curious about this.

After both JFPs, I have 25 applications out, and I would say that at least 1/2 of those are a stretch in terms of specialization.

Anonymous said...

yo 6:02:

how old are you? like 45? that's the only way I could conceive of anyone having that many poster presentations!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I'm gonna ask this, but...

Arriving 1 or 2 days (max!) past the deadline isn't going to sink my application, is it? I know past/present/future SC members on here won't want to admit it for fear of widespread laxness (sp?). But seriously Priority mail was like 1/3 the price of Express mail ($18.00!!!).

I promise not to make a habit of it, but you think I'll be OK?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:39 - I have about 50 or 60 applications out so far, but my AOS is normative ethics and bioethics, which as many have said generally nets the greatest number of applications. And, of course, the greatest number of competitors for those spots.

WTF said...

As someone who has been on several search committees let me say this: I don't give one shit what courses you have took in grad school. Seriously: I don't care if you took ethics with Scanlon or metaphysics with Williamson. If you have taught a class on a certain area, then list it as an AOC. If you you specialize in an area, then list it as an AOS. Everything else: fuck it.

Grudging SC Member said...

my two-cents:

anon 9:52: no way I would ever throw out an application on account of a typo; even an embarrassing one. That seems crazy to me. I wouldn't worry about it all.

anon 10:54: you overstate your case. A candidate with a 2-3 page CV is not necessarily doing anything wrong. C'mon. Haven't we established that there is a wide range of reasonable differences in CV length here? Jesus.

anon 5:43: We expect that some applications will come in late. It barely registers and once the application is filed, none of us will ever remember when the materials came in. We're only interested in finding the strongest candidates. Don't worry; just send in those applications.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:39,

You really only need to apply for one job, if it's the right one. But it's hard to know which one that will be. I've got about 25 out now myself, for what it's worth.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:39 -

I get the feeling that some people apply for jobs when they don't meet the AOS and/or AOC or when the job is at a Leiter top 5 school and they come from a Leiter 50ish school.

In the past, I applied for way too many jobs. This year, I am applying for about 35. There are some jobs that I won't apply for because of location (sorry losers, I have family to consider). If I applied for those, I might have 45 applications at the most.

Anonymous said...

To Anon (1:39)

I went out with an AOS in ethics and political philosophy last year and sent out rouhgly 90 total apps (probably 70 out of the October JFP). I snagged two TT on-campus interviews and one offer.

Don't try to over-predict what a SC is looking for. If your qualifications match without a gross stretch then send the app. My experience taught me that you should never try to guess where your app will hit in a good way. I didn't get any love from places where I thought I had a really good shot with.

Anonymous said...

Response to Anon 1:39:

I am sending about 55 aps. Some of those are slightly stretchy, though really very few. But I have also written things in a few sub-levels of philosophy and am pretty indiscriminate about location--so, for example, the number includes a few jobs in asia and europe.

Anonymous said...

"On a different note, does anyone else around here get paranoid about the review process? Here's a few worries I've had. First, I've noticed an uptick in people googling papers I have under review."

"Blind" refereeing certainly isn't really blind -- I doubt that it was ever very close to blind, but by now, at any rate, it is at best slightly near-sighted.

"Second, I've noticed that an awfully high number of people are publishing work in journals edited by professors that they did graduate work with."

I am curious: do you see enough of this to rule out the obvious "innocent" explanations (invoking the small number of journals, the fact that advisees tend to work in the same area as advisors, etc.)? We can expect a certain degree of bias, here, obviously -- the question is whether there is more than the inevitable minimum.

Anonymous said...

I applied to over 120 jobs last year. Yield: 12 off-campus interviews; 10 campus interviews; 4 offers.

Nate said...


When you look back at where you got your interviews and your offers, were they places where you thought you might have a good shot before you applied or were they surprises.

I am trying to gage whether applying to 120 places is worth it. Or whether applying to places that are more realistic opportunities would produce the same or similar outcome.

Anonymous said...

For hiring purposes, you are the first page of your CV. If a committee must slog through 10 pages to find a reason to interview you, then don't expect a phone call. Committees want to know where you got your degree, AOS/AOC, and publications. I don't care if you have a 50 page behemoth CV, if enough folks have first pages that eat your first page for breakfast, then don't expect a phone call. Does anyone really think every line of every person's CV gets read? The only way a committee member is making it to your 10th page is if your 1st page gets you into the top 30-40.

Anon 1:39 said...

Thanks to those who responded with the numbers of jobs you are applying for.

To those of you who applied for a large amount of jobs and got interviews, were most of them jobs that asked for an AOS or AOC that was pretty close to your dissertation topic, were they mostly open positions, or was it seemingly random?

I can understand that those of you who do both ethics and applied ethics are going to have a much larger pool of jobs to choose from. The person who wrote their dissertation on, say, Gricean implicature and aesthetics (completely random example, by the way; I know of no one who has done this) is going to have a much smaller pool of jobs for which to apply, or at least I would presume that this would be the case (hypothetically, let's say that they have only taught a couple Intro and maybe a baby logic course). Those who do work in philosophy and one of the sciences have fewer traditional TT choices, but more fellowship opportunities, it seems. And then there is the one Husserl job, which I am sure continentals all over the U.S. are salivating over.

Anonymous said...

Apply everywhere that meets the following two conditions:

(1) there's a possibility you'd rather take a job there than continue grad school (or get a job in the private sector).

(2) there's a possibility you meet their qualifications, very broadly construed.

For some people, this will only be 15 jobs. For some it will be 120. It's fine.

grammar nazi said...

wtf wrote:

"As someone who has been on several search committees let me say this: I don't give one shit what courses you have took in grad school."

There's something about the combination of haughty condescension and ungrammaticality here that warms my heart.

Anonymous said...

I am curious: do you see enough of this to rule out the obvious "innocent" explanations (invoking the small number of journals, the fact that advisees tend to work in the same area as advisors, etc.)? We can expect a certain degree of bias, here, obviously -- the question is whether there is more than the inevitable minimum.

There was some discussion of this in connection with Phil Perspectives. That's not the example I had in mind. There's been some discussion of this obviously in connection with gender issues. That's important, but also not what I have in mind.

What I've noticed seems not that innocent. It seems like a striking number of people from a certain grad program find a surprisingly high percentage of their pubs in the same place. Moreover, that journal has a surprisingly high number of pubs from that people that went through that program. I don't want to name names, I'm just curious if others have ever entertained the possibility and/or noticed this sort of thing.

first year tt guy said...

I'll weigh in on two issues:

1) It can be very important to meet deadlines, but I bet it varies dramatically from search to search. Last year I recevied an interview call for one position BEFORE their stated application deadline. It seems unlikely that late (or even barely on time) applications were given an equal examination. In other words, how important the deadline is depends in part on when the SC starts looking at applications.

2) Last year I applied to about 100 positions. I applied to every job I remotely qualified for except: two year colleges, places with such a high cost of living that I couldn't imagine living there, or such competitive jobs that I didn't believe I had a 'snowball's chance' of getting the job.