Saturday, October 15, 2011

Re-applying

I was asked the other day whether a student who applied for University X's job last year (and did not get an APA interview) should apply this year for the identical job advertised this year by University X.

This struck me as an easy case: obviously no. But then I learned that a colleague encouraged the student who asked to re-apply, apparently on the principle of "you never know." I guess that it's harmless (minus the mailing expenses), but it still seems to me a clear-cut no.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

My colleague was hired the second time around. Apply.

Also, the search committee might be different this time.

Anonymous said...

Let N be the number from 1-5 (1= Southwest Dregs Community College, 5= Leiter Top 20) at which you'd rank the caliber of the department to which you've previously applied.

Let M be the highest number from 1-5 at which you'd rank the caliber of the department you'd place atop your actual interview pool from last year.

You should reapply only if N >= M.

Anonymous said...

I think that was terrible advice, Spiros.
Searches are notoriously chaotic processes (in the sense of chaos theory) and running the same search twice is very likely to give dramatically different results.

Anonymous said...

I think you're assuming that it's the same search committee, which you cannot assume.

A different committee might give the applicant a different look.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing is a goddamn randomized, chaotic, irrational crapshoot in which there is absolutely no rhyme or reason. OF COURSE APPLY AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

I also have a colleague hired (at least) the second time around.

Ben said...

Aside from considerations given above, there are also the possibilities that either a) the student in question is now a stronger applicant and b) the competition may now be weaker, with some of those that did get interviews last year having now left the market.

But, even if neither of these are the case, I'd still side with those who say re-apply.

Anonymous said...

I'd also say reapply. Though I might start asking around about the job and how long they've been advertising. I've heard tell of departments who put the same job on the market every year because they want one particular person. If this is one of those "we aren't being explicit about this but we're only interested in poaching x known superstar from another school" situations then it may not even be worth the cost of a stamp to apply.

Anonymous said...

I've got a sense of which jobs advertised this year were also advertised last year. If "university x" is the university I think it is, I'm completely with you.

Anonymous said...

Word: uncur. As in "Spiros was uncur-d when he gave his irrational advice, then everyone set his ass straight."

Anonymous said...

Having served on numerous search committees over many years, I'd say you should definitely reapply. Although departments vary in their procedures, ours was fairly typical in using a screening committee of three to make the first "cut" and the membership of this group likely shifts each year.

I do remember one specific case where a SC member seemed to have an irrational bias against somebody the rest of us thought very strong - and that candidate got the job the following year when the subcommittee membership shifted and the SC member in question was on sabbatical.

You might rethink your presentation. If the department takes teaching seriously, put more emphasis on this. Take another look at your cover letter. Be sure to add any new refereed successes (professional meetings and/or journals) to help yourself, obviously.

Anonymous said...

Naïveté... The process is corrupted. Reapplying is one thing. Making sure the right phone calls are made is priceless.

Eric said...

Another testimonial: *I* was hired on reapplying.

Chris said...

I was also hired upon reapplying to the same University, although the job was in a slightly different area to which I was arguably a better fit.

Anonymous said...

I applied to the same job again in only one instance -- the first search was canceled due to lack of funding after APA interviews. I had interviewed with the school at the APA and they sent all interviewees a note encouraging is to apply the next year. I did and had another APA interview with them. I didn't get the job or an on-campus. But I do remember the search committees were totally different. At the first interview, the first question was: tell us about your teaching style -- do you use a stick or a ball? The other members of the committee immediately shushed him and apologized.

Anonymous said...

I, too, was interviewed and hired in year two. There was a failed search and, it seems, the awareness of what went wrong helped to focus the search committee better in year two towards what they most wanted with the hire and in the new colleague. This new focus made my nearly identical application stand out and rise to the top. Although I'd second the last paragraph of advice from Anonymous 6:51.

PA said...

In response to the label on this post: yes, the best cranky jerkiest kind.

Anonymous said...

I was hired the first time I applied for my job. I did not reapply the second time around because there was no search that year, since I already had been hired. Therefore, I agree with Spiros.

Anonymous said...

PA is correct. This whole thread is some kind of satire.

Anonymous said...

My darling cranky jerks: I got a TT at Shit University 7 years ago. I put my energies into making tenure and avoided the horrendous job market. Now I am tenured (in my mid-30's), I wonder if it was a mistake to avoid the job market. Am I doomed to stay at my job at Shit Uni forever? Is it possible to get a better job?

Anonymous said...

"Am I doomed to stay at my job at Shit Uni forever? Is it possible to get a better job?"

That depends. How well reviewed was your second book?

Anonymous said...

Putting in your first application is like playing plinko. No idea where the chip will land and very little of it is in your control. If you have to play again, you didn't win the first time. The main difference is that the person who won can't be hired again. So, that's like playing plinko again at no cost to yourself where part of the cause of your failure has been removed. Play again. (Unless you had to ask whether you should play again. If you have to ask whether you should play plinko a second time having not won the first when it's no cost to you to play again, there's no helping you.)

wv: Breez
Applying a second time is a breez.

Spiros said...

PA and 3:29 win this thread.

Everyone else sucks.