Monday, November 06, 2006

Dear College Who Shall Remain Nameless

I was seriously considering applying for a job at your institution of higher learning, and so went to the human resources website in order to begin the application process online, per your request. You use the same software as many institutions, so I was familiar with the process: fill in some basic info, then move on to the supplemental stage, during which I am to upload a few important documents--usually a cover letter and curriculum vitae.

But, in your infinite wisdom, you all decided to require a long list of documents, from letter and c.v. to teaching philosophy to writing sample to transcripts to letters of recommendation. Okay, sure: I can do most of those pretty easily. And transcripts, okay, I could convert these to PDFs for y'all. But letters? Really? I don't even have access to those.

What are you thinking, here? Is this really a good way to use this online system? How much information do you really want in that first round of a search? Do you really *want* your applicants to have read those letters? And do you really want all that stuff being printed out and circulated--because you know that's what will happen. The search committee aren't all gonna look at these in digital form.

So, I didn't apply for that job. I know this is a disappointment to you, but I wish you all the best in your search.*

*This last statement appeared almost verbatum in a rejection letter I received a few years ago. I'm sure that the arrogance was completely unintentional, but it *was* a job in rhetoric and composition, so we oughtta know better. Right?


Dr. Write said...

I encountered this problem. Being a part of an English Department who does nothing but argue (I mean _nothing_) with the Human Resources Department, I can say with some certainty that it is not the fault of the English Department, but rather of some insane institutional process that defies all logic. For the job I have now, I simply called the chair of the department and then had the "secret" documents (transcripts, letters) sent to him.
But I agree, it's insane, when all they really want to see is your cv, before they decide what pile to put you in.

susansinclair said...

good point. I redirect my remarks: Hey, you guys!! What's up??? And were this job really really interesting to me, I woulda followed up.