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08/20/2018

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Al

I work at a UK institution and worked previously for another. I can confirm that if an applicant does not speak to all of those criteria in a way that clearly demonstrates that they meet them, the file is in the bin. I can only speakk directly for two place but as I watched people apply to jobs and talked with many people about the UK market (I was coming from the US), it was clear as day that these "key criteria" absolutely must be addressed. If not, you file may go in the bin via the department or, in some cases, it never gets past admin. My own experience has it that the actual department members are likely to see this beuqacratic business for what it is, but without passing this hurdle, there is basically no hope. That said, it's surprising how helpful can be to see that stuff all laid out clearly and I suspect that it contributes to more fairness in the process given other things that have appeared on this blog about making these processes more mechanical and standardised (but never mind that speculation for now).

How do you do all of this - you write a much longer covering letter or there is separate place (often just a textbox on an online app) where you write this all up. Unlike in the US, you will not typically submit a teaching portfolio, research statement, and dissertation abstract. Rather, you will submit (along with a CV and writing sample) a very detailed covering letter that says a little bit about your research and teaching and then goes through all of the selection criteria. I've even seen people do this very explicitly: "you are looking for someone who can perform admin duties of blah blah sort" "I have done such and such and so and so and am well qualified and prepared to perform admin duties of blah blah sort". My covering letter for a job that did not have the separate box was 6 pages single spaced and this was not abnormally long. I worried that it was so I asked a friend in the department. He said that would be normal. I did make very clear with sections what was going on so that academics could skip some of the tedious stuff. Ex: *current research* and *Evidence of Key Criteria*. Some information was redundant since some of my research type work was relevant to the key criteria. In my present job which had the box, I had a 3 page cover letter single spaced that was something like a combination of my US short covering letter for research schools with bits taken from my teaching statement and quite a lot taken from my research statement. In addition to that I wrote about 1000 words on the selection criteria for the text box dedicated to this. I used the 'you want a/I am a' format.

There is no doubt that applying to UK jobs, if one is up and running on their application mill in the US, is a lot of work. Luckily many schools seem to have a lot of key criteria overlap, so you can get a second mill running. Keep an eye on jobs.ac.uk

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