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Agreed--apply, and apply fresh!

SC member

I second Marcus' advice, with the following qualification: say something if you made it to the on-campus stage. First, you have information that gives you a real opportunity to explain why you want to work *there*. Second, at non-R1s, you're almost guaranteed to have some overlap in committees and it would be weird not to mention it.


I would definitely not mention that I had interviewed there before (I am assuming you had an on campus). Indeed, I think the person applying should NOT count on getting a job there. I would guess that if they remember your past experience, they will be inclined not to interview you. This is human nature (and not necessarily just). They may be embarrassed that they hired the wrong person last time, for example. But I think you should really not count on that job.

SC member


I think this is bad advice. First, I don't think anyone is counting on getting the job, especially not the OP (why ask for advice if you're counting on getting the job?). Second, I personally know *several* people who got jobs in departments where they previously got to the on-campus stage and yet didn't get the offer.


Thank you for the advice (albeit conflicting) so far, Marcus and everyone. I am very grateful. To be clear I meant places where I have previously interviewed. I agree that it is not a good idea to mention it if you have not made it that far.

Another SC member

Unless you came away from your in-person interview with a distaste for working in that department, I think it would be a mistake not to apply again. In the current job market, with so, so many good candidates and few jobs, committees may often find that they'd love to hire several of the people they flew out. Not getting the job might just have had to with your fit with last year's job description, but perhaps this year, you'll be the right fit.

I think it would seem odd not to allude to your previous interview in your cover letter. If I were on the committee, it would make me feel like you weren't tailoring your letter enough and thus weren't really that interested. (And even if committee composition changes, other members of the dept may well remember the names of the few people who came to campus for the previous search!) Just make sure that your allusion to your interview is more along lines of what SC member suggested: giving a reason why you're interested in working *there*, such as something you really liked about the university and/or department. You wouldn't want to say anything that would make it sound like you feel entitled to being interviewed there again (in line with Marcus's worry about seeming presumptuous).

For the writing sample, I'd recommend sending whatever you think is your strongest writing sample. If it's the same piece as before, then so be it. If you have a newer piece that's approximately as strong, send that instead.

I'll also add that I know of three departments that have brought the same person to campus for two different searches. So it does happen.

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