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Not an American

Hi everyone! New reader/member here. I have one question for the more seasoned members. In the UTAustin Woodruff postdoc it is stated that:

"If hired, you will be required to complete the federal Employment Eligibility Verification I-9 form. You will be required to present acceptable and original documents to prove your identity and authorization to work in the United States. Documents need to be presented no later than the third day of employment. Failure to do so will result in loss of employment at the university."

Does this mean that they only hire Americans/people with green card? I emailed them but nobody responded. Thanks!

@another non-American

@Not an American: I don't know if different universities have different procedures, so maybe my experience is not universal. But it my case that did not mean that non-Americans were not eligible. As a non-American post-doc on a J-1 VISA (Visiting Research Scholar), I had to fill out the federal Employment Eligibility Verification I-9 form when I started to work in the US . To fill out the I-9 form,, I went to the payroll office of my University with my VISA, other documents related to my VISA, and provided them with information like, e.g., my American phone number, my address in the US, and my US Social Security Number (which can be released to non-Americans who work in the US). Maybe something you may want to check is whether the university where you would like to work can sponsor your VISA (in my case this did not mean that they paid for my VISA expenses but simply that they acted as a sponsor so that I could apply for a VISA). I hope this helps!

come on

Got an email from Boston U this morning, subject "Boston University Applicants". Turns out they forgot to collect demographic information, probably for compliance reasons. I don't know if this is just me, but it seems especially cruel to send applicants a non-decision email with a subject line that just screams "This is a PFO".


@come on, that's weird! I applied to BU but didn't receive that email.

Self-identification fatigue

@come on: Totally agree. The “code” they sent in my email to report my info didn’t even work. It sounds like a mess over there.

Can guy

Not an American
If you are a Canadian or Mexican you are entiteld to work in the USA (with some qualifications) by getting a TN visa (transnational) - it is a consequence of NAFTA. It is NOT for just any job type, but academic jobs are covered by it. It is a one year renewable visa. When I worked in the USA, I used a TN visa at first, because I needed to ensure easy mobility home (I had a very ill relative, who could have died (he needed a new kidney) - alternative visas restrict your exiting and re-entry while they are being processed).

just wondering

Question – I've seen people over on the reporting thread mention having their letters "pulled" from Interfolio. What does this mean? I haven't applied to many jobs, but I've never had letters "pulled" even when I got an interview, only uploaded letters to Interfolio-hosted positions or used Interfolio-generated email addresses to send letters out for non-Interfolio-hosted positions. In the latter instance, Interfolio just says those letters have been "delivered." (I've also gotten immediate confirmation from the institution-specific app when my letters have been sent via Interfolio.) Is there a third scenario that I've never experienced? Or can letters be "pulled" in the two situations I've described?

Job Applicant 2022

Question about disabilities. Most applications ask if the applicant has or has had a disability. I have one but I do not think it impacts me much in terms of work. So, I typically answer "no". Mine disability is related to anxiety, depression, and ADD (I take medication). I am wondering what you all think. Does it harm me to be honest about my very mild disability? Does it help me? Or is it a neutral issue?

We're all wondering behind the veil

re: just wondering - When you put the interfolio email information in for your letter writers, some schools automatically send out the email (you will, then, get an email from interfolio letting you know within a day of the app being completed). Some schools, though, wait until later to send the requests. Sometimes this is them making long-list decisions. But other times it really is just a delayed request (or so it seems, from two years of watching).

It's hard to make much hay about it until you see whether some people did or did not receive interfolio letter request emails.

wondering no more (about the pulling of letters)

@behind the veil, thank you! That makes sense.

Not an American

Thanks for both of the replies! I am neither Canadian nor Mexican (nor European), so I get no shortcuts at all. There are quite a few jobs that are closed to internationals, which is sad. But hey, at least I have a singing accent.

Sometime Applicant

Job Applicant 2022: my understanding is that this information is not available to the committee, but rather is for statistical purposes at the institutional level. I'm in a similar position to yours (minimally stigmatized, invisible conditions); I go back and forth between 'no' (true on what are probably the best theories of disability) and 'prefer not to answer' (since 'yes' might be true of me on the definitions these questions proffer)

thankfully employed now

@come on and Self-identification fatigue, in my experience this is a fairly common kind of thing and is just an HR issue, typically not connected to the department or even any academic part of the university. Not sure if that makes it better but I have encountered this sort of thing a lot and it doesn't seem like something that anyone on a search committee ever has anything to do with it.


Man, is it just me or are there way fewer reporting posts than there were this time last year? And so much of what IS posted is people asking if anyone else has updates... I hate this for us.


@sweatin: I think the same. But I can't complain about it since I have nothing to report....

Simmah down now

It's not even thanksgiving...

Enough heat to simmer

Simmah down now -- I'm not sure I agree. The claim is that there is a massive downtick in postings here *relative to previous years.* This is especially notable since we had a much higher number of early postings than previous years. So the question is: are schools taking longer, or are people not posting?

I think this is an interesting question and one that has bearing on many of our prospects this cycle.


@sweatin: you are not wrong. I had several Zoom interview requests by Thanksgiving last year. Not sure why searches seem slower this year, but just confirming your feeling.

Why bother?

My guess is that people aren’t reporting/posting. For example, two people on this thread reported above that they had interviews with Utah Tech in reply to another post about frustrations with the market but there are no posts about Utah Tech on the reporting thread. I guess maybe applicants in general either aren’t following the threads or the applicants who do follow maybe don’t see what they get out of sharing the info, which maybe they take to be sensitive even if anonymous. But I’m not sure. I personally find this discussion thread more helpful and the reporting thread anxiety inducing. “Apply and forget” has become my mantra.

why i'm okay with "has anybody heard from University X?" posts on the results thread

FWIW, here is why I support "Has anyone heard from University X?" inquiry posts on the results reporting thread. I've noticed in past years that these tend to yield otherwise unreported results, i.e., someone will give information about University X that hadn't yet been reported.

So why does this happen? In my own case, I've responded to such inquiries a few times, and almost always it was because I'd heard information about searches for which I wasn't an applicant. Usually I'd had a friend who'd gotten an interview, knew someone closely at the University X, or was at University X myself. These are results that I wouldn't think to post myself (since I usually only post my own results as an applicant), but for which I had information.

I hope this proves helpful for those who might not understand why many users are inquiring, not reporting, on the results thread. In committing these thoughts to a post, I'm also glad to have something to do other than refresh my email box and the results thread, and glance nervously at unfinished papers that I'm too preoccupied to think about right now :)

inquiries on results threads: one more thing

One more thing about inquiries on the results thread: I do think it's important to wait until at least *six weeks after the application submission deadline* to start inquiring. Earlier is too soon. Maybe some might think that even this (six weeks) is too soon.

(I myself was guilty of inquiring about a submission deadline earlier than this recently, but in my defense, it was because I'd gotten confused about the application deadline.)


Re: the possibility of searches being slower this year — I'd be curious to hear how many applications searches are getting. Given the pandemic, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a "backlog" of applicants (i.e., everyone who would have been applying for the past two years, were it not for *gestures broadly*)

To Cocoon or not to Cocoon

@sweatin - Here’s another possibility: Some may have learned it’s better to avoid this site to stay motivated/focused and to protect their mental health.
This is only my second time on the market, and I planned to avoid the Cocoon this time for that reason… But I got sucked in again by friends talking about it. (I’ve had one interview this season so far, but I didn’t post it in the reporting thread because someone else already had. So, it didn’t seem necessary. Some people may do the same?)

Also, I’ve heard a lot of people (including Marcus?) in here say that the best way we can use our time on the market is to spend it improving our apps/interview prep as much as possible. For that reason, people may choose to avoid this (because it’s hard to resist checking it regularly!) to use their time more efficiently.

For postdocs, I think they may be faster to invite candidates for interviews than the instructor/professor jobs since there’s a big difference in the number of applicants.

Marcus Arvan

@To Cocoon or Not...: That's certainly possible. At the same time, the Cocoon is receiving approximately the same # of site visits as last year at this time (which skyrocket whenever the discussion and reporting threads start moving). So, although this is just a guess, I expect there's a similar number of people following these threads as in previous years.

Solidarity with the UC grad students

To everyone asking about the UC positions (Davis and Berkeley): it may be worth keeping in mind that UC graduate students (nearly 50k of them) are currently on strike. I have no inside info, but I wouldn't be surprised if this affects the timeline of searches at least a little bit, as faculty members on search committees may have to pick up additional work to finish out the quarter/semester (like managing the piles and piles of grading usually taken care of by underpaid graduate students).


re solidarity: I agree with you that this may slow them down for various reasons. But I also have to add that I am pretty surprised to see so many people here and elsewhere on the blogs so casually taking for granted the idea that UC professors will be doing struck work.

Are the comments I'm seeing wrong, or is this something about labour laws in the US? When I was a grad student in Canada the TAs were on strike and (almost) no faculty members did struck work. More recently I was a faculty member in Canada and the TAs were on strike, and things played out in just the same way.


@anon, when I was a striking grad student at a private institution in the US, there was a lot of uncertainty (and anxiety) about whether or not profs would replace our labor. Many did not, but some did, citing concerns about undergrad experience as justification for their choice (they felt undergrads were being punished for something that was not their fault). I agree that replacing labor is not 'solidarity' with striking student-workers, though of course that may not be what @solidarity intended to suggest.

The point I want to make is that replacing striking workers' labor is definitely regarded as crossing the picket line/breaching solidarity in some US contexts; it directly undermines the effectiveness of the strike.

Solidarity with the UC grad students

@anon and @lioness: I didn't mean to take for granted that UC professors will be doing struck work, nor did I mean to suggest that replacing labor is solidarity with striking student workers. I just meant to flag that the strike might slow things down re: search committee work. Maybe I'm wrong though.


Theory: I think that, although site traffic here is about the same as prior years, fewer of the more senior people getting interviewed for certain jobs are posting. Certain jobs are interviewing candidates that are already assistant professors elsewhere, and this has become more common post-pandemic.

(At least anecdotally, it seems that there are more assistant professor jobs going to those who already have jobs, especially since many needed to grab some job during the tough pandemic years).

This would explain, at least partly, why many jobs that may have started interviews are not showing up in this thread. The only concrete instance I can cite is Tulane: whomever got first round interviews at Tulane, none of them posted on the thread,

Open to other theories!

refreshing my inbox in any case

@Theory: I'm wondering if there is a larger pool of applicants this year, which is slowing down committees (theory A). (E.g. U of Houston reported nearly 500 apps - though perhaps this is a normal, not-elevated number?)

Also wondering if there is only a certain type/subset of applicant who tends to follow/report to this thread, but there are fewer of these kinds of jobs this year (theory B).

Or maybe more people are just not following the thread for mental health purposes? (Theory C)

I wouldn't be surprised if what you suggest (i.e. more jobs going to those switching from one TT position to another) is what is happening, though. I'd like to think that if i had a TT position and was trying to switch to a different position I'd report here, but in all honesty I don't think I would. There would be less good information for me to gain, and I would feel a lot less urgency about the whole process.

also refreshing tho not that helpful

@refreshing: thanks for theorizing with me!

I think that ~500 apps is pretty standard these days. Last year many of the positions I applied to had about that #.

I think theory C are in the same spirit as mine. Checking this thread isn't great for mental health probably, so those who are in a less precarious position might be more successful in avoiding it.

From what I can tell, the jobs this year are pretty similar to those from last year, which makes me think that theory B is less the case. Then again, maybe the applicants were similar last year as well, which would still leave open why there may be less reporting this year.

I still think there's something to the theory that there is a ballooning applicant pool (as grad students finish up their degrees), as well as a ballooning pool of applicants with a lot of experience (since there were not jobs around the pandemic). Those closer or in grad school are likely to report/check the thread, I think, but maybe are less competitive for certain jobs given the prevalence and availability of more senior candidates.

What's most interesting to me to figure out is whether more of the jobs are going to more senior candidates. If so, then I guess my best job market strategy is, over time, to continue to age =).

Another Hypothesis

Another hypothesis (related to Theory B): Has anyone else noticed how many of the jobs with deadlines September-November 15thish were in some of the more niche areas of philosophy? For instance, these AOS or AOCs seemed to dominate PhilJobs this year: feminist philosophy, history (Continental or non-Western traditions), social philosophy (philosophy of race, gender, etc.), and ethics of AI.

With so many jobs in those areas, it seems possible that a handful of people who work in those areas may be getting a LOT of interviews right now compared to those of us in more traditional Western analytic areas. (I only have a few data points to support that, though.) If they’re the kind of people who don’t post or check this site, then we may not hear about how many interviews are underway right now.

Of course, we’d need a full analysis of the number of jobs in each area to see if that perception/hypothesis is accurate or not. Is anyone doing a formal assessment of the market trends for this year?

Then again, it would be an onerous task to catch the trend I’m talking about because it would require reading the body text of every job ad. For example, an ad will say “open” or “history of modern,” and the body of the ad will specify a more niche sub-area like “early modern but not in the traditional Western canon.” It would be interesting to know if diversifying the field by more inclusion of those less traditional sub-areas is occurring or has any role to play in this year’s job market.

What do you all think?

Cynical Hypothesis

Here's a hypothesis that builds off of the last, and is a bit cynical. The longer I've been in the philosophy game, the more it's become clear to me that many, many searches aren't open at all. Clearly my evidence is anecdotal, as I imagine anyone else's would be. That said, the more I've gotten to know senior members on certain search committees, the clearer it's become to me that searches are targeted, at least partially or completely.

Of course, even targeted searches (those aiming at particular candidates) will interview others. At the same time, it's not clear to me that targeted searches will be conducted in a manner similar to others. At the extreme, at least, where there is a tacit understanding between candidate and university, perhaps not much genuine "searching" need take place.

I don't mean to be too cynical, but in any cycle many jobs may be spoken for beforehand. In such cases, many even a lost list stage won't occur.

Would love to hear from other knowledgeable people, especially those who can admit to being on "targeted" searches.

Back in the Saddle

Does anyone have a sense of how futile it is to apply to an open rank search as a junior scholar? What are the chances that the school will hire an assistant professor over a tenured associate or full professor? I'm thinking of the Hunter College search, btw.


I was told that Purdue will be reviewing applications in the first week of December. They had a mid-November deadline so many of the departments might be running on a schedule like that (I suspect UC Davis is, too). I imagine we'll start to hear more information the second and third weeks of December once departments have had a chance to meet and discuss applicants. I think a wave of info is likely coming our way soon.

More Transparency, Please

@Back in the Saddle: I would love to hear more about this too!

I only have one (depressing) data point to share, and it’s led me to put my time into other job apps instead of open-rank ones. A committee member on an open-rank search (with a broad AOS category) last season told me that the committee assessed the applications in senior to junior order. Ultimately, they only ended up reviewing the full professor/senior candidates’ applications. So, something like ~400/450 files never saw the light of day. I also heard after the search ended that they knew what they were looking for. However, that wasn’t indicated in the job ad.

I hope this is a one-off case and not an unspoken norm!

Back in the Saddle

@More Transparency, Please: ugh, that is disheartening but not surprising. I hope it is an anomaly, too.


Just to offer another (more hopeful) data point: last year on the market, I was extremely junior (ABD) and I nevertheless got a fly out for an Open TT. I didn't get the job, but I did make it all the way to the final round, and I'm not being modest when I say that there was nothing especially amazing about my dossier (not from a Leiterific program, not much in the way of publications, etc.). I think at the end of the day, like all of this, it's just a totally opaque crapshoot.


To clarify, this was an experience with open /areas/, not open /rank/ but I wonder if some of the same principles still hold (namely, that a committee doesn't always know what they're looking for exactly until they see all the options on paper).

More Transparency, Please

@Open: Yeah, totally. My post and @Back in the Saddle’s posts were about open-rank jobs specifically. Those seem more stacked against junior applicants than open-AOS searches. But you’re probably right that that principle may apply to both!

There seem to be a lot more positive stories from junior candidates about open-AOS jobs than open-rank jobs. Hope to hear more success stories all around!


My impression is that open rank searches aim to hire an established scholar, i.e., they have a preference to hire at the associate or full professor level. However, one reason to phrase the ad as an "open rank" search is to leave the door open for possible outstanding junior candidates (or if the committee changes their mind).

At my institution (a large public college), every step the committee takes needs a stamp of approval from HR and all decisions made by the committee require justification. So, e.g., if the committee strongly prefers hiring at the full professor level, but they also want to effectively reserve the right to hire at the assistant prof level if the right opportunity presents itself, then it's in their interest to make the ad "open rank." It also makes things easier (from the search committee's perspective) to NOT say "open rank, but with a preference for an established scholar," otherwise, if the search committee decides they want to hire at the assistant professor level they would have to justify to HR why none of the applicants at the assoc/full level should be hired, contra the language of the job ad.


Just to add a wrinkle into this discussion, I know that there was more than one open (or at least open-ish, i.e. assistant and associate level?) rank search at the institution where I did my PhD while I was there, and every one of them hired someone junior in the end. I'm not sure if there are clear reasons, but having seen the job talks, really great junior candidates did seem like perfectly reasonable "competition" for the more established scholars. I do at least know that it was in fact possible for a favorite to come in and then bomb the job talk, or at least not be as exciting as an otherwise underdog candidate, and that would actually make a major difference!


At the same time I'd be willing to believe that the situation is different at R1s vs. other institutions (different types of institutions might have different interests in getting an established name over an unknown but promising junior scholar, or even different internal institutional issues like how rare it is to even be able to do a senior hire, etc.)

weird behavior

Anyone have any idea why a search committee would cold call applicants to schedule interviews?! Apparently this happened with the Siena College search. This strikes me as really odd, and, honestly, pretty annoying. The person calling the applicant has no idea what the applicant is in the middle of at that moment and whether they are in a frame of mind to be able to have an important professional phone call in that instant. Emails are great because you can collect yourself (and check your calendar) before replying on your own terms! I get that calling might be more common in the final round when actually offering a job, but calling for first round interviews seems pretty odd. Not to mention the fact that I personally never answer calls from unknown numbers and know many others like me... Is there some legitimate reason a search committee would do this that I'm missing?

Marcus Arvan

@weird: back in the day when I first went on the market (circa 2007), virtually all first round interview requests were by phone. You basically had to wait on pins and needles every Thanksgiving through December and January for phone calls that mostly never came—and every time a random number called on your phone that you didn’t recognize, a shot of hope and adrenaline coursed through your veins, only for you to be bitterly disappointed the vast majority of the time when it turned out to be a telemarketer, wrong number, or some such. Anyway, I know norms have changed, but maybe Siena didn’t get the memo? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

holiday hater again

@weird behavior, agreed with Marcus above: phone calls used to be ubiquitous, even for first-round interviews, and are now becoming extinct. I've had a few (I think two) in recent years, always from older search chairs (PhDs from the 1970s or '80s in small departments that don't often run searches) who presumably haven't gotten the memo and are performing the search with respect to out-of-date norms. But you are absolutely right, phone calls for first-round interviews are a bad approach, especially given how little a first-round interview means and how unnerving an unexpected phone conversation can be.

not on market but

@weird behavior, I'd say (having talked to one of the people who got that phone call--I'm not on the market) that it was an attempt to be more personal and kind/thoughtful--I understand it might not come across that way to everyone, but I think some people (including my friend who got one) thought it was actually nice to talk to a human who was excited about interviewing them and wanted to make them feel good about it/at ease about it.

Marcus Arvan

@not on market but: I’m pretty sure that was the rationale back in the day too. A phone call was considered more personal than an email, and it was generally assumed to be a matter of personal touch and respect. Be that as it may, I wholly endorse the move to email—waiting for phone calls was excruciating!.

almost tenured despite some close calls

I'm generally okay with the idea of cold calls to request interviews (if 60 seconds of small talk stresses you out, that's fine--just let it go to voicemail). But some advice: don't answer unknown numbers if you're drinking or consuming other mind-altering substances. I got a cold call way back in 2013, and I answered the phone at a party, at least two or three drinks in. I composed myself well enough, but perhaps better to avoid the risk.

holiday hater again

And to be fair, I do see and appreciate the good intentions behind phone calls and humanizing the job search process, despite generally being uneasy with phone calls myself. So props to those on search committees trying to humanize the search process.

weird behavior explained

Cold calling question OP here, thanks Marcus and everyone else for filling me in and offering some insight! I can certainly see the rationale for it being more personal. I think it also comes down to a bit of a generational divide between Gen Z/younger millennials and the older generations when it comes to how it'll be perceived. The intent makes sense, though.

worried about ageism on the market

Curious if anyone has any direct knowledge or informed speculation on the "new or recent PhDs only" restriction in the CUNY Baruch ad:

"The Department of Philosophy at Baruch College, CUNY, is seeking applicants who are completing or have recently attained a Ph.D. in Philosophy for a full-time Lecturer (Doctoral Schedule) position to begin Fall 2023."

There's nothing in the job description that obviously justifies the restriction. So, I'm wondering if this is just an expression of a kind of bias against non-recent PhDs and, possibly, ageism.

The ad is here: https://philjobs.org/job/show/22470

Maybe I can Still See-attle

Does anybody--whether from being on a search committee or from market experience--know whether schools that are hiring two lines with one job posting usually make decisions for both lines at the same time?

Seattle U this year (https://philjobs.org/job/show/21478) had an interview request yesterday. But since they are hiring two lines, I wondered whether we might expect another round of decisions.

Also worried

I had not noticed the restriction in the Baruch ad pointed out by @worried about… I really hope this is just an error in wording since the position looks like a permanent teaching track position. I can maybe understand limiting postdocs to recent PhDs (though in this market I don’t think it’s entirely fair). But since the Baruch position is potentially permanent I don’t see any reason to limit applicants in this way. I guess someone could email for clarification? I always feel awkward doing that so I’m just going to submit an app anyway.

Relatedly, I also have concerns with ageism on the market. I have had the feeling during interviews where it was clear everyone was younger than me that I was either not taken seriously or held to a higher standard because of my age. It’s really disheartening since I work really hard and have certainly given up important age related life opportunities to pursue this career.

Interview requests

I have a question about interviews: typically, what is the turnaround time between receiving an interview request and the time of interview?

pfo oh no

@Maybe I can Still See-attle I'm not sure if it's typical, but I applied to both Elon lines this year and got PFOs 24 hours apart.

a bird in hand

@Interview requests. Not sure if there is a typical time but if I had to guess I’d say within three weeks. But I’ve had interviews scheduled anywhere from within one week of the initial email request to four weeks out! I usually don’t care by that point, at least for the permanent market. But I had an issue once on the visiting market where I got an offer before another scheduled interview. I ended up canceling the interview even though it was for a better position but understandably I couldn’t expect the offer I actually had to hold for another 3-4 weeks.


@interview requests: My experience has also been within three weeks, usually within two, sometimes even within one (e.g. the invite arrives on Monday for an interview on Friday).

been there

@Interview requests - I've had as little as 36 hours from the time of invitation to the requested interview time. That was late in the hiring season, however, and it was in everyone's interest to move quickly. (I think I was offered the position within 3 hours of the interview).

I've also received invitations to interview with 3 or 4 days notice in less urgent situations. One or more weeks advance notice is however more typical. This time of year, it all depends on whether the committee is trying to conduct fly-outs in January.


Can I just say that I thought more would happen this week?

where do I go

@herewego It has been a very active week (finally). It's also only Thursday am (and the workday has just started on the west coast). I suspect we're in for a pretty wild 48 hours.

you were right

I spoke too soon. Maybe I should speak again and we'll have even more results!


Are there others like me who don't know what exactly to make of the situation where a job advertisement shows up on higher ed jobs a long time after an initial positing, and a long time after the original due date, and without any changes?

I'd love to hear from somebody who knows why this happens, or what this means. Is it simply a glitch? Is it something that happens on the HR end? Does it signal they're looking for more applicants?

Marcus - if this is better as a 'how may we help you?', feel free to treat it as such.


@vap, I've had similar questions, and my impression has been (this was discussed a bit last year) is that this is some strange glitch on the website's side, and doesn't signal anything either way about the job. But I'm happy to be corrected!


Question: I had one of those early interviews (more than a month ago). I emailed a few days ago because I had a publication update, and I got a "thanks, we'll add it to your file" response which makes me think I'm not out of the running yet. Any thoughts on whether this bodes well or not?

On the one hand, they could've rejected me by now and maybe they're waiting for fly out paperwork to process. On the other hand, maybe I've been backburnered and kept on the hook?


@vap, I'm inclined to agree with @WANTJOB's explanation, mostly because those ads still have their original deadline. For instance, the ad for Eastern Michigan showed up on HigherEd today, but the ad lists the original deadline of November 1st, so I doubt it could be the case of something like they're posting it there because they didn't get enough quality applications or something.

@hmm, I probably wouldn't make too much of this. Last year I updated a bunch of schools I applied to with two new publications, and they all said something along the lines of "thanks, we'll add it to your file," but I never got an interview with any of them. I think it's just non-committal boilerplate.


@vap and @anon and @WANTJOB: perhaps Higher Ed Jobs uses an AI to crawl other job posting sites? If it's a bot grabbing ads and copying them over somewhat blindly this could explain the phenomenon.

Better later than never (I guess)

I’m always torn about whether to submit an application sooner rather than later. Sometimes submitting sooner is hard because of teaching, research, life, etc. but I also sometimes force myself to submit sooner if I can since I know I'll have to put in the emotional labor and time eventually.

I found a post about it in the “how can we help you thread” (https://philosopherscocoon.typepad.com/blog/2019/08/is-applying-before-job-deadlines-advantageous.html). Marcus notes that there may be advantages to applying early since there are certain cognitive biases that might play to an early applicant’s advantage if a search committee starts reviewing applications before a deadline. Some argued that this is reason for committees not to look at applications before the deadline.

I do see the concern with early applicants getting an advantage from certain cognitive biases. But then I wonder if those biases happen regardless since committee members still have to look through (possibly) hundreds of applications (and so the applications viewed before fatigue sets in will still end up with an advantage). Is there a way that search committees control for this (e.g., having member look through applications in different orders)? What do others think about submitting an application early?

anonymous pessimist

Is it overly pessimistic to consider this job cycle over if one hasn't heard anything by now? (I've been on the market several times in the past and interview requests have always come in before this date.)

anonymous realistic

Anonymous pessimistic:

Yes, way too pessimistic. There are still plenty of pre-Xmas interview requests that will likely go out, as well as plenty post-Xmas requests. As a number of people will tell you, they've gotten emails/calls right before Xmas, as well as in January and beyond. A number of jobs are off the board, but it's far from over.

Don't wait for the first round to house shop


I talked to someone in a hiring department, and their impression was that many, even since the death of the APA interviews, the calendar has become unmoored, and so schedule conflicts, busy-ness, etc. have resulted in things moving later and later. (This was a descriptive observation, not a critique.)

FWIW, I don't have the energy to do it now, but I'd be curious how the number of posts on the reporting thread to the number of posts at this time in prior years.

But in any case, be a Kantian: you are rationally required to have hope, even in the absence of evidence!

Waiting for Jobot

I'm sure someone at some point in time has suggested this, so to iterate: perhaps the general anxieties and inconsistencies could be cause for the APA to intervene and establish general guidelines concerning job interviews, offers, etc. A formal deadline seems to have been agreed for graduate admissions (April 15, was it, last time I remember)? And while certain schools might have reasons to have different deadlines (semester/quarter, etc), a firm deadline could be a gentle way to help people to prioritize it a bit (deadlines have a way of making people do work that otherwise wouldn't be done without them...); also dates would help alleviate the kind of purgatory of waiting indefinitely for a PFO that arrives much too late or much later; a general two-week window in which job offers can be made. I can envision practical difficulties, but a broad suggestive template could be helpful for everyone. In other words, establishing professional guidelines on best practices could alleviate stress all around.

Am I wasting time?

So how long do people spend on customizing their application materials for a specific job?

I have been getting an application together the last week and looking at the stats have spent 3+ hours on the cover letter alone (though the position asks for a detailed cover letter). I've probably spent another 1-2 hours getting the rest of my materials customized for this position - and I haven't even started the actual application! So I will have spent at least 5 hours on this one position. Of course, this is a little on the high side since I really want this job. For many other positions I more or less use the same material, and can spend as little as one hour customizing my materials and applying for a position. Still, I probably average somewhere in the 1.5 hour range and have likely spent 45+ hours just applying for jobs in the past three to four months. Is this normal? I'm not sure if I'm spending too much time on applications or not enough...

When to Follow-up?

Is it okay to send a follow-up email a few weeks after a first-round interview? It sounds like a lot of people do this indirectly by emailing to share that they have an update to make to their app or a job offer with a decision timeline. But I wonder if following up is always viewed negatively otherwise (especially when a reasonable amount of time has passed)? In other industries, following up shows that a candidate is serious about the job, which is a good thing!

What do you all think? Is there a good rule of thumb for this? A certain number of weeks to wait before doing so?

(I know some committees can’t send their first-round interviewees a PFO until they’ve hired someone. But some will send an update email to tell a candidate that they’re on the back-burner with some indication of their chances.)


@Am-I-Wasting-Time.......Just for comparison, I spend no more than 30 minutes per application—and most are 15 or so minutes on are those for UK positions that require you to work through their various requirements in the cover letter.

For all other apps, I just adjust my generic cover letter, which just briefly explains what the various portions of my applications amount to. I don't believe I've ever adjusted any of my materials for a specific application. I don't see it as worth the time, but perhaps I'm wrong.

(FWIW: this is my second time on the market. First time I got two offers for PDs at top ten schools, as well as a fly out for a TT position, for which I was runner up.)


Casting a bit broadly with this post. This is the second round post-phd I'm doing this. First I submitted roughly 80 applications (philosophy, general humanities, and postdoc) and got a very last minute visiting position. This year 30+ and counting (TT, lecturer, handful of postdoc) and no interviews yet. Not lamenting on that point as it is early, however.

I'm wondering - those with more experience on the market - am I going to doing this precarious job hunt thing for the next five years? Seems somewhat untenable, but the market appears to be getting worse not better. I could state my qualifications but maybe that is inappropriate / counter-intuitive to anonymity here.

This might come off as a complaint, but I'm really just trying to gauge things. Having spent all of my postgrad (terminal MA and PhD) abroad, I'm still feeling out the market in North America (UK too, but less jobs there). Trying to get a sense of whether or not I should also be looking at alternative career paths. I love teaching though so that would be a bummer.

PS - the name "VerySad" is tinged with a bit of humor, don't take it too seriously!


@ Am I wasting time? I think it really depends on the circumstances. Sometimes I use my generic cover letter to change the school's name and so on. So, it took about 30 minutes to send my material ready for the job. Other times, I spend several days thinking about how to tailor my materials for a specific job. That's because they ask for unique documents. Or I really want to have that particular job and make my material as appealing as possible.

Forking Path

@VerySad: Obviously I know basically nothing about your situation. FWIW, though, I think basically every philosopher on the academic market should be looking at alternative career paths. I have a very concrete alternative and, while I sincerely hope I get to do philosophy. having an alternative is crucial to my own mental health. Also, not too far in the future, having this alternative might be crucial to my financial well-being because I can only stay in my current position so long (and may not succeed in getting another one).

Also, in my experience, it is rarely (if ever) the case that someone would rather do *any* job in philosophy than *any* other job. Many grad students are unsure of how to approach other jobs and of whether they would be competitive for them. I'm guessing you have other other interests and passions as well! Also, maybe you can take some time (depending on how long you have) to explore what's out there and see what could be a good fit. You may hope that it doesn't come to that, but you might also find something that's better, all around and along a variety of dimensions, than the academic life.


Does it mean anything if other folks are reporting PFOs but I haven't yet received one? Or do PFOs only go out after interviews are already scheduled, so that my PFO is just a bit late in coming?


Last year I was fortunate enough to get a few first round interviews and a fly out. All these interviews had some time set aside for me to ask the search committee some questions. I had a few questions that I'd ask, but what I asked seemed neither here nor there to me. Honestly, I wouldn't mind bypassing that part of the process. Nevertheless, as I'm about to head into more interviews, I'd be curious to know whether there are questions one should ask or should avoid.

Strive on with diligence

@VerySad I really hope that you don't have to play the job market game for the next five years. But being on the market 5+ years is tenable, though it can definitely feel exhausting and completely disempowering the longer you stay in.

This is my fifth year on the market. Yet even if I strike out this year, I will go on the market next year for sure. I suspect the odds are ridiculous, so the only thing that make staying on the market rational at this point is my love of philosophy. Nonetheless, I have found that the emotional burden gets harder each year, but there are ways to cope.

Here are some things that I think can help being on the market long-term more sustainable.

(1) If you can (and I understand that this can be a big if for many reasons), try to save as much money as you can so you don't have that looming over your head. This is the thing that terrified me the most the first two years I was on the market (though it still worries me).

(2) Practice self-compassion. You are not alone - the market is hard for many, many candidates. So try not to internalize the struggle.

(3) Gain some control of the situation. One way to do this is to focus on what you have actually accomplished. Another is to not focus on the market but focus on your research or on developing new teaching skills. Further, while you need not start looking into alternative career paths, you can try to develop an exit plan (e.g., I will quit the market after four years no matter what, or I will quit the market the first year after I do not add a line to my CV, etc.) Finally, last year I was so down I did start seriously thinking about alternatives and actually experimented with some of them. I started talking to my friends in data science and teaching myself programming. This really helped me get my mind off of professional philosophy and (more importantly) it gave me sense of control over my own life. In fact, creating that feeling of self-determination motivated me to get back to a paper I was working on, which in turn helped inspire me to stick to philosophy.


Hi folks, I was wondering how many people usually make it to each round. Like, if I have a first round interview, can I expect they're interviewing like 8 people? If it's a fly out, 3-4? Or is that off?

Thanks in advance!

clueless in cleveland

I was invited to apply for a job, and according to the job-market reporting thread here, some folks have received PFOs and flyouts have been scheduled (it seems that there were no first round interviews). Since I haven't heard anything either way, I am guessing that maybe I was longlisted, but didn't make the cut for a flyout. In these circumstances, what is the etiquette? Is it acceptable to ask the search committee for an update, or is that bad form? Is there are reason to do so (apart from satisfying my own idle curiosity)? I'd like to know where things stand, but don't want to do anything pointless and/or unprofessional. Any advice appreciated!


I was really lucky to land a job already this season. Am I now obligated to reach out to all the other places I applied (some quite recently) to remove myself from consideration? I'd like to follow any professional etiquette norms. At the time time, I'm not even sure who/how to contact a ton of these searches, and it's possible none of them were going to invite me to interview anyway.

@firsttimer I think your senes of things is roughly right, but first round interviews can have a larger pool, say 10-15. 3-4 seems about right for fly outs afaik.

fifth timer

@firttimer, FWIW, committees for searches of which I've had first-hand knowledge in the last five years have interviewed anywhere from six to 20 first-rounders, and have flown out anywhere from two to five finalists. My guess, based on my experience, is that your estimate is about right: about eight first-rounders and three-to-four flyouts is most common.

@gotajob, also FWIW, I wouldn't bother contacting committees to take myself out of consideration for any searches other than those the committees of which have contacted me about an interview. Telling every single search chair would probably be the virtuous thing to do, but too time-consuming to be worth it, given the low likelihood that most committees would even care.


What exactly does it mean to be longlisted in these postings? Request for letters? Received Zoom invite? Specific language ie "your application is still under consideration?" Struggling with the silence of lack of PFO when others are posting "longlist" notices, and how much to read into this.


If someone who has also been applying to all these history of modern jobs
Happens to pop in here, would you mind sharing (in a non-revealing way) exactly what area/kind of modern you do? I’m just curious. Some of these jobs stated they’d consider work in the 19th Century, and I’m wondering if this id playing out in who is being selected to interview. Would also be curious to know how many of you lucky enough to be receiving interviews work on neglected figures.

to p or not p

On the topic of numbers: NCSU PFO mentions that there were only (!) 68 applicants. Very surprising given the location, etc. I guess people interpreted "logic and related areas" very narrowly. I figured all LEMMings would apply.


@gotajob — If you've already accepted another job offer, I'd write to any jobs where you're potentially still under consideration and let them know. Usually the job ad will include a contact email, I'd just shoot them a quick polite note about it.

FO with PFOs

If I may vent a little. I suspect I'm in the minority here, but I'd honestly rather not get a PFO if I'm not even going to be given a zoom interview. Just let me forget I ever submitted my application. But if it's a necessity, I'd prefer a generic HR email that teeters ever so close to falling in my spam folder.

I really don't like PFOs that elaborate on what the process is going to be moving forward for a full paragraph only to end by telling me I wasn't even considered for any part of that process. Why are you making me read a bunch of info that isn't relevant to me at this point? But what absolutely makes me want to throw my f-ing laptop through the window are PFOs that let you know how "fortunate" the committee was to have such a strong pool of candidates this year. Ummm, bully for you - but I'm clearly not fortunate in all of this.

Though a close second are patronizing PFOs letting you know they "know" how tough the market is, which doesn't mean sh*t coming from someone that is securely in the profession, doesn't have to worry about losing a way of life, where they are going to get health insurance if they end up unemployed next year, etc., etc.

I think if I'm not even going to get a zoom interview, less is best.

rejected LEMMing

@to p or not to p I also assumed more LEMMings would apply! I’m curious to know if any of us who live in the “related fields” made it onto one of their shortlists or if they just chose logicians…

US salary

I hope someone can explain the difference between a 9-month salary and a 12-month salary in US schools. Is there a significant difference in terms of the total amount of money one gets or benefits? Or is it just a different way of distributing the (same) total amount?


@US salary: 9 mo salary means you don't get a pay check in the three months your not teaching. so safe for the summer or teach summer classes!

to all those who responded to my earlier post here, many thanks for your kind responses and advice!


@US salary: often the “9 month salary” is paid out across 12 months so you still may receive a pay check all year but you’re only compensated for 9 mo of work.


I was really hoping to see more movement this week. There seem to be a number of places that haven't contacted anyone yet... Here's hoping they do so before the holidays! May the odds be ever in your favor.

Teaching-Focused SLACer

@US Salary: it depends on the institution.

If you're on a 9-month contract, your salary is for 9 months of work. It might be paid out over 9 months, or it might get paid out over 12 months, depending on the institution. But your institutional teaching and service is typically limited to the academic year, unless you opt for (or are coerced into) additional work in the summer.

If you're on a 12-month contract, then this most often means that you're doing work directly for the institution year-round, such as teaching and/or service through the summer.

I'm sure there are other variations on this theme, but these are the contexts that I'm most familiar with.

History of Modern Person

I’m interviewing for two jobs that are seeking “history of modern” or “early modern philosophy” for the AOS. I work on a major 18th century philosopher.

Interesting questions! I would guess that working on a neglected figure could be an advantage in this market since many job ads specified that they wanted researchers with interests in “diversifying the canon.” Do you work on a neglected figure? What’s up on your end?

make a living

Is it outrageous to ask for salary information before applying for a job? When I asked the question profs while I was in the grad program, they all discouraged me from asking it. But recently, I happened to learn about the pay of a US job in one of the super-expensive cities (e.g., New York, Boston, San Franciso). It was too shocking to me. You can barely make a living unless you have a spouse who earns a lot. I don't want to be shocked after putting so much effort into the application process. Any wisdom?


Can you infer anything about the number of flyouts a school is doing from the number of date options they offer in the invitation email? Specifically, if I am offered two dates to choose from, I should not infer that they are only flying out two candidates, right?

also on the couch, probably also grouchy

@grouchpotato, it’s hard to say. That could mean that they’re doing only two fly-outs (which might make sense if they are geographically remote and hence fly-outs are expensive, or for other reasons), or it could mean that (an)other finalist(s) has/have already specified their available times, which presumably are limited. It’s very hard to say, but my sense is that fly-outs usually, but not always, number more than two.

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