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I don't think you should do that. It may be normal in the non-academic world, but it's not normal in the academic world. It's likely to rub people the wrong way.


I should have added that it's normal and acceptable to contact people you know relatively well to ask questions about the job in their department. Just not a relative stranger with the goal of telling them you're applying.


What is your goal in contacting them? If it is an attempt to bolster your candidacy, it is very likely to fall flat. If it is to find out more about the position, then you should contact whoever is listed as the contact in the job ad instead.

Two of my biggest irritations when we are doing a job search is advisors/recommenders contacting me to push someone that they have written a letter for and candidates themselves doing the same. Best case scenario is my simply ignoring this. Worst case scenario is that it leaves a bad enough taste in my mouth that I drop them from my list. There are too many good candidates for me to waste my time on those who try to manipulate our process.

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