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Author Topic: Don't do this, kids!  (Read 60323 times)
ruralguy
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« Reply #120 on: January 11, 2017, 1:54:43 pm »

The last paragraph, just suggested by Tamiam,  probably works better for a remote SLAC or comprehensive. Its most likely irrelevant for most R1's unless you have reason to believe that you think they'd assume you are a flight risk.
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magnemite
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« Reply #121 on: January 11, 2017, 2:21:43 pm »

The last paragraph, just suggested by Tamiam,  probably works better for a remote SLAC or comprehensive. Its most likely irrelevant for most R1's unless you have reason to believe that you think they'd assume you are a flight risk.

Being located in what many consider an attractive and desirable place to live, candidates who state that as a reason they are interested run a significant risk of having their application nixed. I much prefer to hire someone who will work well with, and desires to be part of our department, rather than someone who would only consider applying because the location is pleasing to them.
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brixton
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« Reply #122 on: January 11, 2017, 5:35:07 pm »

The last paragraph, just suggested by Tamiam,  probably works better for a remote SLAC or comprehensive. Its most likely irrelevant for most R1's unless you have reason to believe that you think they'd assume you are a flight risk.

Being located in what many consider an attractive and desirable place to live, candidates who state that as a reason they are interested run a significant risk of having their application nixed. I much prefer to hire someone who will work well with, and desires to be part of our department, rather than someone who would only consider applying because the location is pleasing to them.

+1.  I used to work in Florida, and when candidates talked about the desirability of being in Florida, the letter changed to a darker hue.  Number 1, many people want to be in Florida.  Number 2, I thought it was a very shallow state, and so wanting to live there made you seem shallow.  (I know.  I own my prejudice.)
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science_expat
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« Reply #123 on: January 11, 2017, 5:42:55 pm »

+2. I want to know why you want to work in my school at my university, not how great it would be for you to leave in our lovely city.
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sign7676
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« Reply #124 on: January 11, 2017, 6:44:53 pm »

Being located in what many consider an attractive and desirable place to live, candidates who state that as a reason they are interested run a significant risk of having their application nixed. I much prefer to hire someone who will work well with, and desires to be part of our department, rather than someone who would only consider applying because the location is pleasing to them.

What about when applying to schools in locations generally considered unattractive? If you're a candidate from SoCal applying to a position at the University of Siberia or a candidate from Ireland applying to Remote Desert U, would a selection committee wonder whether you are serious?
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mleok
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« Reply #125 on: January 11, 2017, 7:16:10 pm »

What about when applying to schools in locations generally considered unattractive? If you're a candidate from SoCal applying to a position at the University of Siberia or a candidate from Ireland applying to Remote Desert U, would a selection committee wonder whether you are serious?

Good question, I certainly seem to have encountered skepticism about the seriousness of my applications for precisely this issue.
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ratguy
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« Reply #126 on: January 11, 2017, 7:24:23 pm »

What about when applying to schools in locations generally considered unattractive? If you're a candidate from SoCal applying to a position at the University of Siberia or a candidate from Ireland applying to Remote Desert U, would a selection committee wonder whether you are serious?

Good question, I certainly seem to have encountered skepticism about the seriousness of my applications for precisely this issue.

I applied for a job in a town of roughly 4000 people. The nearest major city was about 70 miles, and the climate was significantly different from that of my location at the time. The first question during the Skype interview was "what in the world makes you think you'll be happy living here?" So i think that for jobs in (perceived) undesirable locations, you should have an answer to that question--in the cover letter or otherwise.
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tamiam2016
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« Reply #127 on: January 11, 2017, 7:37:45 pm »

Being located in what many consider an attractive and desirable place to live, candidates who state that as a reason they are interested run a significant risk of having their application nixed. I much prefer to hire someone who will work well with, and desires to be part of our department, rather than someone who would only consider applying because the location is pleasing to them.

What about when applying to schools in locations generally considered unattractive? If you're a candidate from SoCal applying to a position at the University of Siberia or a candidate from Ireland applying to Remote Desert U, would a selection committee wonder whether you are serious?

In my case (as the originator of this point of discussion), I can't imagine why anybody wouldn't want to live in the area where I was applying but not everybody likes the tundra. Plus there is much about my work history that requires explaining ("why on earth did you leave academia 6 years ago?") and so I knew damn well that those "why are you applying here?" questions would come up. Family issues are real;  and addressing them (IMHO) does not imply a lack of professionalism; or, to be a bit more clear, employers who actually think that family issues shouldn't affect career decisions are NOT a good fit for me.
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brixton
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« Reply #128 on: January 11, 2017, 7:41:30 pm »

What about when applying to schools in locations generally considered unattractive? If you're a candidate from SoCal applying to a position at the University of Siberia or a candidate from Ireland applying to Remote Desert U, would a selection committee wonder whether you are serious?

Good question, I certainly seem to have encountered skepticism about the seriousness of my applications for precisely this issue.

This could be discipline specific.  When I worked at a small midwestern SLAC, and the position was tenure track, we assumed you were applying to our school because there were only 10 openings in your field on a tenure track.  It helps if you say "Rural U is a place I know well because...."   But  it's not necessary to make things up.  We assume you're applying because you want a tenure track job in your field.  If you come and we like you, it's on us to tell you how beautiful the Midwestern sky is in Spring, or how frequently planes depart from our airport to distant lands.
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wahoo
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« Reply #129 on: January 11, 2017, 8:49:46 pm »

The last paragraph, just suggested by Tamiam,  probably works better for a remote SLAC or comprehensive. Its most likely irrelevant for most R1's unless you have reason to believe that you think they'd assume you are a flight risk.

Being located in what many consider an attractive and desirable place to live, candidates who state that as a reason they are interested run a significant risk of having their application nixed. I much prefer to hire someone who will work well with, and desires to be part of our department, rather than someone who would only consider applying because the location is pleasing to them.

The repeated wisdom has been that it is okay to tack a final sentence onto one's application letter, after you've made the legitimate case for your candidacy, which reads something like "I am well-acquainted with/have lived in your town/region and still have friends and family in the area" and/or "I would be happy to relocate to Siberia as it is a place I know well/grew up in."

Would that tend to make one sound like hu is applying for reasons primarily associated with location? Makes no difference? Makes one more desirable under certain circumstances?

I am thinking of one of those overcrowded MLA fields.
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ruralguy
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« Reply #130 on: January 12, 2017, 12:02:09 am »

It telegraphs that location won't be a problem without making a big production. Completely  appropriate.
Some people are bound to say it doesn't matter and it won't...until it does!
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mended_drum
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« Reply #131 on: January 12, 2017, 2:07:16 am »

It telegraphs that location won't be a problem without making a big production. Completely  appropriate.
Some people are bound to say it doesn't matter and it won't...until it does!

The only hesitation I'd have is not to take it too far:  one sentence suffices, and avoid, if at all possible, mentioning friends or relatives by name from the location or at the institution.  That's a good way to split a committee at a small school between those who see such connections as an asset and those who worry about becoming (or remaining) provincial.
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scampster
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« Reply #132 on: January 12, 2017, 3:01:36 am »

You guys! I literally needed this conversation 24 hours ago, before my Skype interview. I spent so much time debating in my head whether I should mention my location based reasons in response to the "Why here?" question. In the end I actually forgot to say anything about it in response to that question, but then blurted it out later during the more free form part of the interview. The place is very desirable to me and I think maybe generally desirable, but it is a very cold place, so who knows if that put them off. But I probably would have kept it to myself had I read all this beforehand!
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polly_mer
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« Reply #133 on: January 12, 2017, 8:34:40 am »

It telegraphs that location won't be a problem without making a big production. Completely  appropriate.
Some people are bound to say it doesn't matter and it won't...until it does!

The only hesitation I'd have is not to take it too far:  one sentence suffices, and avoid, if at all possible, mentioning friends or relatives by name from the location or at the institution.  That's a good way to split a committee at a small school between those who see such connections as an asset and those who worry about becoming (or remaining) provincial.

For places that have experienced regular turnover due to location, one of the first questions of the phone interview will be related to the location.   Questions like "What is attractive to you about living here?", "How do you plan to adjust to living here?", and "Do you have any questions about living here?"  were so prevalent during my last three rounds on the academic job market that I started to be concerned about interviews that didn't include those questions because maybe those places weren't as rural and small-town-ish as we desired.
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ruralguy
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« Reply #134 on: January 12, 2017, 8:37:20 am »

I don't think there would be one uniform answer to this question, or even a uniform template, due to institutional
and  discipline specific differences.

We are asking in phone interviews if people are aware of how rural we are and if they can appreciate that. We aren't expecting people to say that they will rush at the opportunity to bake pies for their neighbors and hop on their tractor mower every spring,
But we'd want folks ro reflect on how they might adapt to such a setting.

We fully realize that our friends at Wellesley don't really need to ask this question.
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