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electronic vs. snail mail job apps

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electronic vs. snail mail job apps

Postby anonymous » Tue Jan 25, 2005 9:29 pm

My lazy inclination is to avoid job ads that want submissions by snail-mail. First, my reprints have lots of color pictures and my advisor couldn't afford to buy them, so it would mean printing them out myself, which gets expensive, not to mention time-consuming. Second, I'm not sure I want to work at a school that hasn't caught up with the 20th century, to say nothing of the 21st. I think it speaks volumes about the administration.

What do you think, am I missing great opportunities here? Is it worthwhile to try emailing the department to ask if I can submit electronically instead (and just hope that they will take the time to look at my reprints online or print them out themselves)? Should I hire a personal assistant to deal with the printing and collating for me? I'm a postdoc, I don't have a lot of resources.
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electronic vs. snail mail job apps

Postby Andrew » Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:36 pm

If you are applying for faculty positions, you are likely competing with 80 -150 other applicants for each position. I wonder how many of these follow the instructions to the letter? I wouldn't want to make myself stand out as one of the few who couldn't follow the application directions. You may just get tossed. Did it occurr to you that the assistant professor on the hiring committee may not want to print out the applications of 100 people as that is expensive and time-consuming for him as well? I have known people both in industry and academia who will toss any application that does not perfectly comply with the ad guidelines. I don't agree with this myself, but I know people who do this. I guess the logic is something like "this is the first things were asking them to do and if they can't even do that right...."
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electronic vs. snail mail job apps

Postby anonymous » Wed Jan 26, 2005 5:17 pm

yes, of course it occurs to me that they don't want to deal with printing everyone's application out. some schools have staff to do this, and some don't. but also, some schools do review applications electronically. i'm worried that schools who do everything on paper might be too far across the generation gap for me anyway. i'm not real interested in being the same age as the daughter of the tenured chair of my department, you know?
doesn't really help with the whole 'being taken seriously' thing.

i have a friend who recently got a consulting job, and we all thought it was weird that she didn't follow the instructions to the letter, but she beat out several other people we know who did follow the instructions. maybe that was an unusual case, i guess i should ask her for more details.
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electronic vs. snail mail job apps

Postby Dave Jensen » Wed Jan 26, 2005 6:57 pm

Personally, I don't follow the crowd on ANYTHING, and I've always seen that people seem to progress faster on their job search when they take the same attitude. For example, I would fight tooth and nail to get the hiring manager's name and apply to that person, as opposed to writing H/R. This is INDUSTRY ADVICE, and MAY LIKELY BE VERY DIFFERENT with academic job searches,

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electronic vs. snail mail job apps

Postby AL » Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:08 pm

What field are you in? In biology, paper-based applications are the norm.

Printing out color versions of your papers should not be that cost-prohibitive. Can you purchase a cheap color ink-jet printer and print the articles using that?

You might also consider printing just the color pages at a copy store. Whatever you spend on your job hunt is tax-deductable, by the way. Keep track of everything you spend so that you can write it off your taxes later!

One more thing: if you have some great color images, you could include some in your statement of research interests. This could help distinguish you from the pack.
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