I'm applying selectively this year and was wondering about some of these open area posting. Let's say, for example, that the area is open to all experimental psychologist, but the job ad says it is viewed favorably if you're able to teach physio or forensic psychology. If I am not qualified to teach either course (or, less qualified than someone else), should I bother applying? Has anyone had any experience applying to/interviewing for/getting a job listed as "open area"?
Date: 16 Aug 2015 23:17
Number of posts: 5
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I am also applying selectively (currently in a TT job) and I would not apply to something like that. I get the sense that they are looking to fill specific courses and if you can't do at least one of them, then you are likely to get overlooked for someone who can say that in their cover letter.
Apply if you're willing to bone up on at least one of those classes to the point of being able to teach it, and that you'd be happy with doing that year after year (because they'll be annoyed with a bait and switch.) But I think that in terms of research area they are truly open to anything experimental.
our (teaching-oriented) school has an open area ad this year — we're primarily looking for the best teachers FIRST… and if they have expertise in the "preferred" area… then that's a bonus, because those classes are always hard to fill with part time instructors.
in our situation, we need more faculty… in ANY area… if they can cover the PREFERRED area, then that is a bonus b/c those courses are harder to fill when it comes time to staff ever fall/spring/summer.
so… if you've got the goods broadly, APPLY.
that said, if the ad explicitly says we need you to teach X, Y, Z… then yes, be prepared to beef up on those courses.
Personally, I'd apply to jobs I would like to have (i.e., I would presumably take if offered to me) and let them decide if they want me. If you'd be willing to teach those courses, say so. If not, just list what you can teach and go from there. Whether they will think you are a good fit depends on a whole lot of things you don't/can't know (who else is there, do they have other hires upcoming, are there teaching faculty or grad students who can teach those courses for now, are they most interested in a researcher or teacher, and so on), so why not try if it's a job you want and you are qualified for the overall position? My experience is that search committees are looking for faculty to commit to long-term, not just to fill immediate need.