How much do you tailor your applications for each job? Last year I think I may have tailored too much and applied to too few jobs (about 20). Do you tailor all of your documents or just your cover letter? Do you have one set of documents for R1/R2 and another for SLAC/Regionals?
Date: 25 Sep 2015 13:38
Number of posts: 4
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I tailor my cover letter. For R1/R2, research gets discussed first and in more detail. For SLAC then it is all about teaching and a bit of research toward the end. I also highlight different university resources and change my reasons for wanting to be at the position. So yes, my cover letter is heavily tailored. Oh, I will also change up my teaching section to be tailored to that university (i.e., highlighting their courses I could teach, emphasizing certain pedagogical skills I possess, etc.).
All my other materials stay the same. I suppose I could change the research statement to highlight undergrads more for SLAC, but I don't think it is necessary, I already mention them a bit in there.
Your cover letter and CV is what gets you to the next phase, so I focus on those documents.
I agree with tailoring the cover letter. For the other materials, I might just make multiple versions you can send to schools as appropriate: ex, a version of your teaching statement for an R1 school vs a version of your teaching statement for a SLAC… saves a lot of time down the road
after having sat on multiple search committees, I do think it helps to include something that shows you at least clicked through the schools website.
the simplest things you could highlight are:
—using the schools own course numbering system (to discuss courses you could teach there) — please don't use the numbers from your own institution — they are never the same!
—demonstrate that you understand who the schools student population is (e.g, is it a traditional 18-22 yo residential campus; is it rural/suburban ; are all of the students from the state ; are many students first-gen or adult learners/returning students; online learning) — and then speak to why you value that or could be a good fit (e.g., i attended a small private school … or large public school … or have experience with returning students)
—if research, you could highlight the work of other faculty who seem like logical collaborators
—if research, does the school even have the necessary equipment for you to conduct your research — if not, discuss how you will get grant funding to purchase those things… or how you can alter your research program without needing fancy equiptment.