What's the story with job ads that are identical to ones posted last year? One example is the behavioral neuroscience position at Bowdoin, which is worded almost exactly the same as the ad posted for the 2011-2012 year. I have several questions about this: 1) how frequently does this kind of thing happen? 2) I assume it means the position was not filled for some reason? If their candidate fell through, why wouldn't they go back through their remaining applicants? 3) If I applied last year and got no callback, is there any point in applying again? Thanks for any insight!
Date: 06 Aug 2012 21:17
Number of posts: 4
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1) It does happen and I would not worry about it. Many different things could have happened that have nothing to do with the department (e.g. a candidate holds on to an offer too long or someone backs out last minute to take another job where their partner got an offer). If you think the job is a good fit, you should apply again.
2) It is common that a department will only vote to make an offer to 1 or 2 candidates and will look again next year if it does not work out. You would be surprised (or annoyed) how often this happens. Often a committee will not go down below maybe the 5th applicant on their long list even if they have 150 applications and have phone interviewed 10-15 applicants. There is a lot of time, energy, and money that goes into interviewing candidates and bringing them on campus. Often a committee is looking for someone very specific who is qualified for the job and has the right personality to fit into the department.
3) Apply again! Make sure your statement fits with the job ad. You might submit the exact same application you did last year and get the job this year. The search committee may be different than last year and they may have different qualities they are seeking for their long/short list.
Great question that I've been thinking about of late. The knee-jerk reaction is to take re-posted jobs personally and almost feel embarrassed applying again. Thanks, guest, for the great (realistic & optimistic) response.
This happens all the time and I've been on both sides of the coin with this. I am a new assistant professor and 2 years ago I got a job offer at a place I liked but ran into some start-up/spousal issues so I ended up turning it down and they opted not to dip back. That year the institution I am currently at also had a search and I was not one of the final candidates, however, their search also fell through and I reapplied last year and got the job. I hate to say this but once you get on the "long short lists" (about the final 10) it seems to be a fairly random who gets invited for on-campus interviews.