I'm putting together materials for my letter writers and I came across an ad (I've seen others as well) with the following language: "Preference will be given to candidates whose area of research can complement existing faculty strength…" At face value, I understand what this sentence means but I'm curious about what it may actual mean to the search committee. Does this imply they are looking for distinctive research interests but those that have some elements of others' in the department?
I ask because my research interests are very distinct from the rest of the department. If I'm to speak about how my interests complement existing faculty, it would be a bit of a stretch but not impossible. I was wondering if anyone had any advice for how to address this information via cover letter.