I resigned from a tenure track position recently to move with my partner. I still very much hope to land on a tenure track position again by staying active in research. I saw that there is an opening very close to where I live but I don't know anyone in the department. I wonder if there is a more effective way to let them know I really really need that job before I even apply? Btw, my pubs are good enough for the institution.
Date: 18 Aug 2014 03:21
Number of posts: 6
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Just apply. If it's a mediocre institution, you and 50 others really need the job. If it's a better institution, you're up against maybe 100 to 200 others. If you resigned and are moving for a relationship, I strongly recommend searching for non-faculty positions. Odds are, your skills will be valuable for numerous administrative positions, and many of these actually pay better than faculty gigs.
you can include in your cover letter that you have already moved to the area for personal reasons and the job is your first choice, especially if you're concerned that they might think you're "too good" (i.e. using them as a stepping stone.) But kind of like DocJ said, there is basically no such thing as being too good for a job…you can publish 2x as much as the last 3 people they hired, have nearly perfect teaching evals, and still not even make it to the finals. But you definitely should apply!! Good luck!!!
I wonder if I should include those personal stories in the opening of my cover letter or leave them towards the end. Any thoughts?
You should explain why you resigned from your previous tenure-track position in your cover letter. However, avoid bashing your former employer or even complaining about location. Noting that you resigned because the location was not a good fit for your family would be acceptable. However, do not mention that you "really need the job". Nearly everyone in the academic job market really needs a job. Mentioning that won't win you anything and will only make you seem desperate.
I would just add that you might see if the department (or area) has things like a regular brown bag or something where you might offer yourself as a presenter. I knew someone who moved to an area based primarily on personal reasons (spouse job) and simply contacted all the departments in the area and basically said, "I'm here!" :) She ended up presenting at an area brown bag, attending a few different lab meetings, and keeping her scholarly chops sharp that way. She was not interested in a TT position but I think she did ultimately collaborate with some different people on research that got published and she picked up some adjunct classes here and there primarily as a favor to the department.