Tips for job applicants: don’t name possible collaborators here

It is not a good idea to name people you might collaborate with here. You do not know our situation. This open position might be part of a retention package for someone specific. Our web page is certainly out of date. You may be naming someone who has retired, or even left. If you name everybody, you just look desperate.

What we want is not a new collaborator. We want someone that synergizes with us, who might be a collaborator, but more than anything we want a dynamic, creative, productive, collegial new force for our department.

I have the feeling someone somewhere must be advising you to make ties to the people in the department. If you want to do this, do it by talking about your research areas, not names of people.

If you did this on our current search, don’t worry. I won’t hold it against you. I’ll just giggle a little. I know what our sweet spots are and I haven’t seen a single person hit them with the names of people. So leave out the names. Amaze us with your science, your collegiality, yourself.


About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
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2 Responses to Tips for job applicants: don’t name possible collaborators here

  1. Pingback: Useful links related to tenure track job searches in ecology | Dynamic Ecology

  2. Pingback: How do you get an academic job in biology? | Sociobiology

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