February 13th, 2008

krazy koati

I'm not trying to be your highness

The hunt for that Singaporean job has taken a short pause while I get the people reviewing my cover letter to take a pause and look at it with fresh eyes. The process of putting together materials really particularly targeted at them has highlighted some of the things which might have been wrong with my past hunt, particularly in the cover letters/application letters/whatever you wish to call them. In particular, they were written pretty vaguely, with little attention given to why I would want to work at some particular school. By and large this is because I don't much care where I work, provided it's got classes and a well-stocked library. But it could be off-putting to screeners. That I'm able to identify specific things the department chair claims on the web site introduction are -- no guarantee that I'll do better this time around, but it can't hurt, anyway.

Also oliver_otter has been kind enough to give me advice on making my research credentials look as if I had research credentials. While there's not much that can be done about the sorry state of my publishing and presentations the past two years -- even counting the first textbook -- at least I have a few ways now to spin my work as bigger than it is and better-connected to many of the most popular words.

While I'll be putting in the application by e-mail per the conversation with the department's chair's secretary, I'll also be sending copies hardcover, since my recent experience suggests that somebody ever actually reads applications sent by physical mail. At least, I have a considerably higher record of getting a response, sad as it is, from places I've sent physical applications to; places to which I've sent electronic applications don't give much reason for me to think they've ever heard of me.

And this is surely no help whatsoever: the person who was the undergraduate coordinator for my old department is now the undergraduate coordinator for this school's mathematics division. I know the secret to success is being on the good side of the secretaries, but I can't figure how to get her to influence the hiring committee.

Trivia: The first protest in India of British salt policy took place in February 1888, and was organized by the Utkal Sabha political party in Cuttack, a port on the river Mahanadi. Source: Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky.

Currently Reading: Autumn Angels, Arthur Byron Cover. It is worth talking about, but I haven't had much time to read today. It's kind of a distracted week. Soon, I'm sure.