+3 votes
asked ago in Job Market - Candidate Questions by (280 points)
A faculty member in another department told me that she always appreciates when job candidates call her to ask about the position, and I was curious how that advice generalizes.  

On the one hand I think it could be a useful signal of interest and helpful to candidates in learning more about the search.

On the other, her field is much smaller than economics and I would hate to bother or upset already taxed search committee members.


4 Answers

+3 votes
answered ago by (2.2k points)
Please do not call unless you have a very strong desire to interview there, and even then, it would be unusual and I'm not sure it would be a positive signal.  In the early stages of initial screening, I might not even pass on to the screening committee that you called.  We anticipate having a few hundred applications and I really do not want to field 50 calls.
+5 votes
answered ago by (3.5k points)
I'll add to the advice from user_3v5i7n:

Please do NOT call. Period.

It will be taken as a negative signal. It shows you do not understand how the system works. Use the JOE signalling mechanism. Have your advisor send an email, or in some circumstances make a call.
+2 votes
answered ago by (6.9k points)
Don’t call.
What is useful, and does get forwarded to members of the junior recruiting committee, is an email from your advisor to someone who would really enjoy having you as a colleague but may not be on his department’s recruiting committee.
commented ago by (3.3k points)
YEs.  But the timing of this email is crucial.  An email ex ante in early November indicates interest.  An email in mid December indicates desperation.  

Moreover, keep in mind some places have bigger application pools than others.  Small colleges may not attract that much interest.  Elite Ivy League departments may get only 50 applications because advisors won't send their letters to Harvards/Stanfords etc's of the world.  At Oregon, I think we're at the peak of the application Laffer curve.  We're high enough ranked candidates shooting for the top might include us as a safety school.  We're also low enough ranked, that candidates from lower ranked departments might apply to us as their stretch school.  

Recently for an open search, we received over 800 applications.  That's in part why timing is critical, and should be done via email from your advisor, or a traditional JOE signal.  Don't call.
commented ago by (1.8k points)
I concur: advisors should email early in November...
commented ago by (3.5k points)
Elite departments are also flooded with applications. I checked with one of the six departments ranked first by US News and they  received 460 applications last year.
commented ago by (3.3k points)
I heard from someone at a top 10 they had 530.  So maybe the gradient isn't as steep as I assumed.  I wonder what is looks like.  

Bet its a hump shaped function of rank with a peak somewhere around 40-50 with small jumps based on location, and the ease of submitting an application.  We use academicjobsonline.org which is TERRIBLE, and barely an other econ departments use it, and we still got over 900 applications (maybe we're just that awesome, or our salaries are that great :-) ).
–1 vote
answered ago by (1k points)
Crazy. This is on par with the gift card joke on the other site...