Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Applications Dos and Don'ts

It's the time of year when I'm reading many applications: for the CSSS, for COA undergrad admissions, and also for a faculty search committee. Here are some assorted observations:
  • Last night I read a letter of reference addressed to "Dear Person." I suppose this does include me, as even on my bad days I'm still a person. But it's perhaps too inclusive. The somewhat sterile phrase "To whom it may concern" would be better.
  • Never begin your answer to a question on an application by referencing in a disapproving way how long it is taking you to complete the application.
  • Never, ever, submit a six page reference letter for someone. Especially not for a one-month summer school.
  • I was intrigued to see a section heading on a CV that read "postgraduate curses." While this would be interesting information, postgrad courses is probably what the writer intended.

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