Banish These Words, 2014

Previously I told you to banish the words “unique” and “burgeoning.”   Here is a new set of painfully overused, excruciatingly tedious, annoyingly self-important, and frustratingly vacant words  to be banished in 2014:   Banish these adjectives: real-world  (what does … Continue reading

We Don’t Need Your New Perspective

If you have the words “a new perspective” in any of your job documents, get rid of it. It’s the tritest and most hackneyed of all job document language (that is not in the hyper-emotional-passion vein.) Who is not doing … Continue reading

Those 12 Sentences: Evaluating Cover Letter Advice

Many of you have undoubtedly seen the blog post by Philip N. Howard that has been circulating around the internet for the past couple of weeks, called A Dozen Sentences That Should Appear in Your Academic Cover Letter.  It was … Continue reading

How To Tailor a Job Letter (Without Flattering, Pandering, or Begging)

This is a re-post ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Today’s post is going to address the difficult matter of tailoring a job letter. In the work my clients do on their job market materials, it seems that nothing gives them as much trouble as … Continue reading

Grad Student Grandiosity

Grad students tend to veer between two extremes: I know nothing and I know everything.  The latter position is an over-compensatory response to fear of the former. As you gain experience you find a middle ground of calm confidence. However, … Continue reading

Break The Cycle of List-Addiction (Or, Just Say No To Flabby Logic)

[This is a repost] Too many of you are addicted to lists in your writing. What does this look like? Well, something like this: “In sum, my dissertation uses interviews, surveys, textual analysis, and internet research in order to explore … Continue reading

More on Negotiating–Thoughts from an R1 Department Head

Discussion of negotiating the tenure track offer continues apace.  Last week I was included in an email exchange between Rebecca Schuman and Mike Tarr, Department Head of the Psychology department at Carnegie Mellon University.  Mike got in touch with Rebecca … Continue reading