Our faculty search committee is continuing to review applications, and I am pleased to let you know that you are one of our ‘semi-finalists’ for whom we have written references for letters of recommendation (about 30% of the total pool). It will likely be January or later when we invite the shortlisted ‘finalists’ for on-campus interviews. I hope to have the opportunity to meet you soon, and I wish you all the best in your continued professional development.
Chair, Faculty Search Committee
The worst part is how hopeless I am in the selection process. The whole recruitment exercise is a black box, and all I can do is to wait and hope for the best. Argh!
Edit (29 Oct): This article is so timely.
Maybe you're finishing your Ph.D. or wrapping up a postdoctoral appointment. The days are grueling. Writing up results, planning for a dissertation defense, or trying to get work published is not only intellectually exhausting but can also take a physical and emotional toll. Yet in the middle of one of the most challenging periods of your life, you have to go on the job market.
That means putting a smile on your face, tidying yourself up, and talking about your research as though it's the best, most exciting project in the world. It means pretending that you're not absolutely terrified. It's no wonder that going on the job market can feel like an ordeal; it's the equivalent of putting on a suit or a cocktail dress for the last mile of a marathon.
...But as one job candidate put it, the "storyline" you have to convey is, "I am an appealing candidate."