Yesterday our department met and sent out invitations for interviews for two tenure track positions. For those of you have not had the pleasure of being on the economics job market. Here is how it works.
1. By December 1st applications are received, this year we received about 200 for 2 positions.
2. In early December the department selects its top 25 to interview at the Econ national meetings just after new years.
Now a bit about how this selection goes. Personally to pick my votes, I looked at publications and research potential based on letters of rec. Teaching awards or high evaluations went a long way. I was surprised to see how few people had done anything other than change a name to their cover letter to distinguish there letter to Towson from another letter. This may be because many econ PhD’s apply to 75-100 schools (I applied to about 30 both times I was on the market).
To sort out the noise of 200 applications the American Economics Association also lets candidates send out two signals to jobs they want. These signals are sent to the search chair. Since candidates only have two signals not receiving one does not really provide information. Receiving one tells you they are seriously considering your job, but feel their application might need another look to stand out among 200. For what is worth I and few other people signaled Towson last year. Signals did make me give candidates a second look, but only in one case did I recommend a person to interview who I would not.
After my colleagues interview 25 people, we will select a handful of candidates to fly out sometime in February. All I can say is it is much more fun to be on the other side of the market.