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This may sound like a "humble brag," but I assure you that I am asking this as a legitimate question for the sole purpose of increasing my chances of getting a job -- not internet bragging points. I am also very well-aware of the fact that evaluations are not a direct measure of how good a professor is; I am thankful for my good fortunes and know better instructors with worse evaluations than me.

I am currently applying for jobs and along the way I compiled a word document with all of my teaching evaluation comments, good and bad. Upon completion, I noticed there were far more good than bad (and the bad do not paint me as the worst) and it dawned on me that if I just cherry pick the good ones, the hiring committee might just blend me in with everyone else trying to sell themselves. After all, most people can cherry pick their way to looking good and it's typically not that hard to find a few wonderful comments.

But I wonder if I submitting a few pages with all of them (color coded by good and bad) would actually make me look better, showing that I am out in the open and didn't just cherry pick. Doesn't it look good that I don't have tons of disgruntled students? I have read job searching guides that say to only paint yourself in the best possible light. But what if the transparent picture looks good and is actually a selling point? I imagine hiring committees sifting through hundreds of applications, desperately looking for real information from the evaluation comments.

Is this line of thinking risky? Should I just make a collection of only best positives and do what most people do?

Thank you.

  • "I have read job searching guides that say to only paint yourself in the best possible light." Follow that advice. They have reasons and experience. – Daniel R. Collins Oct 7 '18 at 15:49
  • To me a drawback to this is how do the people looking at this KNOW FOR SURE that you're including ALL of them? In particular, how would they know that you're not just including a few not so good evaluations just to make it seem like you're honest in saying that you're including all of them? For all they know, your bad evaluations far outweigh your good evaluations, and you're just sprinkling in a few bad ones to make it appear legitimate. – Dave L Renfro Oct 7 '18 at 16:12
  • @DaveLRenfro This is a good point. I actually found that some of the comments I had to remove because they were silly, inapproriate, or otherwise unproductive (good or bad). It's not a giant leap to wonder about my threshold. – zugzug Oct 7 '18 at 16:31
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If teaching is an important part of the job, especially if it is the main point, then providing all of your evaluations is probably a positive thing to do. However, you might consider not including them initially, but including a line in your materials that they are all available on request. I wouldn't do anything more than highlight a few of the ones you are proudest of in your complete listing.

Pretty much everyone gets mixed reviews. Some of the negative ones are valid, and some are not. Most of the positive one, are valid, generally speaking. I think that is well recognized.

Including a few positive one, and even one or two mixed ones in the initial materials might be fine, but probably not the whole load. "Available on request" is a good compromise, I think. You might have to explain one or two of the exceptionally bad ones in an interview, but don't be defensive about it. Some students just clash with some professors.


Actually, it occurs to me that the indifferent reviews might be more harmful than the negative ones.

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