I am finishing my Ph.D. and now I am looking for faculty positions globally.

If I contact the head of the relevant departments (HoD), will it be ok or will it leave a good impression that I am too eager for the position? Note that I am talking about any unadvertised positions.


  • 1
    What position? Advertised positions usually have regular procedures and won't bypass them.
    – Buffy
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 20:58
  • Unadvertised position. As advertised positions are open for application in general.
    – SJa
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 21:25
  • 3
    Tenure track positions are always advertised to my knowledge. They are literally called "searches". You might look lazy to bug someone via email when you can research a school on the internet and find positions they have open. As for adjunct positions, yes you can email to ask about their needs for those, which may not be advertised. Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 21:34
  • 1
    I like the idea of ignoring rules and doing something different (especially if everyone else is not doing it). But I think the cold call emails are likely not that helpful. I recommend instead to (1) use all the official searches (2) have your advisor pump you in unofficial searches and (3) find/use your network to get some interactions that are not purely cold calls. In addition, it is important to have some value propositions. Why are you special? How are you different than just the average will "work for food" (joking) applicant? How can you make their place better, their life easier.
    – guest
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 21:42

2 Answers 2


I doubt that it would be appropriate and would be considered a bit odd. Most places, anyway. If there are no advertised positions, there are likely no positions at all. If there are advertised positions they will come with stated application procedures.

The department head normally isn't responsible directly for hiring faculty. It is a faculty committee decision and in some places the laws of the land require advertisements and fair consideration of candidates using published criteria.

I think it would be a waste of time to request a job. You don't say where you are, but I think that most in most places it would be improper to hire without advertising.

However, you might ask if the department contemplates hiring in the near future and where to look for announcements. But I wouldn't go beyond that.


There is an almost zero chance that you get a job by emailing department heads about unadvertised positions. These just don't exist for regular people -- Nobel prize winners and other exceptional cases excluded.

There is a chance of almost 100% that your email will get deleted without an answer, and a nearly equal chance that the person you send it to is going to be rather annoyed at your boldness.

Use the usual avenues for getting a job: Look for announcements, apply for them, and most of all spend your energy building a resume that allows you to be competitive for these positions.

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