I am planning to apply to a lot of positions including faculty positions, postdocs, and in the industry. I do have a list of recommenders who would recommend me. My question is, if I apply for 100 positions in total among all three sectors, then would my recommenders have to recommend me 100 times? Because, nowadays, institutions usually ask for only the contact information of the recommenders and they expect that the recommendation be given directly to the institution.

Isn't this going to be overkill for my recommenders? What is the usual process for a recommendation if I apply for a lot of positions in different sectors?

Thanks in advance.

  • 100 positions? Wow.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 2:45
  • 1
    I am not surprised by this number, @JonCuster
    – Dawn
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 3:32
  • Such is my state of affairs you know, also considering the job market(academia + industry) right now... :) Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


No, they would not have to deal with 100 recommendations.

First, you are correct that the letters go to the schools without passing through the hands of the applicant for faculty positions. But this doesn't always mean they need to come directly from the supervisor every time. There are tech solutions like Interfolio that can work. There are also more low-tech ways of handling this as well. When I was a grad student, our department actually had an administrative coordinator who collected the faculty letters and then sent these out when needed.

For industry positions, you normally write down the name of your recommenders, but they don't send letters for every application. The HR department will call the recommenders when final interviews are conducted and they are close to making an offer. So your supervisor will only have to deal with a few of these calls.

For postdocs, the process is probably between these two extremes.

It will be some effort, but, in general, faculty consider helping students apply for positions to be part of the job.

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