As I see faculty positions in Europe and North America is always based on applications. Is it common that a department head suggest a faculty position to a possible candidate?

I do not mean based on personal connection. Job websites (consider those devoted to academic jobs) encourage job seekers to upload their CVs.

Is it common that a department head search CVs uploaded on academic job websites and suggest a faculty possible to a job seeker?

Is there any success story? Does this system work in practice?

  • 1
    At my university, we are forbidden to interview anyone who has not directly and formally applied.
    – JeffE
    Jun 10 '14 at 13:15

For entry-level junior faculty, the likelihood is almost none unless you are already a superstar.

People get invited to apply based on their prominence/brilliance in the field or through personal connections.

While it doesn't hurt to have your CV uploaded to a job website, the likelihood that a hiring department will use it to pick you up is not very high.

The reason is that for most job postings in this economic / intellectual climate is that any single job posting will get over a hundred applicants, if not more.

Even small schools can get over 200+ applicants for junior faculty postings. They have no need to solicit additional applicants.

[Note this is the case for the humanities / social sciences in the United States based on my experience. Your mileage may vary.]

  • 5
    Based on my experience, this is also accurate for mathematics in the US, and from what I hear, most other fields, too. May 29 '14 at 18:38

I am not aware of any such websites, but I would still wager that the success rate will be pretty much 0. There are three main reasons for this:

  • As RoboKaren already states, the academic job market is very competitive. Even for not particularly attractive positions it is no uncommon to receive more than 100 applications. There simply is no need for a head of a search committee to go scouring websites with academic CVs.
  • It does happen that search committees actively approach candidates that they think will be very promising and invite them to apply (this is more common for more senior positions, but I have heard it happens for junior faculty positions as well, at least occasionally). However, this will only happen to you if you are eminent enough that your name comes up on its own. Search committees will not go looking for people to invite to apply, on a website or elsewhere.
  • "Uploading a CV" in principle sounds like a colossal waste of time. Every academic has a website (at least they really should have) that people can use to find out everything they want about a job seeker.

I would recommend to stay away.

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