Our humble community college, with a regional airport that only recently opened a bar in the post-screening area, is planning to once again hire a slew of new tenure track faculty–including at least one, maybe two, English positions. Since the number of full timers in our department has remained fairly stagnant in the last decade despite losing several faculty members to retirement, advancement, and greener pastures, it seems likely that I’ll once again get to review the hundreds of applications, and giggle over the various non-intentional cover letter mishaps.
But it seems only fair to at least try to get the word out ahead of time so that perhaps maybe, just maybe, I’ll be giggling less this time around. Consider this the son of the Times Higher Education annual list of “exam howlers“–academic job search cover letter edition. But, maybe not as funny.
- “Hello! How are you?” (Just peachy! Next….)
- “I’ve always wanted to live on the coast…” (We are hours from the coast, however.)
- “I’m excited about the opportunity to teach at Ivory Coast Community College…” (Uh, that’s not us)
- “I look forward to teaching courses in “Gobbly Gook Theoretical Deconstruction Post Colonial Mixed Genres” (Really? To lower division students? At a college where you are being asked to teach mostly composition and introductory literature courses?)
- “I am willing to teach remedial English….” (Willing? How sweet of you. Remedial? Read up on the lingo.)
- “I am a people person, which, I believe will help me relate to young, working class junior college students. My experiences working with young people include the following: I was a star basketball player in high school, I tend bar on the weekends, and also teach Yoga to children at the Boys and Girls Club.” (How very interesting….next…)
- “Thanks so much for reading my file!!!” (That third exclamation point sold me. Really!)
- “I am a devoted MLA member.” (I, too, am hopelessly devoted to the MLA: Sing it, Olivia!)