A Note on Unnegotiated Applications

Ever since I was a PhD student, I received a constant flow of unnegotiated job applications by e-mail, asking me for open university positions as PhD students, Postdocs, or interns. Those e-mails are sent by people whom I do not know, and they have all the characteristics of unnegotiated bulk e-mail, aka spam. However, it seems that the people sending these mails are genuine in their intentions, and some of them even express their frustration about sending hundreds of such mails and never receiving an answer.

Of course, I can not speak for other people holding university positions. I can only describe my own view of the issue, which mainly includes two situations:

  1. If the university has an open PhD or Postdoc position, then it is openly announced. You can find those announcements here. If you feel that a position matches your profile, then you are free to apply. But you have to follow the guidelines given on the job offer page, sending the requested documents to our HR department. It is completely pointless to send any kind of application or CV to me, since I'm not entitled to decide on acceptance or rejection anyway.
  2. If the university does not have an open PhD or Postdoc position, then it doesn't. No matter how good your qualifications are, they are not going to change the fact that there is no open position for you at the moment. Thus, sending an application to me does not make any sense, either.

When you send unnegotiated applications nonetheless, please be aware that you are not the only one. Seen with the eyes of most university employees, you simply contribute to the bulk of spam e-mail that we receive every day. Thus, don't be disappointed if you don't receive an answer.

Note that this is my personal home page. All opinions expressed here are my own and are not necessarily shared by persons or organizations named on these pages (like my employer or my co-authors).

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Last update on October 21, 2011
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