This week we asked people who hire librarians a question submitted by a reader, who asks:
I applied for a position a month ago and it was relisted today with the same job description. Is it appropriate to reach out to the organization and ask for feedback on my application materials so I can know why I wasn’t a strong candidate? Would reapplying with a different cover letter make a difference?
Yes, I would reach out to the organization and ask for feedback. If they’re willing to be honest and you do have the qualifications but didn’t somehow address them correctly or in a way they expected, then you could reapply and address those issues head-on. Reapplying without that feedback probably wouldn’t help unless you ask someone who can be objective to look at it with you and help you rework your letter.
– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans
There may be several things at play here that may have nothing to do with your being a strong candidate depending upon the organization. It could be something as basic as the job ad wasn’t exactly the same in all the places the organization posted it which could be an equity and diversity issue so they may have had to pull the position and repost it to correct the error. They may or may not contact applicants to tell them to reapply.
If you do plan to reapply for the position, I don’t know that it is appropriate for you to ask for feedback on your application materials, at my institution at least, that would be inappropriate from an equity standpoint and I would not be able to give you feedback until the search is concluded. You could contact them to see if you can find out anything about why the position was closed and reopened. They may or may not be able to give you that information.
If your cover letter addressed your experience for the minimum and preferred qualifications and those haven’t changed your cover letter should still be appropriate, if you are using a general introductory cover letter, then, yes, I would recommend rewriting it to address the qualifications required in the position.
– Julie Leuzinger, Department Head, Eagle Commons Library, University of North Texas
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