Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Helpful hints for reference letter writers 

I am leaving tomorrow for the ASSA meetings (of which the main part is the American Economic Association annual meetings); it also serves as the academic economist's job market, and we're hiring again. (You'll remember I did this last year, and I had some advice here. People visiting me this weekend are expected to have read this.) So I have to read an endless stream of applications and research papers, teaching evaluations and reference letters. This is why I didn't blog until now. Of all the information I get, the most reliable and simultaneously the most frustrating are the letters.

Academics, in particular, are tone-deaf in what they write about their Ph.D. candidates who are new entrants to the academic market. Herewith a few hints:
So you might want to know what I would like you to say. Here: