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Second in Deparment - is it worth applying?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by caroline_harrison, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. It has occurred to me that applying for a Second in Deparment position, as I have been doing, is actually pointless because there will always be at least one internal candidate.
    I know that, in theory, external candidates have as much chance as internal candidates, and if you're the best candidate you'll get it.
    However, the internal candidate is always going to have the advantage.
    Are these 'Second in Department' jobs advertised merely to meet a legal requirement to do with employment?
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    There is no 'legal requirement', though some schools have a policy that requires the advertising of all posts.
    Yes, there may well be an internal candidate (although not always - it depends on the subject as well as other factors such as the age, personal circumstances, etc of other members of the dept). What you must remember, however, is that the internal candidate isn't always what the head wants for the dept - the head may well be wanting new blood to re-invigorate (or put a bit of a bomb under) a dept. S/he may also not especially rate the leadership skills of any internal candidates.
    I once appointed an external candidate to a second in dept post, despite the fact that the internal candidate was thought to be a dead cert for the post, was much more experienced (the person I appointed was only in their second year in teaching - and it was a core dept), etc.
    It turned out to be one of the best appointments I ever made.
    Never assume the internal candidate has the job in the bag - remember that s/he is a very known quantity, including (and especially) her/his faults and weaknesses.
  3. akirk

    akirk New commenter

    I second what Middlemarch says - I was the external candidate for my last interview and got the job. It can happen! [​IMG]
  4. tigger82

    tigger82 New commenter

    Nothing to add really except that nothing ventured means nothing gained.

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