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Candidates and SC-members with similar interests

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In our ongoing job-market discussion thread, Cleverly Disguised Mule writes: I have a job market question/issue that I suspect others have encountered as well. How should one approach an application--in particular, the cover letter--for a school that has people working on issues *very, very close* to one's own research? So suppose I'm applying to an ethics job at Cocoon University and I work on, e.g., naturalism in meta-ethics. But Professor X at Cocoon U who works on that same topic. My hunch is that this makes me less desirable to that department; but maybe not. Given that I'm applying either way, what should I do to make myself look more desirable? Do I emphasize my interest in future collaborations/discussions with Professor X? (How presumptuous of me to assume that Professor X wants to collaborate with anyone! Plus, doesn't this risk emphasizing my overlap with what their department already does?) Or do I try to illustrate the way my project is different from Prof. . .

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News source: The Philosophers' Cocoon

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