The Alt-Ac Job Beat Newsletter Post 4 11/21/2023

Hi Everyone,

This weeks newsletter advice is apply, apply, apply. So some people give advice in terms of altering your resume and cover letter to help land you a better job. I honestly don't know if tinkering with your cover letter matters all that much in increasing your chances of getting an interview. I do however know that applying to more jobs does increase your chances of getting an interview.

Because I am a mathy guy you will get some math -- so consider two scenarios:

So same amount of time spent applying, an hour a day. After 84 days (not quite 3 months):

Scenario 2 only makes sense if you know tinkering with materials increases your probability of being interviewed greater than the probability of applying to more jobs. I think applying to more jobs is the better strategy.


This week I have included many different civil service roles (jobs sheet), examples include:

Anymore professor salaries have lagged, so it is not uncommon for even entry level civil service roles, like crime analysts, to have better starting salaries than assistant professor positions at R2 schools


Joel Hunt is a Senior Computer Scientist at the NIJ. Phd at American with a background in crime analysis and GIS. Check out the spreadsheet for other job openings currently at NIJ.


So sometimes in scripts you will see startup commands that change the directory, so in python something like:

# python change directory
import os

Or in R:

# R change directory

This is bad practice, as it makes your code not portable to someone elses system. Most software engineering assumes you are running code from the root directory of a project. In python, from the command prompt if you do:

cd "C:\GoogleDrive\Project"

To do the REPL, or run a script, or do jupyter notebook, that is a better solution. Now the code is implicitly running from the same location as you explicitly stated prior.

I am old school R, so I do the same for R using RTerm to do a REPL session at the terminal, but I know more popular IDE's like RStudio do this for you under the hood I believe.

Best, Andy Wheeler