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A bunch of research labs will be looking to hire interns in a couple of months. Graduating PhD students and postdocs are preparing their application packets and will be sending job applications soon. Should folks on the employer side of the market be encouraged to post job openings as questions on cstheory?

In my head, there's a spectrum of job ads:

Fine: - intern openings - postdocs at - tenure track faculty positions

Questionable: - most positions in industry - non-research jobs in academia

No No: - industry job whose primary goal is not academic research (e.g. quant at a hedge fund -- many cstheory patrons might qualify, but the ad is certainly against the spirit of the site).

Would you ban all such ads? If not, where to draw the line?

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This is a Q&A site. A job ad isn't a question. There is no answer.

(If you really want to abuse the site, it might be ok to post a CW question that asks people to list open positions, and then job ads could be answers to that question...)

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Job inquiries and job advertisements are definitely off-topic in these systems. Having said that, we are likely to build career services into systems that can befit from such functionality… much like http://careers.stackoverflow.com.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yours seems to be the answer from "on high," but leads to a couple of new questions. The first one is: Is it possible that this community could decide we wanted such functionality? If so, how would the community go about that? If the answer is "it is possible" then the next step would be asking "do we want to" and the third step would be asking "what kind?" $\endgroup$ – Rob Simmons Oct 30 '10 at 19:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Rob Simmons: I'm sorry, I don't entirely understand what you are asking. But if you are asking about getting career services, the best way to get any feature is to post a feature-request to meta. $\endgroup$ – Robert Cartaino Oct 31 '10 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ That does answer what I was (poorly) asking, so thanks for reading my mind. The answer seems to be: It's not impossible to have career services support in the future through a separate mechanism on the website designed for that purposes. Though judging from the responses here it's not clear that that's something people actually want. $\endgroup$ – Rob Simmons Nov 1 '10 at 1:04
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Just to note that we have a jobs website at the intractability center website - http://intractability.princeton.edu/jobs/ . People are welcome to post there advertisement for postdoc and faculty positions around the world.

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It would be chaotic to have each ad in a separate question. It would be better to have one question per type of job: one for postdocs, one for tenure-track, one for interns, and so on. Having job ads here isn't strictly speaking within the scope of this site, but I can't think of a particularly better place to post them and just a few questions wouldn't clutter the site, so maybe it's worth a try?

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    $\begingroup$ Weird, I was obviously typing essentially the same aswer as you at the same time! $\endgroup$ – Joe Fitzsimons Oct 27 '10 at 21:31
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    $\begingroup$ this site really needs a third board that is neither Q&A nor meta... $\endgroup$ – Lev Reyzin Oct 27 '10 at 21:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Lev: I think this community really needs a third board. Not everything we do as a community online has to be in the context of this site! :) (Though this site has been the most effective online vehicle for TCS-community-related things since blogs.) For example, why isn't there an analog of mathjobs.org/jobs but for CS? This issue comes up in the TCS blogosphere essentially every year... $\endgroup$ – Joshua Grochow Oct 28 '10 at 1:31
  • $\begingroup$ well the CRA jobs site is effectively that, and I know it's the first place that employers post to, and that people visit. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Oct 28 '10 at 6:03
  • $\begingroup$ @ Joshua - you are quite right, but as you're said, this site has certainly been a good vehicle. @Suresh for jobs, mathjobs also lets you apply to everything via the website, so recommenders have to submit recommendations only once, you only have to upload your documents only once, etc.! There's actually also academicjobsonline.org which has a CS category, and some departments use it, but unfortunately most don't. $\endgroup$ – Lev Reyzin Oct 28 '10 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ a single place for recommendations doesn't always make sense. I write letters differently for research labs, industry and academia, and even among universities I might write letters slightly differently. The same is true for application packets as well. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Oct 28 '10 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ If I recall correctly Academicjobsoline.org allows recommenders to submit different letters to different institutions if they wish. $\endgroup$ – Warren Schudy Oct 29 '10 at 0:16
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I think job ads could be naturally integrated with the site, but they should stay out of the Q&A part. In other words: I would not mind seeing relevant job ads but they don't belong in the site content.

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While it's possible that internships could be posted here, permanent job postings have a natural home at the CRA jobs site. It's a go-to site at least in the US, and I know this having been part of hiring committees as well as once upon a time looking myself.

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    $\begingroup$ If I recall correctly from my job search last year a few top schools did not post to CRA, presumably because of the cost. A free alternative might therefore be of some use, even for tenure-track positions. $\endgroup$ – Warren Schudy Oct 28 '10 at 13:34
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My inclination is to say definitely not. Although I can see the benefit – I have 2 open positions – I can imagine that very quickly the amount of noise (for non-job hunters) will increase. There are several thousand computer science departments in the world and each of them probably has between 2 and 20 open positions. This could result thousands of advertisements.

Perhaps more to the point is that there is no discussion associated with a job advertisement, and this site is about discussion.

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I'm not sure. I would have been inclined to say "definitely no", but perhaps a solution is for someone to post a single community-wiki question for jobs at each level (PhD, postdoc,faculty), where open positions could be posted as answers. I won't be rushing to do it, but I think such a question may be permissible.

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