I just received the warmest rejection letter (from a pool of many) from a department that I won't name, other than to say that maybe the mountain views mellow everyone there out. Mine is one of 100+ they're sending, but I feel so special after reading it.
I'm writing to let you know that we've extended an offer in our search for a faculty position in International Relations. We received many strong applications and our decision was quite difficult at every step of the process. Unfortunately, we were not able to include you in our list of finalists.
I know it's a difficult year on the job market. I hope you can appreciate that the department was impressed by many of the applications. Having received more than a few such letters over my career, I take no pleasure in sending so many out.
I wish you the best in your pursuit of a tenure-track position. Our review of these applications has reminded me how vital and deep the scholarly study of politics is in this country. Frankly, I'm inspired, and I wish you the best in your job search.
Chair and Rejector Extraordinaire"
As most of you know by now, though, I've already accepted a fantastic position at another university - at least as good as the one I would have drawn up for myself if given a blank slate. No only is it a great school, but we'll still be in the midwest, so my daughter will get to moan about heat-haze in the summer and pull on my beardsicles in the winter. I haven't decided how much to write about the new position (which is why I'm being intentionally vague here), but I'll say this for now - this would be an amazing house for $300K (but even better for $140K).