A reader on the job market sends along a portion of a rejection letter he got (from a top department), with the notable parts capitalized (by the reader):
Thank you for applying for one of the tenure-stream positions that we advertised last fall. We regret that we will not be moving forward with your application at this time. WE RECEIVED NEARLY SIX HUNDRED RESPONSES TO OUR ADVERTISEMENTS, INCLUDING A DISCONCERTINGLY LARGE NUMBER OF HIGHLY TALENTED AND ACCOMPLISHED APPLICANTS. ALTHOUGH we had listed these jobs as open, several factors led us to concentrate most of our search efforts on three main areas: Early Modern (before Kant), philosophy of language and certain branches of ethics that we particularly need. We had originally hoped to search within a wider array of fields but difficulties with the state legislature and the fact that several advantageous senior hiring opportunities emerged forced us to narrow our remaining attention largely to the core areas listed, which represent our greatest departmental needs (we hope that we will have a few more positions to offer in the years ahead). Please forgive the impersonal ch aracter of this note: the sheer number of applications and our SCHOOL'S MANNER OF STORING APPLICANT FILES MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO INFORM YOU OF OUR DECISIONS SWIFTLY IN ANY OTHER FASHION.
Thank you for providing us with an opportunity to consider your credentials. WE LIVE IN A TIME OF SHORTSIGHTED EDUCATIONAL POLICIES THAT HAVE MADE OUR PROFESSIONAL POSSIBILITIES FAR MORE LIMITED THAN THEY WERE IN THE PAST.