Hiring Departments: Try This New Free Recommendations Service

MARGY (Managing Academic Recommendations Gratis Yay), the free service for emailing confidential letters of recommendation developed by philosophers David Faraci (Georgetown) and Graham Leach-Krouse (Kansas State), previously reported on here, is entering its second phase of beta testing. The team is inviting hiring departments to participate in the testing, and inviting applicants to jobs at those departments to use MARGY when applying.

The first department to sign on to use the system is the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western University, which is soliciting applications for a post-doc position. Anyone applying for this position should use MARGY to apply.

People and departments need to use the service for it to get off the ground as a viable alternative to its non-free rivals.

If your department decides to use MARGY , let me know and I will add a link here to your advertisement.

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Sara L. Uckelman
7 years ago

“Applicants on the academic job market spend thousands of dollars a year to have professional dossier services handle their confidential letters of recommendation.”

Really? Is this a US thing? How/why did it develop? Over the last few weeks I’ve written a couple of scores of recommendation letters, for American, Canadian, British, and German programmes, and not once did I, as a recommendation writer, ever use/access such a dossier service. What are they? What do they do? How do they work? How did they get started? Why have I never come into contact with them in my position as a recommender?

Shay Logan
Reply to  Sara L. Uckelman
7 years ago

Some answers: I personally use a dossier service because I find it to be more reliable than any of the other options available to me. In addition, it wildly reduces the amount of work I have to rely on my letter-writers to do themselves. By far the most popular of these services is interfolio, which is what I use.

The way they work is straightforward. I ask you for a letter, the system sends you a request for it together with a link to where to upload it, you do so. I never see the letter on my end. But I can ask the service to send it out in my behalf, which they do for $4-6 per letter.

They become important when you have multiple students applying to 20-80 positions each, at which point anything other than a dossier service if this sort becomes a logistics and communications nightmare.

I might not have answered everything, but hopefully that helps.

Shay Logan
Reply to  Shay Logan
7 years ago

Ack, *on* my behalf, obviously. And *of* this sort. Walking and iPhones and whatnot.