Sometimes, I'll be in a meeting or something, and someone will say something and I'll just get a whole new insight into that person's point of view. It happened yesterday.
We were discussing a past practical underwater basketweaving search, and one of my colleagues asked about people who have both Masters in Arts in Practical Basketweaving (a terminal degree itself) and PhDs in Basketweaving. It seems reasonable to me, right? Why wouldn't we prefer someone with additional skills and knowledge, able to help out in the history and culture of basketweaving classes as well as the practical classes?
But the practical basketweaver there said that when they read the application letters from MAPB/PhDs, they always started by talking extensively about their thesis, and didn't focus on their practical basketweaving work. But what s/he and the other practical basketweavers were looking for was someone who really focused on practical basketweaving primarily. So the dissertation stuff wasn't important, and in fact took away from what the practical folks wanted to hear.
To me, at first, this sounded backwards because most people finish the PhD after the MAPB, and so it's their more recent work and it's a bigger deal on some level (my bias shows here, doesn't it!), so of course that would be what they focus on. But then I realized that this practical basketweaver really didn't care about the PhD work, but really cared about the practical basketweaving work.
So, I don't know. Maybe my colleague the practical basketweaver is wrong about how these application letters are written, or has read a skewed sample, or was just justifying her bias against Phds. But maybe she's saying something that might be helpful to MAPB/PhD folks who are applying for practical basketweaving jobs?
So instead of two or three types of letters of application (R1s, teaching, community college), these folks need at least one more, focused tightly on practical basketweaving, and mentioning the PhD in the second or third place?
What's your experience, oh wise internet folks?