You’re always saying that we should focus on facts, not emotions, in our job documents. But I think that’s going to make my materials dry and boring. I need to show the search committee how passionate I am, to make my application stand out, right?
Job seekers at this point in time are all more or less desperate. If you’ve been looking for a tenure-track job without success for years, you’re growing more anxious with every passing year. But even if you’re just setting out on your first attempt on the market, the larger zeitgeist in which you and your friends operate makes for a kind of preemptive desperation.