Here’s a question for anyone reading my blog, and in this case I would especially appreciate hearing your comments:
Assuming that one is gainfully employed in academia, either as a librarian or as faculty, and applying for similar work at another institution, should one use their current institution’s letterhead for the cover letters?
I say no. Your current employer (assuming you are not being downsized or laid off) should not be asked to support your job search. Letterhead is for official business related to the university, not for one’s personal choices. For me, it is the same as if one were to take home a bunch of office supplies for their kids’ school or club projects. Many people do it, but that does not make it right.
My wife says bosh to all that. She says that as an academic one is entitled to the letterhead, and should use it for job applications to assert one’s footing in the profession. I get her point, but if your CV says you are an assistant professor at University X, do reviewers of applications really need the visual reminder? As evidence, she showed me a stack of applications where people with jobs used letterhead to apply for a Kansas State job.
I have reviewed countless applications for library jobs, and have only rarely seen an applicant use the letterhead of their current library. My wife says we are just different professions. I say that her peers have loose ethical definitions.
What’s your take?