Has anyone else gotten one like this? I have, unfortunately, although it wasn't in the cover letter, it was in follow-up correspondence. This is, of course, another entry in the Cover Letter contest.
You may remember that we met at the X Conference last year when my advisor, Professor Bigname, introduced us at the Z Inc. cocktail party. At the time, I mentioned that I would be finishing my PhD in May 2012, and I am on track to do so. I am therefore in the process of looking for a tenure-track faculty position, but would also consider being a postdoc in your lab.
As you know, I have a lot of expertise in A, B, and C. I have read a few of your papers, and think that my background would be a great asset to you.
Since I am also applying for tenure-track faculty positions and other postdocs, I can’t commit to coming to work with you until I know all of my options. Ideally, I will be offered a faculty position for the coming academic year, but if that doesn’t happen this year, and particularly if no other postdoc positions are available when I finish my PhD, I would be very pleased to join your research group as early as June 2012. My wife and I are planning on starting a family as soon as possible, and I think it would work out quite well if that difficult first year, when our child is an infant, coincided with time spent working with your research group, before I move on to a more challenging and time-consuming tenure-track faculty position.
We should talk soon about my options for a postdoc with you. I will be visiting family in your area over the upcoming holidays, and I will call or e-mail to let you know when I am available to meet with you.
A postdoctoral applicant whose assumption that I, a female professor, would be sympathetic to his plans to start a family was incorrect, not because he planned to start a family soon (that is fine with me) but because he managed to turn it into an insult to me.