If you read the most recent blog, you’ll know that I moved recently to the Biology Department at UT Arlington. As part of the process of setting up the lab at UTA, I’m reviewing applications for various positions in the department and in my lab. Many of the candidates are very well qualified for the positions, but it is not always obvious in their resume. So, in the interest of helping candidates improve their chances of passing the first stage of review, I offer the following comments, noting that some of the information might also be helpful to faculty candidates, with a blog coming later on that aspect of growing the department.
Make sure your skills match the job description.
If the job description requests expertise in molecular biology, then don’t describe your experience in designing synthesis schemes for small organic drug compounds. If I want to hire someone who can perform site-directed mutagenesis and has expertise in cell culture, then your skills may not fit the job description. You may be an outstanding organic chemist, but I’m looking for someone who can step into the position and make an immediate impact while learning the other techniques with which you may have less knowledge.
If you have any experience with the skills listed in the job description, then highlight them in your resume. Sending a resume that doesn’t match the required skills tells me that you will take any job available and that you are hoping that your vast experience in your field will get you an interview. That may be true in some cases, but if you live in a large Metroplex such as the Dallas-Fort Worth area, then there is usually a well-educated and highly skilled pool of applicants with which you will be competing.
If you don’t have the required skills, then don’t apply for the job.