Sometimes the most basic, blunt advice is the best advice. The following post was pulled from the AAAS Science Careers Forum, and presents tips on things to AVOID when submitting an application for a position in science.


"I just finished screening close to 150 candidates for an open position that we have and although the points below have been said before it is clear that a lot of people need to hear them again.

When applying for an advertised position for which the company asks for a letter and a CV, do not;

  • submit a CV of 22 pages describing every little detail in your life
  • submit 12 different documents including scanned copies of grades from highschool, etc.
  • apply for the same position multiple times
  • forget to attach your CV
  • write your CV in open office and use a format that can not be opened by standard software
  • send an application letter that is actually for another company
  • use the entire letter to describe your skills in engineering if you are applying for a bio position
  • and when the company specifically asks for skills with certain methods or areas of expertise, do spend some time on describing why you are good at those things rather then only listing them together with lots of other things - preferably mention these in the letter

The amount of time spent on each application before the first cut is very short and you want to make a clear statement of your skills that will be noticed during that short time.

Each of the above was seen more then once among the applications screened."

- PG, Forum Contributor


BOTTOM LINE: Take your time and prepare your application carefully, even if it means applying to fewer jobs.

Want more advice like this? Visit the Science Careers Forum