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"lamphier at nnnnnooooospm" at m.u-tokyo.ac.jp "lamphier at nnnnnooooospm" at m.u-tokyo.ac.jp
Sat Sep 20 00:18:07 EST 1997

A. S. M. Shamsuzzaman wrote:

> Dear Sir/Madam,
> I am enclosing a copy of my Curriculum Vitae for your kind consideration
> of the above mentioned position. At present, I am a Ph.D. student of the
> Department of Autonomic Neuroscience, Division of Higher Nervous

Just out of curiosity, has anyone heard of a person being successful in
finding a postdoc by posting their resume in newsgroups? To me it seems
like a waste of time, unless you are not real particular about where you
want to go. 

Mr. Shamsuzzaman,

I assume you may also be following a more productive strategy for
finding a postdoc, but just in case I will make a few simple
suggestions. You are the best resource for finding out which labs are
doing the most interesting research in your area of specialization, or
which labs are doing interesting work in an area you wish to pursue
next. I would research the literature first - THEN send your resume.
Choose a number of labs you are interested in and contact the principal
investigators directly. Few postdocs are advertised. Be sure you know
their work thoroughly, and spend some time thinking of potential
projects you might want to pursue *before* contacting the PI. This will
demonstrate that you have initiative and original ideas, demonstrate
your specialized knowledge of the field, and provide a chance to show
how your present experience and knowledge (incl. techniques) might make
a contribution to the lab to which you are applying. Even if the PI is
not interested in the projects you propose he/she may nevertheless be
impressed with your ideas and knowledge.

In my present and former labs I have seen many letters arrive from
people wanting to apply as grad students or postdocs. Most-- in fact
almost all -- are too vague and weak. The simply say "I have
such-and-such a degree, worked on this research theme and I am looking
for a postdoc that might fit my qualifications". These letters are
usually ignored or answered with a polite "we appreciate your inquiries,
but....." You have to have a fairly directed approach or you will likely
also be ignored or rejected. Target the lab you want to go to, then give
the PI a good reason to want to you; show how you will contribute with a

If I you already know this then forgive me for stating the obvious.

Marc L.

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