Don’t State the Obvious

There is a kind of line in job documents that is technically blameless, but is so generic, so very much “stating the obvious” that it also completely pointless.  This kind of line fills space while doing nothing to distinguish you in any way.

The rule here is: If Anyone Can Say It, It’s Not Helping You.

Here are a few examples:

  • The ultimate aim of my classroom strategies is to help students gain useful skills and knowledge.
  •  My courses present writing as a means of communication and a tool for developing thought.
  • As a recipient of the grant, I will have the opportunity to apply my expertise in short-term projects and longer-term projects, expanding my learning capabilities and diversifying my network.
  • By presenting my current and future research in the departmental symposium, I would be able to put my work in dialogue with fellows in various departments, and to collaborate with researchers in disciplines other than my own.
  •  I can teach a variety of courses in the department.
  • Your department offers many opportunities for collaboration.

In each case, there is literally no academic who could not write the sentence!

Study your job documents and make sure that every line tells something about YOU, not about “Generic Job-Seeker X.”

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Don’t State the Obvious — 5 Comments

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