Tuesday, August 31, 2010
So I'm in the courthouse today doing my civic duty, and as those of you who have also done your civic duty can attest to, there is a lot of free time when doing your civic duty (until you get picked for the motherf$%*ing jury, but that is another story for another blog). But thanks to my exorbitant NYC tax dollars, there is excellent wi-fi in the juror holding room, so I decide to put all that free time to good use and look for a job. No, not a TT job--though I am applying for those, too--my current situation has made a more pressing issue out of finding a second post-doc.
There's someone I'm interested in. His work is lightly related to, but different enough from mine, and I want to send him my CV with a nice personal email describing what I want to learn from working in his lab. There is just one problem--it is not clear to me exactly what goes on in his lab. When I do a PubMed search, his papers are awesome, but are mostly large collaborations involving several labs, and as we are all well aware, papers don't exactly break it down for you re: who did what. So I have the brilliant idea to google him, and see if I can find a lab homepage. Surely there, I'll find a statement about what cutting-edge techniques they currently use to answer what questions, no?
No, because there is no lab website. There's a small blurb on the department homepage with the standard general area-of-interest statement, likely last updated in 2002, but nothing that would allow me to write much more than a form letter. In my recent searches, I've found that this is sadly more often the case than not.
PIs, did you have a brain tumor for breakfast? Why on earth would you not have a website?? Do you not want to be found? Or are you that egotistical that you assume everyone already knows everything that goes on in your lab?
It is 2010. I'm not saying you have to do anything crazy like join Twitter, but for pete's sake, find a tech-savvy undergrad or something (kids these days sneeze websites!) and get them to throw something together that shows off your fancy techniques, lists the lab members (with pictures!), and describes the big picture stuff. It's really not that hard, and not only will you make yourself more visible to excellent potential senior post-docs (*cough*cough*), you'll convey the message that you are "with it." Modern. Relevant. Cool*.
*Well. Let's not get carried away here.
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