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Expert texpert February 22, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Careers.
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One overused word in resumes is expert. Expert does not mean you ran a certain instrument a few times in grad school or your job. It does not mean you can still run that instrument. That is proficient, capable, but not expert.

A true expert not only know how to run a technique, but the whys as to how it is done. The details and theoretical bases, the reasons variables are important and how they synergize or counteract each other.

I see resumes where someone is expert in a dozen different things, yet they are in grad school, a post doc, or less than five years removed from those two. It takes a brilliant person two or three years to become expert in any area, not two or three months. Most people are not that talented, so it takes three to five years of learning and using a technique.

Nobody is overwhelmed by hollow claims of tons of expertise. If you do not have a provable track record, i.e. publications, presentations, patents, they meet such resumes with skepticism and even disdain. There ought to be some honest assessing before claims get put down.

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