Where do we go from here?
Reviewing a candidate’s credentials should be done in a holistic fashion. Your goal is to reconstruct stories of the candidates’ educational and professional development to date and obtain a feel for their future trajectories. Learning to read between the lines of letters of recommendation should be viewed as a game of “gotcha.” Identifying outliers and unearthing underlying trends can help bring a candidate’s abilities and qualifications into focus, leading to better matches of trainee with mentor and applicant with position.
Peter J. Kennelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a professor and head of the department of biochemistry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He also is chairman of the ASBMB Education and Professional Development Committee.