Keep It Simple

Posted on October 24, 2007

Don't get bogged down in too many topics, suggests Andrea Fagiolini (bio).


If you go for a job interview or even if you write a paper, having too many issues, being interested in too many things, writing a paper of 30 pages describing extremely well 10 different things is going to play against you. It’s much better to stay focused on one thing that is simple, well explained, doesn’t distract the person that you’re interacting rather than putting on the plate too much, that can be confusing or it can be a sign of not being extremely focused on one issue.

So not only for interviews, but also when you’re preparing your CV or even when I write a paper, many times it’s very tempting to expand the paper so you present the primary results, but as you are discussing something, you tend to go and talk about something else that is related. That is very dangerous because it distracts the reader, you have to keep in mind that we receive so many papers, we don’t have too much time and so very long papers are not likely to be read entirely and the editors don’t like a very long paper dealing with more than one issue and the reviewers don’t like those papers as well. So, it’s much better to stay simple, stay focused. Go immediately to the message; expand on that particular message, but not being tempted to take the opportunity or the occasion to divert too much from the major topic.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2007 Career Development Institute for Bipolar Disorder in Pittsburgh, PA.


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