The usual entirely-true cliche is that most people on the postdoc-hiring committee will not themselves read beyond the first page or so of the whole thing, so you should be sure to make your big points, of course necessarily in rough terms, just on that first page From Mathoverflow

My ideal first page for a RS, I thought, should not be a dense text (maybe that is secondary, but it is not appealing), and so is to use for the document a 10 pt font size. I might be wrong. Should I really optimize it so that more statements fit there?

What if my most impressive result would be a graph?

  • 2
    I'm not sure what definition of "optimize" you are using in your question, but smaller font is not it! (I think the crux of the advice is to lead with the "elevator pitch" version at the beginning of your statement and then elaborate further on the remaining pages.)
    – nengel
    Nov 9, 2017 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


I think the spirit of the statement above is not to overwhelm or overload a hiring committee, because they do not have the time to go through everything thoroughly and are probably reading many research statements.

You need to make your key points stand out and make it as easy to read as possible. Make it something they want to read if you can. Think of this as more like writing a newspaper article than a science article - the most interesting stuff goes first, follow up with details further into the text if needed.

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