I have an extreme K-selection strategy when it comes to applying for jobs-- I only select the jobs that I feel I have a fighting chance at, and I put a lot of time into my applications. I am realizing now that I have an easier time writing a cover letter and feel like less of an impostor when the job description is more specific. The positions hiring a postdoc that does "some kind of related research" are much more difficult for me than those with a clear description of the intended project. When its open-ended, I spend a long time researching the lab group and their publications, scrutinizing the collaborators, and generally feeling inadequate (like here and here).
A position was recently advertised near Jon's Hometown, which is where we would move anyways if I don't find a job by Christmas. The PI is someone who I intended to contact about postdoc opportunities; I learned of his research last year at ESA when I met his graduate student. It would be fabulous to work there and he is doing exciting research. But the more I read, the more worried I am about articulating the fit with my research. Are my questions big enough? I look at the coauthors on his pubs and there are tons of well-known biologists (mostly men). Am I good enough? Can I cut it?
Argh. This application is important and I need to be convincing. But first I have to convince myself.