Monday, November 25, 2019
Items to Exclude from Your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Items to Exclude from Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) No one likes writing a resume, but its a critical part of the job search in all fields. In academics, the resume is called a curriculum vitae (or CV) and it is even less fun to write. Unlike a resume which presents your experience and skills within a 1-page format, the curriculum vitae has no page limit. The most prolific professionals I have encountered have CVs that are dozens of pages long and bound as books. Thats highly unusual, of course, but the point is that the CV is a comprehensive list of your experiences, accomplishments, and the products of your work. Your mentor likely has a CV of 20 pages or more, depending on his or her productivity, rank, and experience. Beginning graduate students usually start out with 1 page CVs and work hard to flesh them out into multiple page documents. It can be easy to add pages when you consider what goes into a CV. The CV lists your education, work experience, research background and interests, teaching history, publications, and more. Theres lots of information to work with, but can you include too much information? Is there anything that you should not include on your CV? Dont Include Personal InformationIt was once common for people to include personal information on their CVs. Never include any of the following: Social security numberMarital statusBirthdateAgeHeight, weight, hair color, or other personal attributesNumber of childrenPhoto It is illegal for employers to discriminate against potential employees on the basis of personal characteristics. That said, people naturally judge others. Allow yourself to be judged only on your professional merits and not on your personal characteristics. Dont Include Photos Given the ban on personal information, it should go without saying that applicants should not send photographs of themselves. Unless you are an actor, dancer, or another performer, never attach a picture of yourself to your CV or application. Dont Add Irrelevant Information Hobbies and interests should not appear on your CV. Include only extracurricular activities that are directly related to your work. Remember that your goal is to portray yourself as serious and an expert in your discipline. Hobbies can suggest that youre not working hard enough or that you are not serious about your career. Leave them out. Dont Include Too Much Detail Its an odd paradox: Your CV presents detailed information about your career, but you must take care not to go into too much depth in describing the content of your work. Your CV will be accompanied by a research statement in which you walk readers through your research, explaining its development and your goals. You will also write a statement of teaching philosophy, explaining your perspective on teaching. Given these documents, there is no need to go into minute detail describing your research and teaching other than the facts: where, when, what, awards granted, etc. Dont Include Ancient Information Do not discuss anything from high school. Period. Unless you discovered a supernova, that is. Your curriculum vitae describes your qualifications for a professional academic career. It is unlikely that experiences from college are relevant to this. From college, list only your major, graduation year, scholarships, awards, and honors. Do not list any extracurricular activities from high school or college. Do Not List References Your CV is a statement about YOU. There is no need to include references. Undoubtedly youll be asked to provide references but your references do not belong on your CV. Dont list that your references are available upon request. Surely the employer will request references if youre a potential candidate. Wait until you are asked and then remind your references and tell them to expect a call or email. Do Not Lie It should be obvious but many applicants make the mistake of including items that are not entirely true. For example, they might list a poster presentation that they were invited to give but didnt. Or list a paper as under review that is still being drafted. There are no harmless lies. Dont exaggerate or lie about anything. It will come back to haunt you and ruin your career. Criminal Record Although you should never lie, dont give employers a reason to dump your CV in the trash-pile. That means dont spill the beans unless you are asked. If theyre interested and youre offered the job you may be asked to consent to a background check. If so, thats when you discuss your record - when you know that they are interested, Discuss it too soon and you may lose an opportunity. Dont Write in Solid Blocks of Text Remember that employers scan CVs. Make yours easy to read by using bold headings and short descriptions of items. Do not include big blocks of text. No paragraphs. Dont Include Errors Whats the fastest way to get your CV and application tossed? Spelling mistakes. Bad grammar. Typos. Do you prefer to be known as careless or poorly educated? Neither will help you advance in your career. Always review your CV carefully before submitting. Dont Include a Touch of Flair Fancy paper. Unusual font. Colored font. Scented paper. Although you want your CV to stand out, be sure that it stands out for the right reasons, such as its quality. Do not make your CV look different in color, shape, or format unless you want it passed around as a source of humor.