26 January 2011

Little CV secrets...

Drawing on my search committee experiences, here are more tips for tenure-track job applicants!

One of the first things people are going to do is count your publications. Don’t hide that number. Don’t put the publications five pages back in the CV; put them as close to the front as possible.

Never do anything that might be seen as trying to inflate your CV, particularly publications. For instance, clearly distinguish manuscripts “in preparation” and everything else. Everyone has projects that just never find a home, so “in prep” isn’t true proof of your abilities. If people think at first you have ten publications, then realize three are in preparation, they’ll feel you’re misled them. Under promise and over deliver.

Don’t use non-standard phrases like “Selected publications.” What does “Selected publications” mean? What was the selection criteria? How many more were not selected? It looks like a diversionary tactic.

If you’re asked to provide your CV in a PDF:

  • Embed clickable links to your papers in it. If it’s submitted electronically, that means it is probably going to be distributed to the committee electronically, and committee members will read them on their desktops with a live internet connection. Make it easy for someone to click through if they’re curious.
  • Make one PDF with everything in it. Don’t divide them up into one for your cover latter, one for your CV, one for your research statement, one for your teaching statement. Otherwise, people have to be opening and closing files over and over, which (to me) is more annoying that scrolling or jumping a few pages.

The Courier typeface is a bad choice for a CV.

Photo by yelacis on Flickr; used under a Creative Commons licence.

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