Learning about CVs

CV photo

As I sought CVs, I started seeking those for luminaries who I respect a great deal, like Paul Prior and Charles Bazerman. But I quickly discovered that luminaries like these teach at similar kinds of schools, and the requirement to include three Carnegie classifications among the four CVs required that I find more than luminaries. As a result, Academia.edu became my friend. Turns out, if you’re not considered a luminary, your CV won’t appear top of list in Google search or even in a search on an institutional webpage. So I ended up finding Anthony Lee, chair of the UMUC English department, through Academia.edu rather than a Google search or a search on the UMUC website.

What surprised me were the different CV types. Prior and Bazerman maintain web-based CVs, Bazerman’s on the UCSB website and Prior’s on his own website. Both designs appear dated, but the contents are at least as up-to-date as 2013. James A. Herrick at Hope College maintains a more traditional PDF version of his CV on the Hope College website, while Lee maintains a traditional (print-based) CV in a Word document on his Academia.edu site.

I’ve chosen to host my CV on Google Docs, which poses its own set of challenges. First, it’s a hybrid platform: entirely online with print capabilities, based on a print design and visual metaphor (i.e. the traditional “page” appears on a WYSIWYG platform). This flexibility is useful, giving me the ability to post to a website or submit as a print-ready document; but it also reflects a certain expectation of users that they will be familiar with Google Drive and able to access the file. Second, it’s not something that’s easily embedded on a platform like WordPress or Academia.edu. While it’s quite easy to link to the document, it’s much more difficult to embed a print-ready version in a webpage like WordPress or Academia.edu can do. Lee’s .doc CV is quite legible embedded on the Academia.edu page.

As I continue scholarship and professional development, it’s clear that I need to provide more granular detail to publication and presentation sections. I don’t have many published print pieces, but I can talk about chapters in progress, presentations accepted, chapters accepted for publication, and the like. Using subheadings and chunking in my CV design, I can make it more readable and much easier to quickly glean the important details about me: I’m educated, I’m publishing and interested in publishing, and I have loads of professional communications and teaching experience at all levels that represent my dedication to secondary and post-secondary pedagogy. These are abilities I need to highlight more clearly and directly in my CV redesign.

Curriculum Vitae: CC-licensed Flickr image courtesy Desi Italy

8 thoughts on “Learning about CVs

    • Our GPD actually recommended that we use a digital format to enable linking from the the English PhD web page to our standard CVs. Probably need to think about building a version specifically for that audience, too, though, based on readings from this module!

  1. The idea of developing granular details for my CV is also an area that I’m concerned about, especially considering that my publications are all creative. I suppose dividing them into, local, regional national and Online could be on set of choices. Other fields would have to make very different choices.

    • I think these decisions are dictated by our fields and our experiences. One thing I’m recognizing is that, as our careers build and shift and change, our CV design and development should reflect those changes and developments.

  2. I’m seeing that we’re all kind of figuring this out. I’ve taken to heart the advice to add something to my CV every month — now I don’t even remember where I saw that, but I think it’s useful, sound advice. Something it’s helping me realize is that we can and should be adding items to our CVs that aren’t always appropriate for a resume. I’ve never highlighted the webinars I’ve attended for professional development on my professional resume because there were no tangible deliverables. But for my CV, I need to highlight these as professional development because they have contributed to my understanding of the field and its relationship to other fields in specific and real ways. This also suggests I need to make explicit, in few words, the takeaways I, well, took away, from such experiences.

    I echo Matt’s focus on the importance of grouping and white space use to demonstrate field and disciplinary understanding. And some of my fears are relieved when I see Maisoun point out that other PhD students’ CVs may include few publications or grants. I keep comparing my own CV to colleagues who are significantly more accomplished than I am, and that gets me scared!

  3. I agree with your point about comparing CVs to other people who have more experience or accomplishments. It is very intimidating but it can also be a way to identify areas that can be improved upon.

  4. What is Academia.edu? What are the advantages/disadvantages to this website?

    I followed the link, but was prompted to sign up for it. If you’re a part of this community, wouldn’t this limit who can see your CV?

    What do you think about a school’s system hosting a template for a CV (a more fill in the blank type thing)?
    I think these templates and system seem convenient.

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