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CV for first post-doc hunting!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:56 pm
by SV
Hey All,

Sure, my topic is stale. But, hey, I was never this concerned about my next move when my peers were hunting! My question is...can anyone suggest a website or an article...even better an exemplar...on how to write a CV for first post-doctoral position? FYI, I have more degrees (have one doctorate already, but in a different field!) and minimal 'work' experience! Any suggestions?

Thanks,
SV

CV for first post-doc hunting!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 12:17 pm
by Jim Austin
SV,

Not stale at all. Good question. The answer is easy to understand but difficult to execute. In a sense a CV is the "anti-resume". Whereas a resume should be slick and concise, a CV is expected to be encyclopedic. I'm not sure, but I sometimes wonder if in giving out scientific awards they just weigh the things instead of reading them.

Your CV should be neat, reasonably concise, and correct. But it should include every professional thing you've ever done: every degree (of course); every publication you've ever been author or co-author on (of course)...but also every meeting you've ever presented at, every published conference proceeding whether it was peer reviewed or not; every committee you've ever served on; every award you've ever won; every presentation you've ever given, invited or otherwise; every fellowship you've ever won; every grant you've ever received or participated in; every short course you've ever attended; every course you've ever taught; every remotely-science-related job you've ever held; every professional society you belong to; every position of responsibility you've ever held within a relevant organization (eg, treasure of the grad student association).

Also include a section on specific skills: programming languages, analytical assays, whatever.

Generally, education comes first, then work experience. After that there's some choice. I put honors and awards next, followed by specific skills, followed by presentations and then publications. Presentations and publications come towards the end not because they aren't important, but because they tend to be long lists, especially for more experienced scientists.
As I wrote, your CV should be correct, but it doesn't need to be slick. Use decent paper (not the brownish recycled stuff) but don't spend the money on heavy ultra-white cotton bond. It ought to be white, though: no chartreuse CVs. Check the spelling and the grammar (where appropriate), but don't mess around with fancy fonts.

If you're starting from scratch, you may have a lot of work ahead of you. Once you've got your CV in order, keep it handy and update it often. It's great if you can get in the habit of adding stuff to it as soon as it happens.

Best of luck.

Jim Austin