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Why (not) one page

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 4:47 pm
by Emil Chuck
Not that we should ever assign blame to anyone for propagating the "one page resume" rule, but most people have heard the one-page rule from their undergraduate days. I am pretty sure that most of the students who go to various career centers are told to have one-page resumes.

Of course, when you are an undergraduate, you don't have as many accomplishments as you now do as a graduate student, postdoc, working scientist, or potential faculty member. The fundamental points about being succinct still apply, but you are a "grown up" and can probably handle more than one page to do a job resume now. :)

Resume Query

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:18 pm
by Rich Lemert
For me the difference between a CV and a resume is that the former is a full and complete history of the individual that can be used (among other things) to document that individual's professional development, whereas a resume is SALES document that highlights selected aspects of the candidates background.

I personally do not include a publications list as part of my resume. I just include a line something like "seven first-author publications, three invited talks, and two book chapters" in my resume, but I make sure to have a separate publications list available for any that want to see it. Most people are not going to care about what specifically you've published - they just want to see that you can produce an acceptable paper. They are going to be concerned about your research, but you should have described that elsewhere in the resume.

I'd also encourage everyone not to wait until they're "job hunting" to prepare a resume. Start on it right now, even if you've just started your first graduate courses. It will help you put your experience in perspective when things seem to be going wrong, and it can help you identify weaknesses that you should address while you still have time to do something about them. Besides, preparing a good resume is going to take a lot of time and a lot of editing: better to spread it out over a longer period than try to cram it into a short term. After all, very few "great documents" have ever been produced as a first draft.


PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:37 pm
by Dave Jensen
I don't think Emily Post ever worked in a biotech company, or a lab or office of an entrepreneur. I can assure you that women and men of all ages will look you in the eye, smile, and reach out to shake your hand. I am surprised that this is not a no-brainer here.


First Impressions

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:45 pm
by D.X.
I think some one mentioned briefly that first impressions should not be important; and I agree. But in reality, first impressions are EVERYTHING.

Lets take the simple approach, and use a Pharma Sales Rep as an example. For them first impressions ARE INDEED EVERYTHING! They really may have no more than 1 minute of a physcians time to:
1. introduce themselves
2. discuss their product, and
3. (the most important) ESTABLISH CREDIBILITY!

So how does a Sales Rep position related to a job seeker/interviewee? Well the goal of the interviewee is to 1. introduce themselves, 2. discuss their product (themselves) and 3. Establish credibility, which all tends to happen within the first minute of an interview, hell, I'll go on a limb and say its down to the first 20 seconds of an interview, but that's my opinion and the speed I take to pass judgement (yeah, I'm flawed what can I say?!).

First Impressions

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:00 pm
by Jack
Sales is a very people oriented job and I agree that obeying the prevailing social norms, logical or not that they may be, is important when dealing with people. But we are scientists, supposedly devoted to the discovery of truth, so I ask again, what is the scientifically verifiable correlation between a handshake and general ability to do an arbitrary job? For that matter, what is the scientifically verifiable correlation between a handshake and sales ability? Sure, one can reasonably hypothesize. And much actual research is referenced (14 pages worth of references) in the book _Passions Within Reason_ by Robert Frank in which he points out, among many other things, that there is reason to believe that a certain fraction of the population can look you squarely in the eye, give you a firm handshake, and convince you they are fine folks while simultaneously planning to rob you. So conclusions drawn from first impressions, just like any other conclusion, can be wrong. That is no reason to ignore them but certainly is reason to keep them in perspective.


CVs and resumes

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:58 am
by Kathy
Brilliant thread. Apologies if this exists somewhere in the, 'Tooling up' archives, but having read these posts, I think that what would be really useful is to create a CV and a resume for some generic made-up postdoc and put them side by side so that we can actually see the differences here.

CVs and resumes

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:22 am
by Jack
Excellent suggestion, Kathy.

While they lack science-specific aspects, if one has MS Word and a net connection, one can download MS Word templates for CV and resume as a starting point. I make no claim for how good those are, nor am I in any way associated with Microsoft (or even particularly like the software, but that's another thread).


CVs and resumes

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:34 am
by Dave Jensen
We'll never actually show CV's and Resumes as the subject is one of endless variation, discussion and editorial comment. No one agrees on anything. It would be a gigantic pain for all involved to have such a thing. However, an updated Tooling Up article about the differences in the documents, and materials gleaned from this thread and others wouldn't be a bad idea. Once you open up the subject, however, it becomes a gigantic can of worms because no one agrees, everyone wants something else there, etc. (Example: "Why did you recommend that this guy takes off his comment about his love of Bowling? I know someone who got a job just because they were a bowler and the company wanted him for their team." -- this is a REAL LIVE COMMENT).

BUT . . . You can find some examples on Bill and Naledi's UCSF website. I'll ask one of them to stop by and post the web address,

Dave Jensen, Moderator

CVs and resumes

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:39 am
by Liz North
Dave wrote: "We'll never actually show CV's and Resumes as the subject is one of endless variation, discussion and editorial comment."

A shame, since I do think some examples would be very illustrative for this (continuously recurring) discussion. And isn't continuous discussion kind of the point of a forum? ;)

CVs and resumes

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:48 am
by Rich Lemert
"We'll never actually show CV's and Resumes as the subject is one of endless variation, discussion and editorial comment. No one agrees on anything."

Whenever you ask someone to review your resume don't just ask them for comments on what they would do differently - ask them why they would make the changes they're suggesting. YOU will ultimately have to decide on what you're going to do, and you may very well decide to ignore certain suggestions. If you know why the suggestion is being made, though, you at least do so cognizent of the possible down-sides to your decision.