On CVs (2): CV tips on the internet

As part of our Launching Your Career feature, we share tips on academic CVs, Cover Letters, Interviews and the Job Application Process overall. We recently discussed structuring your CV – now here are some follow up tips found on various internet websites.

There are plenty of websites to give you guidance for writing a CV. Some are not so good (we won’t name names…), others are much better. ‘The Professor Is In’ is well-known in America, and her tips are genuinely very good. But she has written a lot of articles, and getting concise information might prove a bit tricky (that being said, some posts are really useful. Personal faves include : Dr Karen’s Rules of the Academic CV and Why Your Job Cover Letter Sucks. More on the latter one later.)

A recent discovery was The Early Career Blog, by Steve Joy (Careers Adviser for Researchers in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the Cambridge University Careers Service) Hi Steve! We like your blog. We also found your tips on writing cover letters really useful.

Joy’s article on ‘CVs for academic jobs : most irritating mistakes’ was originally published in October 2013 his blog. It was then re-published in November 2013 in the Guardian. Here, we quote some of our favourite passages :

  1. On Visibility : ‘You have to make sure that the important stuff, which will not necessarily be the same from one application to the next, leaps off the page.’
  1. On Headings and sub-headings : ‘Break up sections by using subheadings, e.g. divide your teaching into undergraduate and postgraduate, or separate it according to the elements of the teaching process such as lecturing, examining, curriculum design, and so on.’
  1. On Organising your content : ‘Reverse chronological order is the norm; it is reasonable; it is absolutely de rigueur’
  1. On Tailoring the content to the application: ‘If you’re applying for a teaching role at a less research-intensive university, then do I really want to wade through seven or eight pages of information about your research experience before I get to a meagre section on your teaching? Bring the teaching section forward and expand it.’
  1. On Referencing works : ‘Use a consistent style and with proper attention to detail.’
  1. On Logical points: ‘Put page numbers on every single page.’

Thanks Steve, this is great advice.




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