Sunday, May 06, 2007

Eleven Academic Resume (curriculum vitae) Mistakes

Writing and academic resume (or curriculum vitae or CV) is more of an art than a science. To put it crassly, it is a kind of crap shoot (humanly speaking). What does the august institution of higher learning really want from an applicant? How do you read between the lines? What to include? What to exclude? Which of my many (real or semi-real) academic selves do I present? Having no certifiable expertise or credentials at all in this (I'm not sure who does), I will boldly state the top eleven worst things to put on a CV, in no particular order.

1. Include a photo of yourself in "The Thinker" pose. If the CV doesn't say this, posing won't.
2. Mention that you are an aerobics instructor--of a very high caliber, of course. (I actually saw this on a CV.) Jazzercise is out as well.
3. List your reviews under "Book Reviews."
4. Note that you are thanked in the preface of a recent "graphic novel" (or, to use archaic, elitist language: a comic book).
5. Mention that you have stopped attending academic conferences because you find them boring and uninspiring.
6. Include a photo of yourself playing air-guitar. You're just a "fun guy" to have around. Not.
7. List the major academic journals that have rejected your articles. Hey, at least you try hard and aim for the top! Not.
8. Explain that your Dean once commended you for being the best-dressed professor in your department (which has one person).
9. Brag that you appeared as an extra in an indie movie that used big words like "semiotics" and "seraphic."
10. Include a link to a video of you teaching on Descartes' first meditation while standing on top of your desk and speaking in French. The students where enthralled (but the search committee will not be.)
11. List that you are able to channel dead philosophers, thus insuring that you do not misrepresent them while teaching their ideas.


Becky Vartabedian said...

DRG: these are funny. Can you recommend some (eleven, perhaps) non-mistakes for CV's?

Douglas Groothuis said...

I wish I could!

Joe said...

How about listing the number of times an institution tried to forcibly remove you from your post before you were ultimately allowed to resign?

David McKay said...

Appreciate your blog, Mr Groothius and hope yo uwill keep curmudging [curmudgeoning?]

My mother was a missionary in India and one of the boys she looked after told me that in India people used to write on their CVs

I once met a man working in a heavy industry sweeping floors, who the other workers called "professor" because he had been to Techers' College for 3 weeks.