The Switch: From Resume to CV

Last year I decided to take what I thought was the ultimate professional plunge in academia:  the switch from a resume to a CV.  I took a few weeks to glance over my peers’ and mentors’ CVs to get ideas on organization, style, verbage, length, and detail. The process was ongoing for me as I prepared to apply for fellowships, scholarships, and professional conferences. I even googled CV examples for me to determine what was the best or what was considered appropriate for my field.  In all of my searching, I came to a major decision:  there is no right way.

I spent so much time thinking that the design of my CV was the most important piece of it; that if it did not look like my colleagues that I would automatically be out of the running for whatever I was applying for.  However, the content that you have, the experiences that you share, the highlights that you select to include based on your experiences are of the utmost importance on your CV.  Take my advice:  simple is better. Do not get lost in the font style, size, or headings. Just make sure that you tell the readers of your CV what are the most important parts of your prior experience that make you the top candidate.

In all of the trial and error, I did come to learn that having a professional AND academic mentor/professor read over my draft copy was the best thing to do.  They will correct the mistakes that make not follow what is acceptable in your field. Just be wise. Be honest. Be concise. Good luck!