Friday, September 18, 2009

CV Organisation

What should go on a CV and how should it be organised?

This is something that's stressing many on the market, even to the point of debating membership of professional bodies.

One friend of mine told me that he'd had more interviews since lumping all his publications into a single list (peer review journal articles marked by an asterisk). Nonetheless, it seems that that's not the consensus view on how best to structure a CV. My eye was caught by the discussion here.

Spiros suggests that some things, including conference proceedings, popular culture books, online reviews (except NDPR) and any edited volume not by a big name editor/press shouldn't be included on the CV at all. That seems a bit extreme to me, although I think it probably is best to clearly distinguish these items from peer-reviewed research.

My CV has a section for 'research and publications'. (This allowed me to list, in a separate sub-section, working papers and those under review, without being accused of trying to pass them off as publications). Until recently, that was simply divided into 'research articles' and 'book reviews'. The problem with this is that there are one or two items in the latter category that are quite substantial (e.g. I wrote a 2,500 word book review for Res Publica that underwent - an admittedly fairly light - peer-review). On the other hand, not all of my research-related publications are really that impressive. I recently had a summary of my PhD published in an online journal (see here); which is clearly research but it feels a bit wrong trying to pass that off alongside my articles in ETMP, Philosophy and Utilitas.

My latest CV, prepared for another assault on the job market, divides publications into 'scholarly research articles' and 'other pieces' (which includes notes, replies, reviews, introductions, etc). This allows me to put the pieces I want to draw attention to up front, while still including things like the EJPE piece or popular philosophy contributions in the latter, along with my book reviews (I'd consider them to have about equal weight - which I know is virtually none). I also put my 'working papers' sub-section between the two, so people associate it with further scholarly research on-going.

I'm quite happy with the current layout, but others should feel free to discuss their preferred layouts or advice.


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