19 July 2017

CV’s, resumes, & scicomm?

Posted by Shane Hanlon

By Shane M Hanlon

I had a discussion the other day with a friend who is in the process of updating her resume as she’s likely to be promoted at her current job. She was lamenting about how time intensive it was and how she couldn’t quite remember everything that she’s accomplished since her last update while also worrying about what to fit into it due to space constraints. I couldn’t provide much support for the former but could certainly relate to the latter. 

I keep my resume updated all the time. I’m not going anywhere job-wise any time soon but I figure it’s just good to keep it updated so that I don’t forget things. Honestly, my CV is likely more current than my resume since I don’t have to worry about space constraints. One thing I will say about academia – requiring a CV versus a resume (usually) for job applications is great, or at least that’s what I always thought. But as I’ve shifted away from academia, my resume and CV have shifted too. 

My resume is two pages. Some folks are able to put everything on – not me. It’s a blend of a “classic” resume and a CV. There’s job descriptions and education, as well as scientific presentations and manuscripts. I want it to tell a story of my background from my research roots to my current focus on communication. Though I’ve thought a lot about what my resume should look like, I haven’t put the same focus on my CV. It used to read like a normal academic CV…but I’m not a normal academic. Positions on a CV are usually listed without explanation, and that might work for a professor/post-doc/grad student, but few people would read “Senior Specialist, Sharing Science” and know what I do. I thought that it’s fairly hypocritical to be a scicomm professional whose position and responsibilities aren’t clearly communicated on a document that’s supposed to help me get a job. So, I made a change. 

I’ve pasted the first page of my CV for reference below (the rest is here). My CV is now roughly a page longer than it used to be. To some, this might seem like “CV padding”, but it’s not. There’s content, and perhaps more importantly, context. My CV tells a story, my story, and hopefully communicates that story more clearly.

-Shane M Hanlon is an AGU Senior Sharing Science Specialist