Hi All,

I'm taking the resume advice and knocking mine down to one page. I'm 39, so that takes a bit of doing, but it's not that difficult. I have no problem describing responsibilities and accomplishments.

However, I wonder about including professional memberships and volunteer activities I engage in on campus. In higher education, it seems important to show that you are active in both a broader community of professionals - the American College Personnel Association, the National Association for Graduate Admissions Professionals, etc. - and that you are active with students in some way. 

If I include this information, it will push me to two pages or I'll have to leave out some relevant experience. 



tlhausmann's picture
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There are circumstances under which you will want to go longer than one page. Send me your contact info via private message (PM) and I will respond privately or we can chat on the phone.

For higher education I believe the career management document (CMD) is akin to the curriculum vitae. The CMD will be very long and written differently--but to send in a 16+ page document to a higher ed search committee can be overkill!

It is indeed the case that engagement with professional organizations is important. Drop me a note.


refbruce's picture

I echo Tom's comments, and you're welcome to contact me privately as well.  Getting a one pager is a very useful exercise, in order to focus on what's most important.  I also suggest having a general one-page and a general two-page resume, and then preparing one specific for a given position, with the length and details determined by what you know of the opening.  There are still some professors who seem to grade papers by weight, and that's occasionally true of academic hiring committees.  On the two-pager, call the professional service stuff out separately. 

It depends a lot on the job and the hiring process when looking at an academic (or government lab) position.  Concise and effective is better in almost all circumstances. The format with prose responsibility with bulleted accomplishments stated with action verbs is still effective and appropriate in academic circles, even when hiring is handled by academicians.  However, when applying for a faculty position, the full-blown (American) CV may be needed, derived from the CMD.  Professional service is considered for many university staff positions as well.

My opinion is that the advice MT offers on resumes and hiring is true on average and (substantially) increases the success rate.  Knowledge of a particular opening and a particular company/department/university is still important to tweaking things for that particular group of people.  Exceptions to the MT advice are probably less common than we'd like to believe.  An academic position (even staff) is one where the ordering of elements on the resume can be different, leading with education, rather than putting it at the bottom (particularly if your education is strongly aligned with the position need).  And a Ph.D. degree might spread to two or three lines in order to list the thesis title and advisor.  But that's because the university world is sometimes overly obsessed with academic credentials. 

kriskross's picture

I agree it depends on the position, institution, and reporting structure. 

Assuming we're talking about staff positions, not academic (faculty, post doc or other research) positions, my general rule of thumb is to use a one pager for most early career and non-managerial positions, and a CV (or two pager with some CV info such professional memberships, publications, presentations, etc) for managerial positions... but the institutional type and position details can also determine which way to go. For example, if the position reports to a President, VP, Provost, or Dean, a CV or modified CV is probably the best way to go, even if it's not a management position.

The point of using the CV or modified CV is to demonstrate that you understand the culture of higher ed and that you're a fit.

CJM303's picture

Does the job listing ask for a "CV" or a "resume?"  If they ask for a resume, I would go with a one-page document if possible.

For any non-faculty position I would expect a one-page resume.  Even for a faculty hire, the first screening is for things to eliminate you: degree, research area, etc. Those criteria will tend to be on the first page anyway. An open faculty slot can easily generate over 125 applicants and the committe winnows that down to a dozen or so that they will then read closely.  

If community involvement is important (and I tend to agree) you could sacrifice one bullet point.  Something like "Fostered staff/student interaction by advising two campus organizations and working with three professional societies."  That would keep you in the pile if I was looking for student involvement and I'd make a note to ask you what those were in an interview.  It also communicates that you see that volunteering as a natural part of your job, implying you will contribute that way in your sought after role as well.

If your professional societies are well known in the field (like the American Chemical Society for a chemist) you can get away with simply listing your societies on ONE LINE:

Affiliations: ACS, AICE, NECTA, NSTA, NY Acad. Sci., and Sigma Xi.  

That alphabet soup is abundantly clear to any one hiring staff for a college chemistry lab.  The NY Academy of Science is more regional, so I fleshed it out a bit.  Few people have enough affiliations to exceed a line.

@Tom, I'm tenured faculty and I still have a CMD that's longer than my CVs.  I have everything from a full CV of 9 pages (3 are the publications list) down to a consultant snapshot of 2 pages (1 page of selected publications).  Instead of updating every quarter I update at the end of every semester and summer.  Mark and Mike's advice works with very little change even in academia.

ccgisme's picture

Hi all,

I'm not responding to a particular ad at this time. I'm revising my resume for two reasons - 1) I have not updated the document since I started my current position in the spring of 2008 and 2) I was doing this as something of an exercise to see what a stripped down, one-page resume would look like. 

I am not actively seeking new employment. I work as the staff manager of an academic unit at the liberal arts college of a large, doctoral extensive research university. I have 13 years of experience in higher education including work in a variety of functional areas (e.g., admissions and recruiting, academic advising, financial aid, academic services, etc.). I have been in a management role for the past three years. Before accepting my current position,  I spent 1.5 years as the assistant director of the doctoral program at a top-ranked business school. In that position I reported directly to an associate dean.

While I work with the deans at my college in my current role, I report directly to the department chair.  My primary areas of responsibility include managing the department's budget, supervising the non-academic staff, involvement in all aspects of faculty HR, providing high-level leadership of the department's student and academic services, management of sponsored research funds, and oversight for the department's facilities. I also serve as the primary liaison between the college and my unit. I also do a fair deal of committee work in my role - service to the college is expected at my level.

While I am aware of the basic components of a CV, I have never attempted one and would need to brush up on details so that any attempts to show that I "understand the culture" don't backfire on me! Might as well start now as I have every intention of earning my Ph.D. and continuing on in an administrative capacity. 

Thanks everyone for your input. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were people on MT who were knowledgeable about Higher Education.



nanzermd's picture

Does anyone have any good examples of what a CV or CMD related to the academic field look like?  My resume itself is good (and has prooven much more successful to my career) thanks to the podcast, but was looking for some guidance in preparing a CV for an academic position.  Not looking for a fill in the blanks or anything, just a good example to go from as a starting point.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Chris

What we get here is guidance, which fits most situations but not all.  If all your professional affiliations are potential game changers, of course you find a way to add them to your document, even if it goes to the second page.  As others have mentioned, academia is a totally different ballgame. 

Tom, is it feasible  for Chris to give the one-pager as a summary and also include a more traditional CV document?

PurpleHope's picture

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