Thursday, October 9, 2014

Perfecting Your CV

Resumes have rules. CVs are...negotiable.

Trying to figure out the best headings and the best things to include on a CV during the application phase is a pain in the ass.

Do you have enough honors and awards to merit their own heading? Does anyone care about your community service? Is there any point in mentioning that life changing experience if it doesn't really fit under your teaching experience? What about those two years at art school that are completely unrelated to everything else? What about the 10+ books you have independently published? Are they helpful or hurtful?

And those are just my CV questions.

Luckily I have a few people in my life willing to give my vitae a once or thrice over. We've been going over everything with a fine toothed comb, to the point where I'm deciding where best to put the publication dates of my books (I think I'm still including them as a testament to my productivity regardless of their genre.) and the location of my research interests (the top).

And these are the things that keep me up at night. That and something else: What if I don't get in? Or what if I get in to only one place? Or what if I get into everywhere I apply? What do I do in each scenario?

To put in so much energy to the application process, it would be devastating not to get accepted, however, I would also know quite clearly it wasn't meant to be. If I was accepted everywhere, I would have to prioritize various aspects of each program and school in order to make the best long term choice, despite whatever pressures might come at me. Hopefully everyone would respect my choice seeing as I try to make decisions carefully and thoughtfully.

But that is a discussion for February or March. Today I am focused on perfecting CVs and statements of purpose. Tomorrow I am focused on recommendations. I can only focus on one step at a time, otherwise I would never sleep. Seriously.

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