More advice for academics

by Eszter Hargittai on December 17, 2012

After a “bit” of a break from adding to my Ph.Do column at Inside Higher Ed, I’ve started writing pieces for it again. My most recent one is about all of the helpful information one can glean from consulting other people’s CVs. To those who know this, it is obvious advice, but it is surprising how many people do not recognize what a helpful resource CVs can be. A future piece will address how to write one’s own CV as having viewed many hundreds over the past few years, clearly there are many people out there who can use some advice on that matter as well.



John Quiggin 12.18.12 at 10:11 am

For some of the purposes you mention, large-scale databases like Google Scholar and (for economists) RePeC can give the information you need at much lower search cost. You don’t get things like conference presentations, career trajectory, grants and of course no lessons on how to write a CV. But if you want an idea of (for example) what kind of journal article output is needed to make tenure at a given university, these sources may be useful.

Plus RePeC, being for economists, gives about 30 different ways of rank-ordering. Just pick the one that gives you a good score (for me, Number of Distinct Works, Weighted by Author).


Jonathan Mayhew 12.19.12 at 5:48 pm

I think you missed the point of her article. It was about envisioning one’s future career path by looking at typical cvs. How does google scholar substitute for that?


leederick 12.19.12 at 7:26 pm

I think cribbing from CVs (on linkedin profiles) is very useful in the normal world, but I don’t really see the point for academic CVs.

For normal jobs CVs have a purpose, people can’t directly access your prior work, so there’s a need for a 1-2 page sales pitch explaining, say, your sales skills or programming experience. But the great thing about academia is you do have a public reputation in the academic community and people can read your work and form an opinion on it themselves. The jobs of a CV is just to reference that – which is why you get these crazy 30-50 page long documentations of research and teaching profiles.

Also, I don’t really see how comparing CVs helps. In normal jobs qualifications and experience are fungible – a qualified accountant with experience of leading SME audits is interchangeable with other qualified accountants with experience of leading SME audits. Because the purpose of academic research is to advance knowledge, a PhD from Columbia with three publications in B-list academic journals isn’t exchangeable in that manner. People are really going to be interested in your specific research output, supervisor and collaborations – you’re not the same as other people just because you’ve ostensibly had the same job and a qualification from the same place.


Meredith 12.22.12 at 5:44 am

Estzer, a valuable post about a valuable project. Anyone who reads resumes for hiring, for grant-making, or merely for introducing a speaker thoughtfully knows how much you learn from studying CV’s. About the people presenting themselves through them, about fields (like reading book reviews in areas you’ll never work in). It’s particularly important for people looking for jobs to study CV’s both to hone their own CV’s and (by reading CV’s of the people where they’re applying) to prepare properly for writing cover letters and (if all goes well) interviews.

Just wanted to let you know that your valuable post wasn’t lost in the blogosphere (I hope). Just bad timing, what with Newtown, Eric Loomis….

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