Jane Candidate's CV - Before

November 04, 2010

This job candidate caught our eye because of the nursing degree at the top of her CV combined with her extensive professional experience in government. Like many readers nowadays, she completed her doctoral degree (in organizational development) at an online institution; she obtained her R.N. fairly recently. "My career goals are to bridge the gap between real-world experience and education," she said, "and find an avenue where I can teach in a full-time capacity."

Our readers will agree that her career goal could be fleshed out a bit more. When we asked her to include more information about her professional career on the CV, Jane admitted that she's "not good at talking about myself." We're sure many readers share that sentiment, but being able to articulate your professional goals and interests is important both in written documents and in interviews. In fact, writing your job-search materials should be thought of us as a first step in articulating what you'll eventually share in an in-person interview.

We were curious about Jane's R.N. degree, so we asked her for more information. "I went to nursing school so that in the future, I could teach nursing classes," she said. "I would prefer not to show the R.N. on my CV, but to do so is not including all of my degrees, and it looks dishonest." She is right to be interested in teaching nursing; it's a field that needs more faculty members. However, she needs to think about adding experience to her CV in a way that will make her look more credible as a nursing instructor. For both nursing positions and other types of positions that interest her, she should be looking at the bios of full-time faculty members within a typical nursing school, and thinking about how her background compares with theirs.

Readers often ask us about leaving various degrees off of their CV's and résumés. It's a delicate question. We usually feel that the best way of dealing with that is to include the degree but frame your experience in such a way that a potential employer reading your application documents has a context for the degree. The revised version of Jane's CV is somewhat of a hybrid CV/résumé. She might consider including a summary statement at the top of her document.

When we first saw this CV, we knew there were some fairly simple organizational changes that she could make in order to improve it. We also felt there was information missing—information about her work for the government, information about her publications—that could help a potential employer to understand the breadth of her experience.

Jane did not take all of our suggestions, such as moving her dissertation title into her "Education" section. That was fine with us. When sending us her revised version, she did let us know that "if you look at this and want me to make any other changes, I will happily do so. It's funny how I thought it was 'OK' until I read the comments you provided. Then I realized that it fell short in a number of areas. I think it looks and reads much better now."



Street Address            City, State, Zip code            Phone number


Ph.D. in Organizational Development/Human Resources
M.S.A. in Human Resources Administration
B.P.S.E. in Athletic Administration

X College of Nursing 2009 (3)
Online University 2001- 2005
Central State University 1991-1993
Ohio University 1985-1989

Memberships (4)

Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM past)
Board member Columbus State Community College Curriculum Development
Volunteer City Special Olympics, MR/DD Council
Captain of City Co-ed soccer league
Academy of Management
Organizational Behavior Teaching Society
American Association of University Women
Society for Human Resource Management
State Distance Learning Association
State Learning Network


Provide educational opportunities to students through an easily-accessible format, via face-to-face; online learning, as well as weekend and evening courses. As an Instructor of life-long learning, I recognize that learning takes place throughout life and the programs of study should reflect ideas and philosophies relevant to students with diverse backgrounds and experiences. I tailor my programs of study so that the student feels empowered to succeed; takes ownership of his/her success in the program and trusts that his/her success is as important to me, the instructor as it is to him/her the student. Through my teachings, I further and strengthen the University by adding to the body of knowledge through relevant research and publications in the field of Management, Organizational Development, Communications and Human Resources Management.



Y University
Street address
City, State, Zip code

Dr. John English


Z University
Street address
City, State, Zip code

Ms. Denise Beck


A University
Street address
City, State, Zip code

Dr. Paulina Home


A University
Street address
City, State, Zip code

Dr. Graham Bretton


Government Agency 1
Street address
City, State, Zip code

Ms. Virginia Fanshawe


Government Department
Street address
City, State, Zip code

Ms. Jane Villette


Government Agency 2
Street address
City, State, Zip code

Ms. Maria Marchmont, esq.



Z University Adjunct Instructor
Graduate level, Business Administration

2008 - Present


Y University Adjunct Instructor
Undergraduate/Graduate level, Business Administration

2008 - Present


B University Adjunct Instructor
Undergraduate/Graduate level, Human Resources Management

2006 - Present


Central State University Adjunct Instructor
Graduate level, Human Resources Management

2006 - Present


Name Graduate School of Management Adjunct Instructor
Graduate level, Human Resources Management

2003 - 2006


City State Community College, Adjunct Instructor
Human Resources Management

2000 - 2006


A University, Adjunct Instructor
Business Administrtion/Human Resources/Communications

2000 - Present


Government Agency 2, Instructor
Service and Benefits
Effective Communication Skills
Writing Winning Resumes
GA2 Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS)

1991 - 1996



“Managing Employee Performance” January, 2009

“Employee Performance in the National Security Personnel System”, March, 2009

“Motivating Employees in Business”, August, 2009

“Performance Management Systems”, December 2009

“NSPS and the Federal Employee”, March, 2010

“NSPS and Personnel Management Conversion”, May, 2010

“Managing Conflict in a Climate of Change”, Presented to the Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency, March, 2006

"Employee Retention within the Department of Defense", Doctoral Dissertation Online University, 2005.

"Addressing the Recruitment and Retention Rate of Clerical Personnel within the Internal Revenue Service", Masters' Thesis, Central State University, 1993.

"Sexual Harassment in the Workplace", GA2 Monthly Newsletter, March 1992.

"Writing a Winning Resume", GA2 Monthly Newsletter, March 1992.

"Human Resources Management System Instructional Guide", GA2 Learner Manual, January 1991.(9)



Faculty Development Online Course on Distance Education, a course designed to prepare faculty members to transition to teach in the Balanced Learning Format either online or onsite. Six modules over a six-week period covering email, chat rooms, bulletin boards, whiteboards, audiobridge, etc. A University, City, State, January - March 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009


“Managing Employee Performance” January, 2009

“Employee Performance in the National Security Personnel System”, March, 2009

“Motivating Employees in Business”, August, 2009

“Performance Management Systems”, December 2009

“NSPS and the Federal Employee”, March, 2010

“NSPS and Personnel Management Conversion”, May, 2010

“Managing Conflict in a Climate of Change”, Presented to the Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency, March, 2006

Management Seminar to Honda Manufacturing of America on Impact of Changes in Employee Benefits Marysville, Ohio, 1998.

GA2 Spokesperson for National Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Conference, Linthincum, Maryland, 1996.

Seminar to GA2 Directors in use of Human Resources Management System (HRMS - Automated System), Washington, D.C., Dallas, Texas, San Francisco, California, March - June 1996.



1.  You are correct to put your name in large letters at the top of your CV. However, we see a few small errors here. Registered nurse is abbreviated "R.N." — you're missing one of the periods. Also, most organizations these days will contact you by e-mail, and will expect to see your e-mail address at the top of the page. It's important to know that, increasingly, candidates are also listing a Web site or LinkedIn page at the top of the CV as well. You should also put your name and a page number on every page of your document except the first page. Return to CV.

2.  A few things about formatting here. First, we would suggest using the same size font throughout your document, with the one exception being your name. Here, you put one heading in all capital letters but the one below it is not. Be consistent in the style of such headings. Return to CV.

3.  Listing information in the "Education" section in a two-column format does not seem very effective. Moreover, this is the first of three different ways in which you format your dates throughout this document. We would suggest a format that looks more like this:

Institution,  City, State
Degree, Field, Date of degree
Dissertation Title:

In our view, your dissertation title is most appropriately mentioned in your education section, rather than your publications section. Also, please note that if you've finished a degree, it's sufficient to list only the year you finished, rather than the entire span of time at which you were in school. Return to CV.

4.   The front page of your CV is your first chance to catch the reader's eye. So it's important that the most interesting information about you be featured on that first page. Your memberships in various organizations, while an important sign of professional engagement, are best located elsewhere. You would probably want to highlight your teaching experience at this point instead.

We also strongly suggest that a "Memberships" section feature only professional groups. Your listings, while mainly professional, also include some entries (co-ed soccer) that don't belong on a CV, especially not on the first page. If you'd like to highlight volunteer work or community engagement, it's really best to do so in a separate section, toward the end of the document. Return to CV.

5.  In our opinion, a statement of your teaching philosophy doesn't belong on a CV. There's just not enough space to make a strong, specific statement about your teaching here, and yours ends up just being bland. As you have probably seen, many position announcements ask the you submit a separate statement explaining your teaching philosophy. We would suggest having a briefer section here that highlights your teaching interests, or teaching and research interests. This is often done simply in a list format, for example:

Human-Resource Management, Communication in the Workplace, Organizational Development
(You might even be more specific than this.) Return to CV.

6.  As is the case in the "Memberships" section, your references take up too much space on the all-important first page of your CV, and really should be listed on the last page. Most search committees will look for them there. Also, do include the e-mail addresses for your references. Return to CV.

7.  The "Teaching Experience" section should come much earlier on the CV. From a formatting perspective, the section could be much improved by listing the dates on the right of the page, and the more important content, such as the names of the institutions, on the left. In terms of content, you give very little information about the work you did at these institutions. A bullet point or two describing the course, the students, or the format of the class, would go a long way in helping employers understand your previous experience. Be sure to start the bullet points with active verbs. Also, be sure to correct the chronology here. Everything that's recent should be toward the top of the list. Information should be organized by the date you finished the position, not the date you started. Return to CV.

8.  Your list of "Publications" is missing some important information about the types of publications you have listed here, and where they were published. As we state above, we would not include doctoral dissertations or master's theses in a publications section, but would list them under the education section. Also, there does not need to be a comma between the month and the year here; this is something that is formatted inconsistently throughout the document. Return to CV.

9.  The content of your "Publications" section would lead us to believe that you've had a fairly significant professional career. However, there is little to no information about this on your CV. In an applied field such as business or nursing, it's quite common to list your professional experience in bullet-point form, as you would on a résumé.  We would suggest that you add that information. Return to CV.

10.  You should format the "Continuing Education" section in a way that is consistent with the rest of your CV. Return to CV.

11.  "Seminars and Speeches" seems to us an odd title for what we assume is your presentations section. We would suggest renaming this section, and including pertinent information about the talks you've given, such as the location and the context (such as a conference). Return to CV.