The C.V. Doctor: A C.V. Revised Into a Résumé

December 03, 1999

We revised Erin's original C.V. into a résumé, highlighting her writing and editing experience. We condensed her academic experience and added elements that normally would have been played down in a C.V. Since her publications are summarized here, she can list them on a separate sheet.

Note: Some formatting (i.e. the spacing of headings, line breaks, and dates) may not be accurately respresented due to screen-width limitations.

Beyond the Ivory Tower: From C.V. To Résumé

Erin Keay

Research University, Dept. of Neuroscience, XXX1
Tel: (xxx) 863-1234 email:

  • Practiced and effective writer, editor, and public speaker. Able to present complex material in a clear, concise, and persuasive manner, tailored for a range of audiences.
  • Proven abilities to quickly become expert in new subjects and techniques, to identify most important concepts and information, and to troubleshoot problems. Creative, analytical, focused, and detail-oriented.
  • Work productively both independently and in teams. Effectively manage time and multiple projects, set priorities, meet deadlines, and supervise others.
RESEARCH UNIVERSITY Ph.D. in Neuroscience (expected) June 2000
Research University Mind and Brain Fellowship (1996-98); elected full member, Sigma Xi (1999)
SWARTHMORE COLLEGE B.A., with distinction in Biology 1994
Columnist, The Chronicle of Higher Education's Career Network ( November 1999 --
Write monthly columns giving first-person accounts of job search.
Writing Associate, Research University Writing Center 1998-2000
Conduct sessions with individual students to discuss all stages of the writing process. Provide assistance with research papers and dissertations on a variety of science topics.
Author of 7 publications in refereed scholarly journals, including an invited publication. Co-author of a book on dynamical neuroscience (in progress). (List of publications is appended.)
Other: Copy-editing course at Research University Learning Center (fall 1999). Staff writer, H.S. newspaper (3 years).
Doctoral Candidate, Research University Department of Neuroscience 1995-2000
Dissertation: Behavioral and electrophysiological studies of cannabinoid effects on nociception (pain) in rats.
NSF Undergraduate Research Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University Summer 1993
In Department of Biological Sciences, conducted cloning study of an ion channel.
Special expertise in spinal cord electrophysiology, pharmacology, and behavioral tests of acute and chronic pain.
Teaching Assistant, Research University, Depts. of Neuroscience and Psychology 1995, 1996, 1999
Conducted lab demonstrations and review sessions, counseled students, and graded lab reports, papers and exams for courses in Physiological Psychology, Neural Information Processing, Structure of the Nervous System, Principles of Neuropsychopharmacology.
Honors Thesis Supervisor, Research University 1998-99
Scholarly presentations at numerous national and regional professional meetings. 1995 ---
Society for Neuroscience, American Pain Society, the National Association of Science Writers, Inc.

1.) Erin's contact information is condensed into two lines and centered to keep the résumé to one page. You could also give campus and home information on each side. Think about whether you want to emphasize the university information or not. Erin does because of the relationship between her training and desired career and because she can be reached most easily in her lab.

2.) The summary focuses on transferable skills and attributes, particularly those relevant to science writing, editing, and publishing. This category usually would not be included on a C.V.

3.) A word about graphics: We capitalized and boldfaced educational institutions because they are well-respected, and we placed her degrees in boldface because a Ph.D. is required for certain kinds of science editing. If the Ph.D. were of neutral or negative value in the desired career, it would not be boldfaced. Note that we didn't give locations of the educational institutions, because they are well-known. The section headings could also be any number of styles to distinguish them from the content.

4.) We led with "Writing and Editing Experience," which is most relevant to Erin's potential career. Her scholarly writing is summarized on the résumé itself, but detailed in an appended page of publications and presentations. The "Other" category at the end of this section is intended to show both current and long-standing interest in writing. We included the outdated high-school journalism experience on a judgment call that it might help more than hurt. Job titles are underlined, as a means of contrast. Note again that we did not include locations, because all her employment has been at well-known universities. A more typical résumé would include the city and state of employment.

5.) Research experience would be of interest to potential employers, but it is important not to assume that they possess specialized knowledge. Hence, we tried to describe the research and special expertise in fairly general terms. The special-expertise section is fairly broad; she would use a cover letter for further detail, tailored to the particular job.

6.) We combined teaching and presentation experience, which demonstrate similar competencies. We abbreviated "Department" here for space, but it is better to avoid such abbreviations if possible. Course titles may not be necessary, but here they indicate some breadth in her expertise. We summarized Erin's presentations, but with more space, we would have added the line "see appended list."

7.) The affiliations indicate not only Erin's substantive expertise, but also the seriousness of her interest in science writing. A potential employer might take affiliations with a grain of salt, but they seemed worth including.