I was going through some old personal files recently and stumbled across a copy of the CV I used when I was first applying for jobs before I had defended my dissertation. I smiled as I was reminded of the successes that meant so much to me back then (minor teaching recognitions, a few committee memberships, and so forth) that have now been long since culled from my résumé. I also was a little horrified by a few items that were, well, naïve to have been included, especially some of the “Who’s Great” kinds of publications/awards that really didn’t signify much more than my name being on a mailing list. I didn’t know better back then. Even some of my conference presentations, in hindsight, were much more about the experience of attending and presenting than they were about substantial scholarship.
I had a few friends review my vita back then, but I have no memory of having any of my professors look it over. In hindsight, this was incredibly foolish. I know that they were busy but in five minutes most of them could have told me to eliminate some of my items and to include some things that I had failed to cite. I also wish that I had asked some friends who had recently landed their first positions to look at it. It’s amazing how we live in a culture of peer review for our research, but most of us don’t let the peer process of appealing to experts as reviewers enter into our search preparations.
Who should review applicants’ application materials before they are sent out?