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Curriculum Vitae - Tips and Strategies

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Tips

  • Font: sizes - 12-18 point font for name (the largest font size you use); 12-14 point font for headings; 10-12 point font for text; sans-serif fonts read most easily (those lacking flourishes on the letters); pick one font and use it throughout;
  • Format: be consistent and concise; include a page number and name header on all pages;
  • Paper: use white/off-white 24-lb paper and a matching envelope;
  • Printing/typesetting: use a laser printer for best resolution;
  • Don'ts: include SSN, age, gender, race, religion, political affiliation, marital/parental status, disability or national origin, DEA numbers; explain why you're leaving your present job; include salary history;
  • Proofread (read backwards) and spell check;
  • Use active voice, not passive voice;
  • Avoid using the first person ("I", "my");
  • Because these are read left to right, avoid placing dates on the left margin to avoid emphasis on the date as opposed to the activity;
  • Be honest;
  • Keep your external CV current; you don't know when you may be asked to apply for or see a posting for a unique opportunity.

Strategies for keeping current - update your materials on a regular basis

  • Collect things in real time - as they happen
  • Use holding files with folders (electronic or paper-based) for each of the sections - publications as submitted, in press, and published (keep the same system for your teaching portfolio)

If you maintain different CV's for different purposes, update them at the same time or keep clear notes regarding what you've updated and what you haven't.

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