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Changing attitudes about changing a CV December 7, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.
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I did my rather infrequent update of my CV yesterday, which gave me some thoughts on the motivations and attitudes involved in that. At this point in my career, it is a low-priority task. I figure that my accomplishments for almost thirty years as a chemist will not change much by the addition of a few articles, a book chapter or two, or an invited speaking engagement.

Early on, I, like most young chemists, changed it every time something new was accomplished. New paper, new presentation. Anything to add to what seemed to be a too sparse document. But along the line, I stopped listing abstracts and most symposia manuscripts unless they were peer reviewed. I started listing only invited talks, those where I was asked to present and where it was not just being someone within a symposium session. A talk had to be mine as far as why I did it in order to be classed as invited. By this I mean it could not just be a talk given because they need time filled. It had to be that they need that time filled by me.

My CV is many, many pages long now, listing about 120 technical papers that were perer reviewed, and over 70 review articles, book chapters, career development essays, and other published, but not peer reviewed ones; a long list of invited speaking; and a lot of accomplishments. AS a CV, it cannot have brevity as an element, but it can have some selectivity criteria.

So, as a career goes along, I think the CV still is needed. But the impetus to keep it up to date and inclusive wanes if you are accomplishing things. If you are more than ten years into your career and still scrambling to fill a CV, then you need to reassess what you are doing and accomplishing. You ought to be getting into that mode of editing down your lists.

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