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CVs and Cover Letters Veronica Perrigan Assistant Director for Student Services Engineering Co-op & Career Services Becky Weir Assistant Director University.

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Presentation on theme: "CVs and Cover Letters Veronica Perrigan Assistant Director for Student Services Engineering Co-op & Career Services Becky Weir Assistant Director University."— Presentation transcript:

1 CVs and Cover Letters Veronica Perrigan Assistant Director for Student Services Engineering Co-op & Career Services Becky Weir Assistant Director University Career Center & The President’s Promise 1

2 The Curriculum Vitae A curriculum vitae (also known as a CV or vita) is: Job search tool outlining credentials for academic positions Targeted document whose main purpose is to secure interviews for faculty and research positions in academia or other research arenas Cumulative record of professional achievements, academic preparation and qualifications in your discipline Organized in a way to reflect an understanding of the needs of a particular institution or organization Slightly different from discipline to discipline; look at CV’s in your field and seek feedback from your advisor Updated periodically to reflect additional experience and publications 2

3 CV vs. Resume How CV differs from resume: More comprehensive and longer (averaging between three and six pages for new Ph.D. as opposed to a one- or two-page resume) Resume focuses mostly on relevant industry experience Emphasizes scholarly achievement, including education, research interests, grant writing, published works, teaching appointments and related professional experience Outside the U.S., the term CV suggests a document more like a traditional resume 3

4 Uses For a CV Faculty and Other Academic Jobs Post-Docs/Research Positions in Industry/Government Conferences and Public Speaking Engagements Grant or Fellowship Applications/Summer Academic Positions Publications Consulting Awards Merit or Tenure Review (Promotions) Sabbatical Opportunities 4

5 A Word About Search Committees Advanced knowledge of discipline, not typically HR First task – narrow down to a select few Reality – your CV will get 20-30 seconds (At first, reviewer is looking for who to discard, not who to interview) Your job is to make it as easy as possible to see the qualifications you bring to the position Your goal is to have your CV end up in the “deserves further consideration” pile. Make the readers’ job easy – provide them with an organized, professional looking document the includes relevant information in an easy to digest format 5

6 Personal Branding What is your unique selling point? Go BEYOND the resume: Social media (LinkedIn, blogging, website, podcasts, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) Possible ideas: Start a blog Find influential blogs and contribute guest articles Join and contribute to LinkedIn groups Create an email signature Attend relevant conferences/meetings/networking events Look for public speaking opportunities related to your interests (in undergraduate classes, to club/organizations….) Volunteer, intern or find a part-time job related to interests

7 CV Heading Information Name, address, phone number, and email address Professional appearing email address (NOT - “”) Voicemail/answering machine greeting should also be professional Personal address and phone number (NOT - work number) NO picture or personal information such as your social security number, age, marital status, number of children or any other information that is not job related or does not add to your qualifications Exception: some employers (i.e., government agencies) require certain personal information 7

8 CV Heading Information Example A: Joey Smith Address: 86 Elm Street Greenbelt, MD 20770 Cell phone: 301-555-1234 Home: 301-555-4321 Email address: Work Address: 1131 G. L Martin Hall, College Park, MD 21045 Work Phone: 301-555-0000 Fax: 301-555-1111 Example B: JOSEPH L. SMITH 86 Elm Street, Greenbelt, Maryland 20770 301-555-4321 8

9 Objective Statements Do you need an objective for a CV? Not used for academic positions, but used when searching for employment in government and industry Employers like objectives if they are: Specific Employer-focused Include key words relevant to the position and field Example A: I would like a challenging position that would enhance my leadership skills and provide an opportunity for advancement. Example B: To provide solutions for sustainable energy production and utilization through innovative research. 9

10 CV Education & Training Example A: Fall ‘07 – Present University of Maryland at College Park Working towards a PhD degree focusing on Thermal Fluid Science A. James Clark School of Engineering Example B: Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Expected May 2014 University of Maryland, College Park, MD GPA: 4.0 GPA is optional for employment but omit for conferences Focus: Thermal Fluid Sciences, Energy Systems Dissertation: “Development of Multi-Scale, Multi-Physics, Analysis Capability and its Application to Novel Heat Exchangers Design and Optimization” Faculty Advisor: Dr. Reinhard Radermacher 10

11 CV Education & Training EDUCATION:University of Maryland, College Park, MD Ph.D. in Biochemistry, anticipated May 2014 Dissertation: Regulation of m2 Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor Desensitization of Photosphorylation Dissertation Advisor: Richard Chemist M.S. in Biochemistry, 2011 University of Maryland, College Park, MD B.S. in Chemistry, 2008 Butler University, Indianapolis, IN 11

12 CV Education & Training EDUCATION Ph.D. in History, anticipated May 2014 University of Maryland, College Park, MD Dissertation: Post-Reconstruction and the American Presidency: a Southern Perspective Dissertation Advisor: Jane S. Wellknown M.A. in History, 2011 University of Maryland, College Park, MD B.A. in American Studies, summa cum laude, 2008 Butler University, Indianapolis, IN 12

13 CV Experience Generally divided into categories, dictated by your discipline: Research, Grant Writing, Professional, and Teaching are some examples Include a consistent format with the position title, organization/department name, responsibilities and accomplishments, and dates Most important and relevant accomplishments should be listed first within position descriptions Categories listed in decreasing order of importance based on type of institution/position; positions listed in reverse chronological order within categories 13

14 How Do I Highlight My Experience? Detail how your work benefited the organization, department, team and customers Provide information on what the challenges were for the position, the actions you took and the results you delivered Results are best expressed through numbers, dollar figures and percentages Additional editing tips: - Omit pronouns- Be concise - Use action verbs - Use correct tense 14

15 Example: Responsible for writing a report. Who? Who did the work – one individual, two people or a team? What? What was the subject matter? Why? What was the purpose of your work? How? How did you do this work? When? Did you have to work within a certain timeframe? How much? Can you quantify your work? What happened? What happened to your work after you completed it? Big picture? Did your work have an overall impact on the organization? Independently researched and wrote a 20-page report on embedded systems to update senior engineers on latest developments in the field. Report persuaded management to begin using a new technology that increased efficiency 15% during the first six months of its implementation. Turning Responsibilities into Accomplishments 15

16 CV Grant Writing Extremely important in obtaining academic positions Obtain experience before you graduate by: Attending any seminars/workshops on grant writing held on campus (Office of Research Administration or through your professional societies Asking a faculty person if you can write the grant for them in order to obtain a reference , NSF Fast Lane, NASA NSPIRES, Proposal Central  ORAA has a Proposal Library (examples NIH, NSF, …) 16

17 CV Publications List citations using appropriate academic format from your field Avoid listing unpublished work unless it is being considered for publication Often refereed articles are separated from everything else A resume typically lists “Selected Publications” if there are more than 3, while CV lists all 17

18 CV Teaching Experience Give course titles Dates and locations Emphasize positive student evaluations and your experience with curriculum development Teaching & Research Statements (CTE, Writing Fellows …) 18

19 CV Presentations Include presentations at established scholarly societies Give titles of professional presentations Name of conference or event Dates and locations A resume typically lists “Selected Presentations” if more than 3, while CV lists all 19

20 CV Memberships/Activities Active participation in professional societies are a must for graduate students and alumni List the organization name, dates you have been a member, and the offices you held Institutional service which includes committees and student groups shows your leadership ability and commitment to your field Describe any responsibilities/accomplishments with all of these activities 20

21 CV Certifications and Patents List all relevant certifications Include the type of certification and year received U.S. Patent and invention disclosure show innovation so include even if pending 21

22 CV Other Useful Content Technical Skills Academic Projects Awards, Fellowships, and Scholarships Volunteer, community and cross-cultural experiences – typically on a resume but not on a CV 22

23 CV Final Tips Do not list personal information such as social security number, marital status and ethnicity Be honest…Everything in your CV should be true and accurate…Don’t state that something has happened if it hasn’t happened yet References are optional on CV; do not include on your resume Format should be consistent, avoid acronyms, font size between 10 – 12, single spacing, and list your name/page number on each page Review your CV and resume with your faculty advisor and another individual who knows your work 23

24 What is a Cover Letter? Introduces yourself to the employer Draws the connection between what you have and what they need Demonstrates your written communication skills 24

25 Important Things to Consider Make sure you “read” the job ad and thoroughly research the institution and department; research is very important to the letter’s design, content and construction…the more targeted the letter, the more effective it will be The purpose is not to rewrite your CV or resume, but to generate employer interest in interviewing you Write the letter with the employer’s interests in mind  What are the qualities the employer is looking for (and expects to find) in the candidate?  Use the job description as a blueprint for your cover letter 25

26 What Are They Looking For? Assistant Professor (10281500 ) Department: Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department's mission is to conduct methodological and collaborative research to examine, develop, test, and apply established and novel epidemiological and biostatistical methods for the purpose of addressing the public health needs of populations…through social behavioral lens. Our faculty members interact with faculty in Mathematical Statistics and Survey Methodology as well as with researchers in applied fields. …a unique opportunity to join a growing department and contribute to an exciting research agenda and graduate student training program The ability to work collaboratively with colleagues in the department, the school, and the university is highly desirable A wide range of collaborative opportunities exist at the University and nearby…. collaborate in research projects.

27 Cover Letter Format Your Street Address City, State Zip Code Date of writing Ms. Samantha Jones Job Title Organization Street Address City, State Zip Code Dear Ms. Jones: First paragraph: States the position desired and how you found out about the position; why you think you should get it (Note: If you have already spoken to them – maybe at a conference prior to application deadline – make reference to it including names of the faculty with whom you spoke) Body: Provides concrete evidence of the match between your skills, experiences and interests with this particular position Closing paragraph: States your interest in an interview, mentions enclosed materials, e.g., CV, teaching statement, transcripts, and thanks the employer for their time and consideration Sincerely, Sign Your Name Here Your Name Typed - Typically does not include your name or phone number - Include a name, job title, and organization’s full mailing address - Use formal salutation with colon 27

28 First Paragraph I am writing in response to your notice in the October MLA Job Information List for the position of Assistant Professor of Spanish. I am currently completing my dissertation at the University of Maryland and anticipate graduating at the end of this academic year. Because of my extensive coursework and specialization in Latin American literature, my interest in interdisciplinary and cultural studies, and my commitment and success in teaching undergraduates, I would be a strong candidate for the position you describe. 28

29 Cover Letter: Body Will vary in content and organization depending on the field and institution (research emphasis vs. teaching emphasis), but does not mean that you exclude one (research or teaching) completely for the other Focus on your dissertation or thesis (methodology, conclusions, implications) and discuss research interests and future plans for research if you are applying to a research institution If teaching is key, focus on your teaching experience and discuss your teaching style When in doubt, unless you are applying to a school that cares only about teaching, a description of your research generally comes first If the job description stresses service as well as teaching and research, you may want to mention the campus/department committees that you’ve served on 29

30 Body: Dissertation and Research My dissertation, entitled “Delinquency and Detection: The Neopoliciaco Genre in Cuba and Mexico,” treats the detective novel after 1972, as both cultural construct and ideological tool in these dissimilar post-revolutionary societies. After analyzing the prevailing influence of Anglo-American models, the contributions of Borges and other Southern Cone writers, I use criticism by Jameson, Sontag and others to examine the mechanisms of control-and resistance-embedded in what has been termed a popular genre. My other research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century travel literature, superstition in early twentieth-century Argentine literature and contemporary Mexican literary movements. 30

31 Body: Teaching Teaching has been an important part of my training at the University of Maryland, and I believe my background would be useful in your department. As a Benjamin Franklin Fellow, I have had considerable undergraduate teaching experience in several different types of classes, including first- and second-year Latin classes and discussion sections of the Classical Mythology class. The latter experience introduced me to the pleasures of leading class discussions and the challenges of transforming new material – some of it unfamiliar to me – into useful discussion sections each week. Since my love of Classics began at a small college, I would relish the chance to contribute to that type of environment at Excellent College. 31

32 Closing Reiterate your interest in the position State that you are available for an interview (Mention if you will be attending a conference where they are likely to be conducting first round interviews) Let them know the best way to get in contact with you (take into account whether you are going to be traveling for any significant portion of the job search) Include a sentence where you list what materials you have enclosed (e.g., CV, dissertation abstract, transcripts, writing sample, teaching statement/portfolio) 32

33 Closing I would enjoy discussing the position with you in the weeks to come. I will be attending the MLA Conference in Boston in January and can meet with you at that time. In the meantime, enclosed are my curriculum vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, and the names and contact information for my three professional references. Please contact me if any additional information is required. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Lily Scholar 33

34 Cover Letter: Final Reminders First, make sure you’re a good “fit” for the position and let them know why. You want to show them that your decision to apply was due to in-depth research Sell yourself! Make the committee want to talk to you. In addition to tailoring your letter to that single opportunity you’re applying to at the moment, be specific with your accomplishments Proofread carefully. With the number of applications they receive, they’re looking for any reason to narrow the field Be employer focused rather than self focused Avoid any self-deprecating statements 34

35 Career Services for Graduate Students A. James Clark School of Engineering Engineering Co-op and Career Service 1131 Glenn L. Martin Hall 301.405.3863 Robert H. Smith School of Business Office of Career Services 2520 Van Munching Hall 301.405.2301 School of Public Policy Office of Career Services 2101 Van Munching Hall 301.405.4845 University Career Center & The President’s Promise 3100 Hornbake Library, South Wing 301.314.7225 35

36 Questions? 36

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