One of the main components, if not the first component of your tenure packet will be your CV. This is a place where it is easy to get it wrong. The people writing letters and on the committees will get your CV and scan it. Much like writing a grant, it needs to be in the right format – a format that people expect. Unexpected things from an outsider (woman, minority, whatever) are not welcome. So, what does your CV need to include and what order? The best way to find out is to ask someone for their CV. I suggest asking the young people at your institution who just got tenure. They need to be at your institution, because the Promotion and Tenure committee at your institution will ultimately make the decision. If they just got tenure, then they obviously did something right. Don’t just ask for one. Ask for many. In fact, ask for their entire packet. We will discuss the packet more in a following post.
What should be in your CV?
- Your name and contact information right up front. No pictures of yourself. That is odd.
- Your education including your undergraduate and graduate (Ph.D.) degrees. You can put your postdoctoral appointment(s) in this section or in the following section I have seen both.
- Your professional positions. If you got paid to do it, it is professional. This changes as you get on with your career.
- Awards and honors. Include a short citation after the names so people understand what the award recognizes.
- Publications. When going up for tenure, I modified my publications area in several key ways. I had a sentence describing author contributions in regard to author order. This is distinct from sub-field to sub-field in my department, so I wanted it to be clear for my particular sub-field. I grouped my publications as at my current institution and prior to my current institution, so that it was easy for people to see what work should be attributed to my pre-tenure years. I also highlighted which students worked in my lab under my direction and indicated if they were high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, or postdocs. Also, it is now becoming standard to add the DOI locator at the end of each reference, so it is best to include it.
- Presentations. By the time you are coming up for tenure, this list might be fairly long. You can divide them up into different types of presentations such as Invited Presentations at International Conferences, Invited Seminars and Colloquia, Contributed Talks at International Conferences, and Contributed Posters at Conferences.
- Funding. Yes. List your funding in your CV. When you are coming up for tenure, be explicit. List all the grants you currently have active, your prior grants that have expired, and the grants that are pending.
- Teaching Record. As I have said before, being a professor is many jobs in one. Your CV now needs to reflect these other responsibilities and duties that you have taken on. I think you want to be specific about what you did for teaching and mentoring. *Mentoring of research students could go in the research sections above after funding. I have seen both ways. The teaching section should include:
- Classroom teaching record. What you taught and when, number of students, evaluation scores.
- Student mentoring including postdocs, graduate students, undergraduates, and high school students. Don’t forget to include students for whom you have served on committees as a committee member, also.
- Service Record. Much like teaching is a new addition, so to is service. Make sure you are updating your CV often when you get new service assignments, so you don’t lose track. Also, there are multiple types of service. Service to your research field, service to your department, service to the college and university. I separated these different service aspects out, so they were not jumbled together. Also, did you get funding for service or teaching activities? Where will you list it? Up in the funding, which is really your research section? It might be a bit distracting. I separated out my service and teaching funding and put it into a separate funding section. Some sections in my CV include:
- List of funded and pending grants for service and teaching activities.
- Professional service to societies and meeting organization. This includes any offices held in professional societies or any meeting sessions organized or chaired.
- Proposal reviewing is a professional service, but some panels are anonymous and others are known. If it is anonymous, like NSF, don’t list the panel or the date, but simply leave it vague, like (2 panels over the past 5 years). If it is a published list, like NIH, you can list the panel. I also list ad hoc proposal reviews by the organization.
- Journal reviewing is important to show that other people care about your opinion. I list all the journals I have reviewed for and the years I served as a reviewer.
- List and short description of service to my department.
- List and short description of service to the college and university.
- For going up for tenure, I also make a list of active collaborations with a short description of the collaborative work. This helped the department decide who to ask for letters and who was an “insider” vs. and “outsider.” After tenure, I don’t see as many people listing these collaborators, but having it for tenure makes it easy for people to read what are your contributions to these collaborations.
These are just some of the items you can put in, and this is your CV, so you can add other things, such as publicity for your work and cover artwork. But, make sure that the research is up front. For instance, it would be a mistake to put your publications at the end of the CV.
Any other advise or suggestions on getting your CV ready for tenure? Guest post or comment!