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Is it okay to include a resume/cv when it's not asked for?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 butterfingers2010

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 11:28 PM

So here's my issue. I didn't realize until after I submitted my application today that they did not request a resume as part of the online app, nor are they requesting it as part of the supplemental materials mailed to the department. I did not fully describe all of my work experience in my SOP because it would have been waaaay too long if I had! At the same time though, I feel like they can't really evaluate me as an applicant not knowing all of my experience in the field. I am applying to counseling programs, which usually like to see that you have actual experience working with clients in the field. I am really tempted to send them a copy of my resume, but I don't want to come off the wrong way.

I know I should have looked into this more beforehand but what kind of grad school does not want your resume? It did say to describe your relevant experience in the SOP, and I touched on a few things, especially my current position, where I have gotten the bulk of my experience in the field. I just didn't find it feasible or necessary to write about every single experience I've had in the field. Did I just shoot myself in the foot here? Should I submit my resume so they can get the full picture, or not since they didn't specifically ask for it?
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#2 maeisenb

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 05:49 PM

Overall I go by the idea that "it can't hurt." Yes, they may get annoyed, but really a CV or Resume takes about 1-2 minutes to glance at, so it's not an extra 1000 word essay, which would certainly really piss off people. If you look at other postings elsewhere on this type of topic, most people say it's not a bad thing to do and I would agree with that. Plus, apps often have a "do you have anything else to add" field at the end, so you could just attach it there or make a note that you are sending it along.

I would think that especially for what you want to do, which is more professional focused, a resume would be pretty key to show that you aren't doing this on the whim but have X number of years doing it.
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#3 Sigaba

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:28 PM

I respectfully disagree with maeisenb.

Applicants should demonstrate that they can perform tasks excellently within the required specifications. They should not take risks that can earn a FTFSI designation.
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#4 butterfingers2010

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 11:35 PM

What does FTFSI mean?
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#5 iamincontrolhere-haig

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 11:40 PM

What does FTFSI mean?

Taking a shot in the dark here, but I'd guess "fails to follow simple instructions."

Edit: "failure"--thanks Google

Edited by iamincontrolhere-haig, 13 October 2011 - 11:43 PM.

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#6 snes

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 09:05 PM

Well, I think it would be a problem if they had instructions about not including any supplemental material beyond what is asked for. Otherwise, I can't imagine a normal human putting your application in the reject pile because you thoughtfully provided a CV/resume to help them make their decision. They can easily just not look at it, right?

Anyway, that's my justification for including a CV with every application.
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#7 WesternHopeful

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 07:06 PM

I agree.
I added my CV to my application.
Think about this: your CV has information that will distinguish you from droves of other applicants. Why keep this information secret? Neither of the schools I applied to seems to have been ticked off by this. In fact, from what I hear, they consider this "taking initiative".
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#8 gellert

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 07:21 PM

I came across this same problem with one of my applications. Cornell's app says not to include supplemental material but has no place for a CV/resume. It did, however, say supplemental materials would be accepted if pre-approved by the department, and should be sent TO that dept rather than the graduate school. I emailed the dept administrative assistant and asked, and she said I could email it to her and she would attach it to my application.

Bottom line, I think the answer in these types of cases is almost always "call and ask." It's the only way you'll know for sure if it's ok.
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#9 Eigen

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 12:01 AM

Some adcoms will view you attaching additional materials as you trying to gain an additional advantage over the other applicants. If you send in a CV that was not requested and no one else does, you have a full additional document with which to sell yourself

Call the department and ask. The risk of coming across like you can't follow directions or are trying to gain an unfair advantage isn't worth it. After all, they're the ones that don't feel like they need the CV to decide
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#10 isobel_a

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 06:52 AM

I've never seen a single application that didn't have fields for entering the sort of information that normally goes on a CV. Use your own discretion, but I hardly think the department administrator who prints this stuff out is going to toss your application because you submitted a pdf version of your CV.

By the time you're applying, you should have already sent your CV to potential PIs, anyway.

P.S.: adcoms do not see the application as it is submitted. They see printouts pre-assembled by administrative assistants.

Edited by isobel_a, 02 January 2012 - 06:59 AM.

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#11 Eigen

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 10:53 PM

Isobela: you're making a lot of generalizations that aren't necessarily generalizable. Our adcom sees the packet as submitted. Our admins wouldnt toss the app because of an added CV, but some of our faculty would.

Some admins have explicit instructions to rtosa any additional materials.

If you keep up with the Chronicle of Higher Ed forums around this time of year, you can see the most common complaints from adcoms, and one of the most common ones I have seen are personal statements that are longer than requested and additional materials. Starting things off by hitting a pet peeve of some of the adcom members is rarely helpful, hence, ask the department.

Also, it's not recommended to send your CV out to prospective PIs in all fields, and is strongly contraindicated in some.

Edited by Eigen, 02 January 2012 - 10:54 PM.

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#12 isobel_a

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:05 AM

I'd be interested in knowing in which programs it is "contraindicated" to send CVs...

P.S. I've searched the Chronicle of Higher Ed forums, and I can't find any mentions of CV submission reflecting poorly on applicants. The only gripes I can find are about people who call too often to "check up" on their application. People who demand to know why they were rejected also get no love.

Nobody should take *anyone's* word for anything on here. Do your own research. Everything is field-specific (obviously). I don't think it's worth putting a disclaimer on every sentence. I see a lot of advice on here that I've ignored or discarded, because information I have says it's bad intel, or it's very specific to a single institution.

I will say that as someone who is pretty familiar with the inner workings of academia, I think you'd be putting yourself at a disadvantage if you aren't willing to take some ever-so-slight risks during the admissions process. Believe it or not, PIs are not nearly as obsessed with grad apps as applicants are. Worst case scenario, if you attach something to an email that they don't want to read? They won't read it. And then they'll forget about it two minutes later. I've known a lot of researchers, and they had neither the time nor the inclination to get peeved about these matters.

Edited by isobel_a, 11 January 2012 - 03:35 AM.

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#13 Eigen

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:30 PM

The programs in which it's contraindicated aren't as common, but I've run across faculty on the CHE forums complaining about students trying to get a leg up by sending their CV to individual faculty.

Most of the time, however, I wouldn't recommend sending a CV just because it has a really low chance of being read. You want to e-mail the PI and establish yourself with a (fairly) short e-mail with intelligent questions about their research. Work in some of your more impressive stats from your CV. After you've made contact/gotten a response, you can elaborate on yourself. The number of faculty who simply won't take the time to open an attachment is huge- by putting the things you most want them to see in the body of the e-mail, it's much more likely to make an impression.

That said, however, in the sciences what PIs want to see most is a solid understanding of research as well as someone who has ideas. I got to have lunch with Martin Chalfie last semester, and he said he gives both undergrads applying for grad school and grad students applying for postdocs one piece of advice: send a prospective PI ideas. Read their research, come up with an intelligent, well thought out proposal of what you would like to do that would fit well in their lab, and send them that. He said from what he's seen the success rate is huge with that. PIs want to bring in people (by and large) who will be able to take the ball and run with it, and they get lots of CVs- but far fewer proposals.

Especially when applying to grad school, the risks of this approach are much less, especially since you're tailoring it to a potential group. As you move up the ranks, it's a bit more risky as you're trying to guard your ideas, since they're a lot more personal.

That said, I completely agree that students obsess about applications *way* more than faculty. Most of them are reading through applications quickly, and won't notice the minor things that I see lots of applicants worrying about. You're also right in that most faculty have really short memories when it comes to something that they don't like- most of the time they move on and forget it happened at all. If I recall, you're a non-traditional applicant and that usually puts you in a lot better stead when it comes to being relaxed about the application process, at least from what I've seen.
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#14 joejoe

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:25 PM

Sending an extra document never hurts especially if it is a CV or a Resume. So it must not cause any such problem. Nothing to worry about.
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#15 butterfingers2010

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 10:06 PM

Update: I did end up getting into this school, although I didn't decide to go there.

Just in case anyone else has this question in the future, I thought the outcome might be helpful : )
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#16 PeconicBill

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 09:51 AM

I admit that I'm an odd applicant, but without the CV i included neither of the schools I applied to would have clearly understood how I've spent he last forty years, which included a Fulbright to England, a long career in business management, election to public office, starting a 100-store retail chain, writing a popularly published book, and service on several nonprofit boards. If I had tried to cram the specifics into the SOP it would have run ridiculously long. I didn't ask whether to include the CV; I just added it on and referred to it in my SOP. As for results, I gotinto one of my two choices and not the other, though after I applied to the second I was told by the lead POI that they were no longer accepting new students in Medieval History, so I'm unclear on whether I would have been accepted if the specialty were ongoing. In any case, the CV certainly didn't hurt, and it allowed me to write a SOP which focused on where I want to go rather than where I've been.
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#17 La_Di_Da

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:03 AM

I've run across faculty on the CHE forums complaining about students trying to get a leg up by sending their CV to individual faculty.

Most of the time, however, I wouldn't recommend sending a CV just because it has a really low chance of being read. You want to e-mail the PI and establish yourself with a (fairly) short e-mail with intelligent questions about their research. Work in some of your more impressive stats from your CV. After you've made contact/gotten a response, you can elaborate on yourself. The number of faculty who simply won't take the time to open an attachment is huge- by putting the things you most want them to see in the body of the e-mail, it's much more likely to make an impression.

 

 

A very simple workaround is to establish a virtual card, a web bio/profile, your own personal website, what have you, that lists the high points of your CV, research interests, etc., and includes a link to a pdf of your full CV. When you contact prospective POIs, include your site's URL in your email signature. Voila! Now it's a pull, not a push.  And if they're keen, they'll visit your page.

 

Also, in answer to the original question, I would not sweat it. It's not a cardinal sin.

 


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