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CV/resume writing advice/question?


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Happy Friday!


Right now I am preparing my application materials for PhD psychology prorgams and I want to get some perspective on CVs/resumes. 


I currently have a resume-like document that I am rather pleased with, but... it's not a proper CV. Trying to convert it into the brief narrative format seen in traditional CVs is a challenging for two reasons: (1) I have a unique RA job, in which I have worked on easily 10-15 different projects (the philosophy here is that RAs receive lots of cross-training and work in multiple research centers, which is excellent, except when it comes to writing a CV!); and (2) the terms of my NDAs for about half of the projects prevent me from name dropping the funding source or uniquely descriptive information about the project.


Does anybody have any insight as to how much of a difference a bulleted resume v. traditional CV makes and any proposed remedies for these two challenges? My CV is going to look absurdly obnoxious if I try to feature every project that I am on :/



Edited by TheMercySeat
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Although I'm not in Psychology, I think this is a general enough question so I'll weigh in.


First, I don't think CVs = narratives. I use bullet points in my CV (2 or 3 per project) and I see this all the time in CVs of professors, postdocs, and other graduate students. In academia, I think the main difference between a CV and a resume is length (or I guess you can view it as how much "depth" they cover). A resume is literally just a summary/shortened form of a CV. However, perhaps there is a difference in fields after all! If I were to write a resume now, I would not list any bullet points at all, just the name of each position and the location/dates.


Secondly, instead of listing my research experience as a series of "jobs", I list them as projects. So I have two separate entry for my Graduate Research Assistant position at my current program because we work on two different projects in our first year here. 


Finally, there's still the issue of having 10-15 projects!! Perhaps you can find a way to group projects into 4 or 5 different groups and use general descriptors that describe the work. In my field, I think that people care about the actual skill/experience gained and the research objective of each project, so that's what I include as the bullet point entries.

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I agree with TakerUK. Though I use a very brief narrative (1-2 sentences) instead of bullet points, I think both can work if done effectively (then again, I did this for work experience and not projects. I just list the project name, place, and PI).

10-15 projects is a lot. Were you particularly engaged with a few of them? If you were just doing literature searches, data analysis, etc. I don't think you are obligated to list them all/list them in detail (I didn't list all the projects I've done that didn't go beyond a poster at my university's academic conference for me). However, if you led a project or did an independent study, it would be worth noting more in detail.

Another way if getting your mass of projects mentioned is to say that you did x with y number of projects under the Research Assistant position portion of the CV. However, it really depends on how engaged you were with all those projects.


Did any of your projects lead to conference presentations/publications? Putting those in their respective section and not putting them in the "Projects" section (which I use for projects that are still in data collection) will also shorten your list.


I might be able to help guide you to writing your CV (not like I have enough on my plate as is). If you're interested, go ahead and PM me.

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