Help: Your CV - Rules of Thumb

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Your CV - Rules of ThumbWriting Your Academic Bio

Your CV is the one document that will serve you along your entire career. From your early doctoral studies until you retire as a full, distinguished professor, fifty years later. It is also your “face” in academic circles and committees, and it is the one document that needs your constant attention. Although the CV document is universal – every academic person needs one – there is no agreed upon template about required information. This is why CVs look very different and why it makes reading them a challenge. CoolCite provides a solution, a universal framework for putting CVs in order. So how should you go about entering your information in CoolCite? And what is the logic behind that?

The first thing to do is to tell something about your research interests and your current projects. CoolCite allows you to detail about those through free text boxes (under Biography, About Me). Spend 100-300 words to introduce yourself. It’s your window.

Now to the CV. There are three main areas in our academic lives: Inputs, Service and Achievements.

Inputs (fields: Education, Career)

These include your education and career: Where and when you studied, where and where you spent your post-doc (or residence), where and when you spent your sabbaticals and visiting professorships. It is very important to write those details, and to select the institutions you spent time in from the tables (allowing you to then see who else was there and where are they now). CoolCite implements information on the rankings of institutions, so when you hover above an institution’s name you can see its world ranking (until the 500th place). Why is that important? An institution’s ranking is a proxy for its quality and for a person’s intellectual environment.

Service (fields: Committees, Boards, Teaching)

As academics we take part in many committees and sit in journal or publishing houses boards, doing reviews and making decisions. It is important to detail those services for our department and discipline, as they tell a lot about us. The more we serve in committees and doing reviews for national and international boards and journals – the more important we probably are. Hence, the fields of service in those areas tell about our centrality in an academic field. For example, the number of reviews we write, the number of distinct journals which seek our expert judgment, and the quality of those journals (assessed by the IF, for example) – those items add up telling us a lot about centrality and our gate keeping capacities. These are very important.

Achievements (fields, grants, awards, publications)

Academic achievements are what we are most eager about. Usually those are the fields we get promoted by. Indeed, publications are our main public service – we enrich the world by writing our research findings and thoughts. Our publications are in the public domain, and CoolCite seeks to expose those contributions beyond the current reach of other databases (which usually “see” only 30-50% of our contributions). Now here is CoolCite’s advantage: Once you get a letter from a journal’s editor – you can already write your piece in the publications section, allowing other people to learn about your work even before it goes into press. So update your CV as much as possible, abstract included, and do so at the very day you get an acceptance letter – this way your contribution will be “out there” long before actual publication. Your grants and prizes are also extremely important, as they are both testimony of your excellence and a predictor of future productivity. Share as much information as possible. Actually, honors and awards are the epitome of an academic’s life work: So – update your prizes and awards.

By having all the areas of your academic life covered and regularly updated, your CoolCite CV will be a great place to start learning about you and your work. Updating is the name of the game. With a push of a button, you can print your CV with the CoolCite template; and if you need to submit an annual report – you are again one click away from telling everybody about your academic preparation, your service to your institution and discipline, and about your achievements and resources. An updated CV page will attract others users and will increase your academic impact. Celebrate your life, update your CV.