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Malcolm Keating

Marcus, one concern: the advice that I was given in my department (UT-Austin) and by others was not to include "manuscripts under review/in preparation" on your CV but that these are excellent for one's website* and should be included as part of your description of your current and future research.

The argument for this is precisely the one you state, slightly modified: "Since submitting an article to a great journal/any journal(!) is not an accomplishment, listing that you've done so, as I understand it, looks awkward and a bit desperate."

Also, if you have a teaching experience as an adjunct instructor and you are ABD (those of us who did an MA first, for instance, and taught on our own before the PhD), do not front-list your previous positions as "Employment." This gives the impression on a cursory read that you have been on the job market for a while, without getting anything. Instead, include it under "Teaching Experience."

*There are concerns about impacting the anonymous review process, but I leave that aside here.

Daniel Brunson

Regarding the teaching section, it can be appropriate to distinguish courses by lower/middle/upper level (generally, course numbers are meaningless across schools), and indicating whether the course was online (especially if you developed it yourself).

Axel Gelfert

Including a section "manuscripts under review" I think would be appropriate for a candidate fresh out of grad school, though perhaps an exception can (should?) be made for R&Rs and conditional acceptances at impressive journals (Marcus's semi-proverbial "R&R at Phil Review" springs to mind...). And I think it's important to note -- since there seems to be some confusion among graduate students on this -- that "forthcoming" means the final version of an article/chapter has been accepted and is scheduled for publication. It is NOT a euphemism for "I have this paper and am pretty confident that one day it will see the light of day". -- The advice on AOS/AOC strikes me as very relevant; it's important to be able to 'tell a story'. So 'AOC' should mean a little bit more than that one would be able to teach an intro module on it, even if it does not require having published extensively in the area. (On the topic of AOS I have a -- somewhat amusing -- post coming up...)


As a beginning graduate student I have a question. When applying for jobs do you routinely give (or get asked to give) your marks for individual graduate courses taken? Do you submit a transcript in the same way as you submit an undergraduate degree transcript when applying to graduate school?

I ask this question because it's relevant when considering which graduate courses to take: should you play it safe and take courses you know you'll get good grades in, or do you experiment and take courses you might do poorly in? I know the latter course of action is likely to make one a better philosopher, but am aware that the former might be most conducive to getting a job later.

some thoughts

Whatever you do, do not choose courses in graduate school merely because you can get good grades. Take the courses (i) on topics that will aid you with writing your dissertation, and (ii) with people who have the greatest reputation in your department. Let me explain the latter point given that it is apt to be misunderstood. I am assuming the faculty in your department with the greatest reputation have earned it. They have published papers or books that are well regarded by other experts in the field. A letter from such a person will count for so much more than a letter from someone who is less engaged in research, and who may not even be known off your campus. Grades are indicators, and what you describe is a form of gaming the system. But it will backfire. Indeed, the reason to take courses from the reputable faculty is not to game the system, but to learn how to research from people who are well respected in the field.

Marcus Arvan


I entirely agree with "some thoughts." Taking easy classes for good grades is the last thing you want to do in grad school. Your main task in grad school should to become the best philosopher you can be. That requires taking courses that challenge you, even if you don't get the best grades. Search committees won't care how good your grades are if your body of work isn't very good. Similarly, they won't hold a few bad grades against you if, by the time you graduate, you are doing awesome work.


What about scholarships and research funding? If you don't have many is it okay not to draw attention to that fact, e.g. by leaving such a section off entirely?

Is it important to include the years of convocation for each of one's degrees? Will adverse inferences be drawn if you leave that info off? I feel like including them can promote ageism and other biases.

Marcus Arvan

HGM: Yes, it is fine to not have sections on scholarships or research funding. You should only have sections on things you have! Fwiw, I never had a scholarship *or* research funding, and it did not seem to hinder my candidacy for US jobs. I have heard, however, that these things are important for jobs in Europe--but I don't really know the European market well.

In terms of years of convocation/receiving degrees, it is my understanding that, yes, you are expected to have that on your CV. It may be susceptible to biases and ageism, but unfortunately it can also indicate job-relevant factors, such as how long it took you to finish your PhD (which can be indicative of productivity, etc.).

some thoughts again

Do not have a heading for scholarships and funding if there is nothing to list. Do not list manuscripts under review or even revise and resubmits.
Also, do not hide dates (like graduation dates). It looks deceptive, and it will inevitably raise a flag (usually a red one). If committees smell deception, they will run from you. There are more than enough qualified applicants (even for VAPs), so you must come across as honest. Better still, BE HONEST.


Two questions:

1) Is it really standard practice to list job talks as 'invited presentations'? Are there issues with this about how much information about past job market failures you are revealing?

2) At what point does one start leaving off 'grad student' type information - e.g., dissertation summary, presentations at graduate student conferences, courses taken, TA experience? (Perhaps the answer is different for different categories?)

some thoughts

Leave off "grad stuff" when it becomes obsolete. For example, if you publish a few papers from your dissertation, likely some of the first publications you will have, then I think a summary of your dissertation is unnecessary. If after a few years you have no publications, and you still have your dissertation summary there, then it says something about your career, and your prospects. Similarly, after teaching full time for a year or two, it is unnecessary to list courses that you were a teaching assistant for.
You do not need to list job talks as invited presentations. I do not expect to see them when I look at a c.v.


what about listing declined post-doctoral research fellowships under 'awards' (explicitly listing them as declined). I've seen it done with people who did well on the market. but is it gauche?

some thoughts

I would not list declined post-doc offers under awards. Some people do it. But one assumes that the person took something better than what they declined, so the declined opportunity need not be mentioned.



Most of the jobs I applied to this past year explicitly limited the number of rec letters to 3. I typically sent one letter from my diss chair, one from my current dept, and one from another committee member.

I do have two outside letters, from very well-known people, but I could not often send them.

Is your claim that you actually sent 8 rec letters, or simply that having the names on your cv made things better?

Marcus Arvan

gradjunct: A few of the jobs I applied to only allowed three letters--but most of them allowed more. In any case, although I don't have proof, I suspect having more well-known people in my reference list may have helped.


My undergraduate institution offered a number of semesterly scholarships, of which I received many -- ranging in monetary value from $100 to $3000. Some were awards for philosophy students in particular and some were university-wide. Should I list these in my scholarship section, or is the scholarship section more for scholarships of high monetary value and/or earned at the graduate level?

In other words, are these undergraduate scholarships worth putting on the CV, or would doing so appear juvenile?

My feeling is that these are certainly relevant to getting into grad school, but not to getting a job in philosophy. Is that correct?

Marcus Arvan

Hi A: I'd be curious to hear what others say, but I'm strongly inclined to say one should leave undergraduate accomplishments off one's CV. Search committees are looking to hire an advanced professional, and so are looking for achievements indicative of professional excellence. Since undergraduate achievements occur long before one's life as a professional philosopher (which only grad school trains you for), I suspect undergrad accomplishments will look irrelevant at best.

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