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Lewis Powell

Marcus, this is a pretty minor point, but you both corrected a typographical error on the post, and included "[sic]".

"Sic" is latin for "thus", and is used by editors to indicate that they are aware of an error, but are leaving it as it occurred in the source material. If you alter the text, the convention is to put brackets around the change you made, e.g. "How do you know what to change [on] your CV".

I only mention it because I was perplexed by the occurrence of "[sic]" where there was no error at all, and only figured out what was going on when I went to look at the comment you were quoting.

Lewis Powell

As to your question about the dissertation summary: just as the choice of including/not including something plays a role in signaling how you conceive of your work, so does the choice of positioning within the CV. When you are finishing grad school, or fresh out, having a prominently placed dissertation summary (on the first page of the CV) signals, often correctly, that it is the most significant research work for someone to know about you. If you want to display that the dissertation is no longer the most central facet of your research, but still think it is worth including, then you make sure that it is placed appropriately lower down in the CV.

Marcus Arvan

Lewis: thanks - you're quite right!


Interesting. How does one place the dissertation lower down? Wouldn't it look odd to have a dissertation abstract beneath a list of publications?


In my view, a dissertation summary should not be part of the CV once one has published and is done with grad school. Candidates are always better off presenting themselves as researchers in the field rather than as grad students. And grad students put dissertation summaries on the CV; published philosophers do not.

The research statement is a more appropriate place to explain previous, current, and future research once one has been out in the field for a few years.

Lewis Powell

You could either have it as the last thing prior to your references, or in a section labeled "Other Research Activity" or what have you, that comes after your pubs and works in progress, but before your teaching? I mean, if your CV is clear and contains all the information someone wants, they are not going to be taken aback by the inclusion of your dissertation abstract. So, it is really just about using the structure, order and labeling to convey the picture of your activity you want them to see, and to avoid anything that makes it look like you are padding out things to hide weaknesses in your dossier or the like.

Jason Brennan

I want to answer this in a general way:

When writing a CV, you should ask oneself, "What's the most impressive thing about my academic career?" Is it your presentations? Your published work? Your teaching experience? An award you won? Etc. Whatever that thing is, it *needs* to go on the first page of your CV. Keep in mind that most people reviewing your file will spend less than 2 minutes looking at your entire dossier. They will glance at your CV. You need to write your CV in a way that convinces those people to keep looking.

So, whatever the most impressive thing about you is has to go on the first page. This means you put your contact info and current job down, your education and AOS/AOCs, and then whatever is most impressive about you.

In your case, including the dissertation abstract on the front page doesn't prevent anyone from seeing that you have publications. So, I'd feel free to leave it. I doubt it will help you, but I even more strongly doubt it will hurt you. It's immediately obvious to people that you are not still working on your dissertation full time three years after graduating. Your CV is nicely written and easy to follow. In fact, it's very much a model of how a CV should look.

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