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I think I agree that people shouldn't list them, so this is a nitpicky point, but I don't agree (at least in many cases) that job talks aren't invited talks. In many places, they are listed as regular colloquia on department websites, they are open to the same people, they have exactly the same format, and while it is true that they are a *part of* a job interview, I don't see why that isn't consistent with them *also* being regular invited colloquium talks.

(Also, separately: in many cases when departments--especially rich R1 departments--invite someone to give a talk, it's actually unclear whether it is a job talk. Some departments, including the one where I got my PhD, use their colloquia slots to invite people who they are considering trying to "poach" from other departments, or who they know are available/wanting to move. It seems like such a thing retroactively becomes a job talk if the person gets offered a job? But otherwise is not one? And that seems a bit strange.)

Sixth time on the market

I have been advised not to list previous job talks on my CV, and so I don’t. But I confess I don’t understand why there is such a consensus against it. If one makes it to the campus interview stage, one has beaten out some huge number of competitors and has received a fairly strong endorsement from the hiring department. Why wouldn’t this fact be of interest to other hiring departments in later cycles? Some people do list that they were finalists for Rhodes scholarships and the like, and being a finalist for a TT job does not seem so different. As for showing off, well, if you got it, flaunt it!


anonymous, one main reason that I think job talks aren't "regular invited colloquium talks" is that they wouldn't have happened if the job search hadn't happened. By contrast, all the (actual) talks would have happened regardless of departmental hiring plans.

Marcus Arvan

anonymous: you write, "(Also, separately: in many cases when departments--especially rich R1 departments--invite someone to give a talk, it's actually unclear whether it is a job talk. Some departments, including the one where I got my PhD, use their colloquia slots to invite people who they are considering trying to "poach" from other departments, or who they know are available/wanting to move. It seems like such a thing retroactively becomes a job talk if the person gets offered a job? But otherwise is not one? And that seems a bit strange.)"

Okay, but as your remarks imply, this is a very different kind of case than the typically junior-level TT job-talk. These are usually the case for senior (or lateral) hires for people who already have tenure-track jobs. In these cases, the school having the person for a talk is thinking of poaching them. And the talk is, strictly speaking, an invited talk. It may or may not be an audition for the job (that's why they are being invited, to *see* if the department seriously wants to poach them). All of this is very different in kind than the typical job-candidate applying for tenure-track jobs, who as Anon points out are only giving their job-talks because they are explicitly interviewing for the job.


Marcus: I'm just not sure why you think that your intuitions about the concept of a departmental invited talk capture the concept perfectly. I don't have the intuition that your counterfactual tracks what it is to be an invited talk. I have the very strong intuition that at least some official job talks are also invited colloquium talks. I'm not sure what the "real" answer is here but I guess I don't really understand your confidence about e.g. the counterfactual test you proposed tracking what it is to be an invited talk.

Marcus Arvan

Hi anonymous: I don’t think it is based on intuitions. There’s an argument that they are different in kind. An example: my spouse was invited to give a talk at NASA. Should she put that on her CV? Absolutely. But suppose she interviewed for a job at NASA. Would it make any sense to put that on her CV? Of course not. A job interview is a very different kind of thing than an invited presentation not directly attached to a formal interview. They are entirely different contexts with very different professional functions.

Marcus Arvan

Addendum: I could of course be wrong about the above. But in any case I’d suggest it’s not ultimately the real issue here, which is whether as a practical matter candidates should put job-talks on their CV. I’ve heard a number of people suggest it is a bad idea because of how it may be perceived, and that’s really what I think is most relevant: not whether it is “correct in principle” to treat job talks like any other invited talk, but whether search committee members are likely to think this way.

Never been on a hiring committee

I think it's clear, as Marcus says, that being "invited" to give a talk only as part of a job interview (a job talk) is clearly a salient difference, even if we concede that such talks still fall under the kind *invited talk*. I also think it's clear that this salient difference makes it so that, given (largely implicit) norms of CV writing, it's inappropriate to list such talks on a CV under the heading 'invited talk'.

But I also don't think job talks are actually invited talks (hence my scare quotes above). You applied for the job, hence you applied for the chance to audition for it. They "invited" you to do the talk only in the same sense that the APA "invites" you to give a colloquium talk after you submit your paper through the regular CFP. In other words, they *accept* you for a particular stage in the evaluation process. Any invitations under such names are mere professional courtesies. Similarly, advertising such job talks as "regular colloquia" within the department is clearly either another professional courtesy or just unreflective practice not indicative of anything. Of course, if *they* invite you unprompted by your application in some attempt to poach you, that's different.

So if it's not a real invited talk, that leaves listing it on a CV under a separate heading like 'Job Talks', which, I also agree with Marcus, is a silly category to have on a CV.

If a bunch of search committee members speak up and say they actually want to see this sort of information listed on CVs, I'll concede that I must be getting some points wrong.

anonymous senior person

I list my job talks in my CV as colloquium talks---not as job talks. I do so because that's what my advisor did with his CV and I followed his practice when I first went on the job market. This has seemed right to me because in many places job talks are precisely classified as colloquium talks.

Indeed, the way I think about the ontology of job visits is that they are day-long interviews which include a colloquium talk as a part. Similarly, if getting a job required publishing a paper in a journal, I'd list the paper as a publication, though not the job interview.

I think that is the disanalogy with Apple, Google etc. If those involved a colloquium talk I'd list them too.

Also: it doesn't seem that this has been much of a reason for criticism in my career. Perhaps the critics who think I'm a show-off haven't bothered to tell me. But more likely, once you have given enough talks people are unlikely to go through my talk list with a fine-tooth comb and figure out which ones are job talks and which are not.

Marcus Arvan

anonymous senior person: Thanks for chiming in. I think I am finally beginning to see what the issue is--namely, that some departments (particularly R1's) literally list job-talks as "colloquium talks." (anonymous mentioned this in the very first comment in the thread, but in the context of senior hires).

I think this is what has been throwing me off a bit. If you interview at an R1 and your job-talk is literally listed as a colloquium talk, then I can see why it might make sense to list it on the CV under "colloquium talks." I just don't think it makes sense to list job-talks in general this way. For example, at the University of Tampa, we don't have colloquium talks. So if someone listed a job-talk at our university as an "invited talk" or "colloquium talk", both of those seem wrong to me. Job-talks at our university are neither of those: they are job-talks, period.

So, to come back to the reader's query in the OP, I guess I'm inclined to revise my response as follows: it may be okay to list job-talks listed as colloquium talks *as* colloquium talks, but I still wouldn't think it's a good idea to list job-talks in general on the CV.

Maybe if you're applying to R1 jobs, it's *good* to list the other R1's you've interviewed at (maybe it makes you look desirable). But I guess it's still my sense, as someone who has hired at a liberal arts school, that listing job-talks might look off in this context (viz. the candidate coming across like a show-off). However, maybe other search committee members feel differently. It might be good to hear from other search committee members!


I didn't say anything about senior hires. In my department (an R1) job talks are just normal colloquia. They are open to the public. They are listed on our website in the same way. Etc.


p.s. Qua search committee member, I'm pretty indifferent about whether people list job talks, though I wouldn't personally do so and I think the general norm is probably not to. (And, as a random but not very trustworthy piece of info, I think I lean generally towards the getting-irritated-by-showing-off side of things.)

Marcus Arvan

anonymous: I thought that’s what you meant in the original comment when you mentioned that those types of talks tend to occur when “poaching” people (for lateral or senior hires). But I see now that you meant job talks in your department in general. Anyway, thanks for sharing your perspective!


They are clearly not the same thing to me, regardless of whether the general public is invited or they are listed as colloquium talks. If there was not the job possibility, people at job talks would not be invited. And when you list it on your CV, the problem is that you are giving the impression that your reputation in the field got you an invite, and that is a false impression. Sure, it was something to do with your talent, but that is different from the normal talk circumstance.

Anyway, this all could be solved if candidates who believe in listing them simply indicted on the CV that the invite was part of a job talk. But most don't do this, because I think most times the idea is to give a false impression. This seems deceptive, and deception on a CV is, at the least, prima facie wrong.

That said I think invited talks at universities should not be taken that seriously. Talks by junior people almost always have something to do with who you know. And whether you have close friends at Yale or whatever shouldn't be (ugh but maybe it is) relevant to hiring committees.

Mike Titelbaum

As a search committee member, listing job talks on the cv doesn’t bother me at all. But I’m at an R1, so your mileage may vary. One other factor: I definitely think it’s fine to list them on the cv one submits for promotion, grants, etc. So I’d lean towards consistency across one’s cv versions.


I can see the problem of listing a job-talk as an invited talk. However, what if I just list them as 'talks', 'colloquia' etc? All my job talks were pretty long (45 to 60 minutes), and they were open to the public. I don't see why it is a problem to list them in my cv.

Marcus Arvan

Anon: I’ve already suggested what I think is off about that. Job-talks are a part of an interview process. In this regard they play a very different professional function than any other talk: you would not be giving it except for the fact that it’s part of an interview process. If you think it would be strange and come off poorly if someone listed all of the places they have interviewed on their resume (as I do), then you should think it strange to include all of your job talks, and think it may come off poorly. All it does is signal all of the places you’ve interviewed, which runs the risk of (A) looking like you’re showing off (viz. “look at all of the places I’ve interviewed!”), as well as the risk of (B) drawing attention to al of the places that had you put to campus but chose not to hire you. Personally, I wouldn’t want to run either of these risks—but it’s up to each person to decide for themselves!


Thank you Mark. What I'm saying is that the purpose of having a list of colloquia on your cv is to show that you have experience in that particular kind of activity. It seems to me that job talks are particularly important from this point of view, because they are not the usual 15/20 minutes talks with 5 minutes questions. I'm not saying that they should be listed as invited (for the very good reasons you mentioned), nor they should be listed as 'job talks' (you don't want to show off nor give the wrong impression) - I think they should be listed as regular colloquia, because in many cases they are exactly that even if they are part of an interview process.

Marcus Arvan

Hi Anon: I don’t think the purpose of listing things is to show “experience”. If it were, then mentioning who you’ve interviewed with would make sense, as interviews are experience. No, the point of a CV is to list bona fide professional accomplishments. Publications, conference acceptances, and invited talks are bona fide accomplishments. Interviews, on the other hand, are just *auditions*. This is why I think listing job talks on a CV is misleading. It makes things that aren’t bona fide professional accomplishments (job auditions) appear as though they are.


I'm with Amanda: my gut reaction is that they're different, and that including them is misleading, and looks like filler. I've looked at hundreds of CVs (because I enjoy doing so!), and I have to say that I find it way more impressive when a young scholar has colloquium invitations that aren't obviously job talks.

But I'm not confident that my reasons for thinking so are especially good or robust (I'm confident that job talks are different from regular invited talks, but no more than that), or that they're representative of what other people think. Plus, in the end, it seems like pretty small potatoes.


If you wouldn't list them as job talks, then it seems strange to list them as anything else. After all, they are job talks! So if listing them as what they are comes off poorly.....

Anyway, I agree with Michel that in most cases this doesn't matter. But if we are just talking about pragmatics then I think the best bet is to *not* include them. I think it is very unlikely they would ever really help a candidate, as talks almost never do that. On the other hand, a number of search committee members feel very strongly that they shouldn't be listed this way, and if one of these persons were to find out, (notice "find out" this suggests something is being hidden) it could seriously turn them off.

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