Your skills, accomplishments, and professional style—how you go about getting results—are hard to discern when reduced to a list of degrees, honors, and publications.

If you did the heavy lifting be sure to get the credit. Contributions that aren’t typically captured in your CV need to stay in active memory and be available to share with others. This includes activities like leading preparation for a site visit, forming a new organization, and coordinating a research event. To convey the accomplishment well, you should keep a PAR list:

“P”         What is the problem, issue, need, challenge or opportunity that you addressed?

“A”        What action did you take that made a difference?

“R”        What was the result of your effort?

Also ask yourself what knowledge, skills, or traits you demonstrated. Then write it down:

P            The department of diagnostic medicine had a growing group of researchers in a culture that was not familiar with measuring success of researchers or rewarding their performance.

A            I led the Ad Hoc Committee on Research Rewards at the request of the chairman. Established consensus goals with the faculty, sought details from established incentive programs, modeled projected long-term costs to the department

R            Department implemented new salary and bonus incentive system. Increased the proportion of faculty at salary compatible with national benchmarks and distributed more than $50K in bonus incentives in first year.

Save the longer version for your records, or occasions like annual performance check-in with your chair. Then boil it down for use in your CV:

Chaired Ad Hoc Committee on Research Rewards: We completed consensus goals, national salary benchmarking, and modeling of long-term costs. Implementation will assure 95% of research faculty are at or above median salaries for ranks, and those with more than 80% of salary support are receiving research bonuses. (12/2014 to 5/2015)

An approach that works well for incorporating these summaries in your CV is to list them in the traditionally sections for similar types of work such as “committees” or “service.” List them as the first items in the section in the conventional chronological order for your institution and list remainder beneath them as “other.” For example,  subheadings would be:  Committees [with list of items formatted as the above example] and then “Other Committees” with traditional listing such as: Member, Admissions Committee, Doctoral Program in Molecular Biology (2011 to present).

Documenting your contributions in greater detail makes all the ways you excel in academic life objective and clear. Let it shine!


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