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Careers Café

Should I put … on my CV


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Peers will know
When submitting your CV for an academic position, you are being adjudicated by more experienced peers in your discipline. They know the journals. They know which conferences are actually peer reviewed and which conferences have a process for selecting presenters based on abstracts (which is not peer review, in case you were wondering).

They know that junior scholars without secure positions are only very rarely invited to give seminars. They know what time of year on-campus job interviews happen. If they are hiring, they probably know who else in your field is hiring, too.

They know that the book review section in a journal is highly unlikely to be peer reviewed.

Assuming that they won’t notice these things suggests that you don’t respect their judgement. It is never a good idea to insult the people who can give you a job, even implicitly.

One misrepresented item puts your whole CV in question
If the search committee notices one of these types of misrepresentation, you also throw everything else on your CV into question.

Maybe they aren’t familiar with one of the journals or presses where you have published. Now it will be assumed to be not that good. And anything that just says “forthcoming” with no date or issue number, will now be assumed to be “submitted” rather than accepted or in press.

It makes it look like you aren’t really committed to scholarship.
There are good reasons the search committee is interested in your publication record. They care about publishing research in high-impact journals because that is how you influence scholarship in your field. As things like impact on non-academic audiences become more important, your peers are developing criteria for evaluating your ability to do that.

If you stretch the truth, it suggests that you don’t really care about peer reviewed publications, being influential enough in your field to be invited to speak, etc. That suggests you are not only not the best, you are probably not even interested in being the best. I’m pretty sure that’s not the effect you were going for.

An honest account of your work
The committee will also want to know that you have work in various stages of preparation. This is important evidence that you will continue to publish, perhaps even in better journals. Don’t mix that work-in-preparation with the work that’s actually out (or almost out).

You need to accept that your best might not get you the job. The level of competition is very high. You need to do your best work and then let the committee do its best work of making a decision.

Jo VanEvery is a career coach who specializes in helping academics. Find her at
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