I'm a couple years out of undergrad, have my Master's and work at a research org. A former professor from undergrad invited me to come teach a class with him next month--I told him I'd be in town for a day, just thinking we'd get coffee, but he invited me to come teach and talk about some of the relevant research I'm currently doing.

Is this "legit" enough to mark down on my CV as being a guest lecturer? If so, is it actually worth putting on my CV, will it hold any weight whatsoever when I apply to PhD programs in a couple years?

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    If your CV is on the short side, why not add it? – aparente001 Mar 31 '18 at 2:27
  • I just didn't know if this was legitimate enough of a situation to constitute calling myself a "guest lecturer", and if this might be seen as unnecessary CV padding that PhD application reviewers would not view favorably. – Blaise Mar 31 '18 at 23:57
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    Well, it's always a good idea to show your CV to a couple people you trust before you send it out.... A very short CV would be a bit embarrassing and I think everyone recognizes that; therefore I don't think people are going to judge a young person for padding a bit early in the career. – aparente001 Apr 1 '18 at 1:16
  • It definitely will add weight outside of academia and I would find it hard to believe if it also doesn’t add weight when applying for a PhD program in a couple of years. Personally I believe it would be an excellent stepping stone. You are more close to where it happens. And it is fun! – user93911 Aug 15 '18 at 20:15

The short answers are: (1) yes, this fulfills my definition of a "guest lecture" (that being you were invited by the module or subject leader and that you delivered a lecture) and (2) yes, you should include this in your CV.

Let me explain. I've chaired departments and academic units before and have been involved in hiring decisions. Academic jobs outside of a research fellowship often require responsibilities in three broad areas: (1) research, (2) teaching and (3) administration/service. It is often the case that quite a lot of emphasis is placed on research skills and with good reason. However, teaching is also a skill. Having been a guest lecturer signifies to me that you've garnered some experience in the delivery and assessment of a topic of instruction.

You might even find that you've got the knack to teach. Perhaps students respond to you, or you might have the ability to explain difficult concepts in a way that is easy to understand, or you might simply enjoy the experience. Guest lecturing is the start. You can expand this by co-teaching a subject or module, leading a module yourself, then leading an entire degree program. This is the typical expectation of PhD students, Assistant Lecturers, Lecturers and Senior Lecturers in a number of universities in which I've worked.

If you have the opportunity, I would encourage you to expand your involvement in teaching and administration. Not only will it round out your skills as an academic, it will give you a taste of duties that you will be expected to fulfill should you choose academia as a career.

Good luck to you.

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