2

Reading this question and its answers got me thinking, once non-core PhD skills are learned and perhaps mastered, how can we make these achievements clear on a CV when applying for academic positions?

For example, my PhD majors in atmospheric physics and photobiology, but a significant part of it is in Android programming (the basis of the 3 published papers so far) and a few other skills not directly related to the major disciplines, but important nonetheless.

Related, would having peer reviewed published papers be considered as proficiency in the non core subjects without taking away the focus from the major disciplines?

2

I see no reason at all to leave any reasonable skill or ability off of your CV. Play a musical instrument? Won some medals in a sporting event? Program an android app? Have a black belt in a martial art? Add a section called "Other skills" or "Personal Information" and briefly list these skills. There are two reasons for this. First, it can help a potential employer think of you as a real person, perhaps someone they would like to know. Second, many skills can take years of dedicated practice to master; if you can master one such skill, then there is a good chance you can master whatever new skills may be required in the new job.

Here is an example from my life. Many years ago I programmed a video game (one of the old "text adventure" style games. I placed this on my CV, not thinking much about it. It turned out that one of the elder faculty conducting the interview had played that game and remembered it fondly. This alone certainly did not "get me the job," but anything that can smooth the way can be helpful.

1

What you put on your CV should be tailored explicitly towards the type of job you're applying for. If you're applying for a faculty position at a research university, putting Android programming would be a waste of time, but putting a significant grant you won would be appropriate. Likewise if you're applying to a position where teaching is going to be a large part of your workload, put as much about your teaching experience as you can. If you are applying for a quant position on Wall Street, you need to beef up the programming skills.

So really, the answer is, tailor your CV to the job you are applying for, and given that you are applying for academic positions, you should probably leave off the non-core skills altogether. That's not to say they aren't important, but they aren't important enough to list on your CV. If the situation presents itself during an interview, that's probably the place to mention it.

Related, would having peer reviewed published papers be considered as proficiency in the non core subjects without taking away the focus from the major disciplines?

I'm not 100% sure what you're really asking here, but peer-reviewed research should be listed on your CV unless it is in a completely unrelated field than the one you're applying for. Don't list the paper you happened to get published in the English Literature Journal if you're applying for positions in photobiology*.

*Unless you happen to have written a piece on the writing of 18th Century biologists and how it affects current photobiology trends.

3
  • 2
    +1 for the great answer and especially for "Unless you happen to have written a piece on the writing of 18th Century biologists and how it affects current photobiology trends." – user7130 Jul 1 '13 at 14:20
  • 1
    If you're applying for a faculty position at a research university, putting Android programming would be a waste of time — Unless you are applying for a computer science faculty position, of course. – JeffE Jul 1 '13 at 14:59
  • 6
    I strongly disagree with the last sentence. List all your peer-reviewed publications in your CV. – JeffE Jul 1 '13 at 15:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy