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I'm inquiring with professors about brief (~1 week) rotations in my post-bacc research programme. Our coordinator says we don't need to include a CV in our intro emails, but another advisor says I should. When should or shouldn't I include a CV in an introductory email?

Professors I'm inquiring with haven't previously seen my application information, and if they accept I'll potentially be working with them for up to 2 years.

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    If they accept, will you rotate in for a week (virtually pointless IMO) or 2 years? Am confused Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 18:12
  • Rotations to see if a lab's a good fit are <1 week. Once I decide and reach back out to my program coordinator to confirm the placement, I stay there and work with that professor for 2 years.
    – Alexandra
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 18:30
  • It seems like in this case wisest to listen to the person closest to the program (the coordinator), if professors are expecting people form this program to email them. It sounds as if they'll just say "Sure, I don't have one of you guys this week, can you do that one," rather than doing a complete evaluation of you. Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 20:02

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Assuming that the professors are expecting these emails, it should be fine to include a CV, but a short one might be better than a long one. Focus it on the job at hand and things that might apply to that.

But a CV in a blind first email is probably wasted effort. I never looked at them. A blind contact should be just an introduction, expressing interest, with an offer to send more information on request. That might get read, while a long mail will get trashed too easily.

And, in either case, offer to send more information on request, provided you have it.

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I generally recommend including a CV in any introductory email in which you're seeking to join a lab or work under someone, but it should not be necessary to look at the CV to understand who you are and what you're looking for.

You can find other answers providing more detail on this, but a good introductory email briefly (in one paragraph) notes your relevant background, any preexisting relationship (in this case, that you're in the rotational programme), and what about the lab interests you (ideally noting the connection between your background and these interests).

Including a short CV or resume provides additional detail if they need it while avoiding a back-and-forth: remember these are busy people with overfull email inboxes, so reducing their cognitive load is in your favour. Also, depending on your CV this can be a kind of humblebrag.

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