8

It turns out that I am between posts: my last (fixed term) contract ended this week and I have not yet taken up a new post (won't happen until at least February next year and is not yet certain).

In the meantime, how can I present the first information seen on my CV in the best light?

Normally I write "Current Post" and put my current details, but can no longer do this. Does the wording "Most recent post" sound ok or is there a better phrasing that can be used for the position that just finished that might soften the blow of applying for posts whilst not affiliated to a current institution?

17

I would not highlight it at all.

I would avoid using the CV structure that actually highlights the "Current Post" and go for a general "Work Experience" section (Teaching/Research/Work experience could be used together or as separate sections depending on the individual case).

Example of what is usually on the CV (when somebody is looking for a job while still being on a contract):

Work Experience

Sep 2018—current: Lecturer at The University of XXX

         brief description, responsibilities, projects, achievements, etc (whatever is applicable)

Sep 2011—July 2018: Teaching Assistant at The University of YYY

...

In your case, I suggest:

Work Experience

Sep 2018—Oct 2021: Lecturer at The University of XXX

         brief description, responsibilities, projects, achievements, etc (whatever is applicable)

Sep 2011—July 2018: Teaching Assistant at The University of YYY

...

(bold font on "current" and "Oct 2021" is to highlight the difference, not to be used in the CV)

Adopting this pattern would allow giving the correct information without necessarily highlighting the fact that you are in-between jobs right now (if that is your goal). I doubt this is really important information during the CV screening\review stage, but this question might come up during the interview, where you would be able to describe the situation in the best possible light.

2
  • Agreed, that's how I do mine (not in academia, though). Including the odd gap - never really been a problem apart from being asked occasionally for a short explanation during interview stage. In my country it's fairly customary to ask for "reason for leaving" at each job, to which I've simply put "end of contract" at a similar case (6 month contract - I could have added that I was offered a further 6 months, but declined - the offer was not too favourable - I thought that would be Too Much Info, and when asked simply reiterated that it was a limited-time contract, know from the start).
    – frIT
    Oct 22 at 11:55
  • 4
    I'm not in Academia. I have been laid off three times in the last 12 years. I've migrated my CV away from months towards seasons (since the longest I was between jobs was about 65 days). It's less precise, but still accurate. The extra slop in the time blurs over any holes
    – Flydog57
    Oct 22 at 15:59
7

A simple alternative, which is fairly standard on a CV, is just to title this section as "Employment", without using any descriptive adjective to specify the tense. You then list the positions you have held along with the relevant dates, and these speak for themselves. Admissions panels understand that productive people sometimes have gaps between employment (particularly when they work on contract) so there is no great need to "soften the blow".

1
  • 1
    Very nice suggestion - and thank you for the calming words
    – lux
    Oct 22 at 4:30
-4

Between contracts you may call yourself a consultant. Details of your consultancy's clients/projects are, of course, confidential.

2
  • 4
    I understand that a CV is an advertising document and not a declaration under oath, but if you do this, expect at least one awkward question during the interview.
    – henning
    Oct 22 at 16:09
  • Yeah, you could tell them: - super super secret spy work, I'm not allowed to talk about. Not sure if it's gonna fly Oct 23 at 16:42

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