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I graduated in 2007 with a mathematics degree and have since had multiple postdocs at R1 universities. While I have definitely enjoyed my experiences as a researcher, I am very interested in pursuing a career teaching at a small liberal arts institution.

So, my question is how to present my research-heavy resume in a way that is palatable to a college which may be wary of my credentials? Is it advisable to drop "invited talks/conferences" from my CV? Do I select only my favorite publications to include?

Also, I understand that it is inappropriate to give an overly detailed research statement. However, as a representation theorist, I think it is to my advantage that my research draws on a lot of different fields. Is it better to explain the broader relevance of my research, or do I ignore that in favor of what I can teach undergraduates to program on a computer? Does it make sense to write separate statements?

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I wouldn't drop anything from your CV. I might shift things around so that the "List of Courses Taught" (or that you could teach) is on page 1 or 2. Teachings awards and anything similar also up front.

The cover letter is key. Your research accomplishments should be one paragraph while discussion of your love of math, the fantastic students you interacted with at one of your postdocs, the courses you would like to teach at X, and your teaching style should be at least 2-3 paragraphs. One thing that I did when I was applying to SLACs was to have a list of my courses in my cover letter followed by a very small print (all course syllabi listed here are available on my website: www.example.com).

And of course you should also include a separate teaching statement if they require one -- or even hint of wanting one.

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I largely agree with what RoboKaren wrote (that the cover letter is key, and it and the CV should emphasize teaching over research), but I want to add a bit to address the OP's last paragraph, regarding research statements. I'm a math professor at a small liberal arts college (SLAC) in Ohio.

For a SLAC, there is a bar for teaching and a bar for research. You must be above both bars (and it helps to show you are gung-ho about service too). Different SLACs will have different bars. If you're above both bars, then it's very unlikely that having "too much" research would be held against you. I say this as someone who has published 30 papers in 10 years, when 10 papers would have already been "exceeding expectations." Good SLACs want strong research faculty. But be sure to make the case that you actually want to be at the SLAC you are applying for, so they know you're not just going to leave right away after taking the job. Let me turn to the last paragraph of the OP:

Also, I understand that it is inappropriate to give an overly detailed research statement. However, as a representation theorist, I think it is to my advantage that my research draws on a lot of different fields. Is it better to explain the broader relevance of my research, or do I ignore that in favor of what I can teach undergraduates to program on a computer? Does it make sense to write separate statements?

I recently wrote an answer about research statements for SLACs. I argue that it's good to start off very basic and work your way up to your research accomplishments. The hiring committee is probably using your research statement to decide if you're good at explaining things and would be a good teacher, as well as to decide if you have enough of a research trajectory to get tenure. So, yes, you should write separate statements. I would certainly explain the broader relevance of your research. Anything about teaching students to program can go in the teaching statement, but ideas for how to include students in your research program can be a section of the research statement.

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  • This is a solid answer. I've been on many faculty searches at my institution, and there's no such thing as "too much research" per se: it just makes one wary that the candidate will just use us as a stepping stone, leaving us to repeat the search two years later.
    – Cheery
    Apr 1 at 16:12
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I wouldn't advocate so much for the inclusion of your "favourite" articles -- but those that are most relevant to the position to which you are applying. Same for invited talks -- it'd be crazy to delete all of them. Suggestion: "Publications (selected)" (perhaps indicate h-index here, too); "Invited conferences (selected)".

If the reviewer is interested in your academic output, s/he can just check google scholar for the more detailed overview anyway.

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I see a lot of good advice offered here by several knowledgeable people. Still, one important detail is missing. You will strengthen your application considerably by stating that you intend to involve undergraduates in your research, ideally with an aim at publishing in peer-reviewed journals. If you decide to mention this in your cover letter -- also reiterate it in your research statement.

This will give you extra points for the obvious reason that an undergrad doing research (especially with a paper published or a conference talk presented) has a higher chance of getting admitted to a better graduate school -- which will add to the profile of the college.

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