Here and there in this site, I get that you should have your own website. It is one way to networking, making you standing out of the crowd. It can also be your extended version of CV or SOP, helping others knowing you more.

But what about the information that is discouraged to have in such documents? For example:

  • Contests. A math contest indicates that you can solve hard problems, but it doesn't say anything about your research ability. A chess contest is worse, it doesn't even relate to your field.
  • Courses.
  • Volunteer activities.

The main point is that they show that you are not investing your time properly. But does this contrast to the "a place to show yourself more" point?

And how about putting things like life objection, music I like, drawing my kid draws, etc? These are obviously not suitable for a CV, but they are just hobbies. Everyone knows that investing your time on this isn't a bad thing for your career, but a way to balance your life.


  • 1
    I don't think they necessarily mean you don't invest your time properly, you are allowed to have a life apart from work. They do show a misuse of space, on the CV, though.
    – Davidmh
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 22:29

1 Answer 1


In moderation, I don't see anything wrong with including content on your website that you would not include on a CV. In principle it could hurt your career if you post something ridiculous or objectionable, but information about chess, ordinary volunteer activities, children, etc. doesn't seem problematic. The main issue is making sure it doesn't overshadow the academic content: if you provide more details about your chess activities than about research, then it may give the impression that you are devoting more time and attention to chess than to research. (Even if that's not the case. For example, a grad student who is just starting with research but has a lengthy chess history might give the wrong impression, regardless of current priorities.) If you want to cover non-academic activities in substantial detail, then it may be safer to set up a personal website that is clearly separated from your academic site.

  • Should I include those information in a separated area or I can mix them together? For example, should I put the chess stuff in the middle of my online CV?
    – Ooker
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 15:57
  • 2
    I would include the same things in an online CV as in an offline CV. (But you can include things in your website that aren't part of your CV at all.) Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 16:49
  • So as long as I have a website, is it a good idea for me to keep the offline CV half a page short?
    – Ooker
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 6:10
  • That would be dangerous. For many purposes the offline CV will be a key document that should be readable without reference to the website (or even access to it, since someone may be looking at a hard copy). It should include all the information people expect to find there. Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 13:59
  • In the question Why is an academic CV not the place to sell?, Roger Fan advises me to "limit what you include to specific, concrete, verifiable achievements". If I sweep the fluff out and keep only the important part, or "all the information people expect to find there", my CV is more than half of a page a bit. Is it still dangerous?
    – Ooker
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 14:07

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