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I recently attended a workshop at a renowned research institute, to which you can participate only if you're invited by the organizers, who were rather well-known researchers.

I'm wondering if there's a point in including this information on my CV? On the one hand, it shows that some recognized people think well enough of me and my work to invite me to this type of event; on the other hand I'm afraid of appearing over-proud of a minor deal.

(For context, I'm a PhD student.)

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I'm afraid of appearing over-proud of a minor deal.

In general, you should not worry about this. A CV is a document where you are supposed to "sell yourself". Everyone expects you to highlight those things that show your ability, experience, and recognition by prominent people in the field.

This makes many people uncomfortable, since talking up our own achievements is not the norm for most of us. However, it is the right thing to do for a CV. List anything that provides evidence that you are a strong candidate.

Is it possible to have a CV that appears "over-proud"? Yes, if you did something like clearly exaggerate your experience, or use boastful language. But merely factually listing something you achieved or participated in is not going to create that impression.

As for this specific workshop, definitely put it on your CV. The fact that prominent researchers thought you were worth including in this event speaks well of you. I wouldn't call that a "minor deal", especially for a PhD student.

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    While I agree that a prestigious workshop belongs in the CV of a PhD student, I think there are achievements too minor to include. For example, listing which semesters you made it to the Dean's List back in undergrad. (Which I have seen.) – user37208 Apr 20 '16 at 14:49
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    For those (like me) who were wondering what kind of strange concept a Dean's List is: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean%27s_List It seems this kind of thing is not widespread in Europe. – Andrea Lazzarotto Apr 20 '16 at 20:01
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    @AndreaLazzarotto Indeed, first time I heard the term I assumed it would be a bad thing to have ended up on the deans list. – Tobias Kildetoft Apr 22 '16 at 8:34
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It wasn't entirely clear how well known this conference is or that it is invitation only, but (at least in math) it's quite common for grad students and some postdocs to list conferences attended on their CV. It makes less sense for, say, a full professor to do this, but at the junior level it is not looked upon poorly. Then it does come across as self-inflating.

So my suggestion: make a conferences attended section of your CV, and list them, including this one. (It wasn't clear from your post how you were planning to add it (under awards and honors?), but it would seem weird to me to just have it an item by itself).

Here are a couple of reasons that a conferences attended section can be useful for applications.

  • It gives an indication of how active you are. I always want to hire young people who are active.

  • It may help remind someone who reads your CV if they met you at some conference.

Keeping such a list may also be useful for your personal reference when you're trying to recall your previous exploits. Many people also keep such a list on their webpage (possibly including upcoming conferences, which is not appropriate for you CV).

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If it is "prestigious" and on "invite" only basis, I will definitely add it. For a PhD student, I would add any conference papers you got (for now), you can always change your list of publications later on. Keep in mind that in some fields (computer science), conference papers are weighted much heavily than journal articles!

  • I am not in a field where "conference papers" exist, actually. The workshop was solely to meet with other researchers, discuss with them, and give talks. Does that change anything for your answer? – user52799 Apr 20 '16 at 9:50
  • In my field, conference papers are not weighed at all! Still, we add them to the resume! I would still add yours. – The Guy Apr 20 '16 at 9:52
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    I'm sorry but I still don't understand what you mean by "conference papers" here... There were no papers produced at this conference (or any other that I've attended). I was just physically there and mostly talked with other people. Is this what you mean? – user52799 Apr 20 '16 at 9:54
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    Conference papers are those (as you have described) produced at conferences/workshops. In you case, can you describe your attendance there as a "talk" or "presentation"? In your OP you didn't specify if there was a document produced or not, so I was under the impression that there was a document. – The Guy Apr 20 '16 at 11:10
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    I'm in a field with no conference paper. But I list ALL my participations at conference and such. If you're invited, make sure it does show. This is so important, why hidding stuff you did ? – Emilie Apr 20 '16 at 13:26

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