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I'm working on a CV for a Mathematical Sciences Ph.D program. Though I don't have any papers published, I have contributed to a number of research groups and given some hour-long presentations. I also did some presentations as part of my capstone projects in both of my undergraduate majors (math and chemistry). I thus think it's valuable to have a "Presentations" section on my CV for now until I have papers published.

However, some of the info in the "Presentations" section would necessarily overlap with some of the info in my "Employment" section, e.g.:

  • "Developed and presented an improved C algorithm for [analyzing simulations for xxx structure] using [mathematical technique]."

  • "Presented a literature review on [use of a mathematical technique in simulation] including a detailed overview to the research group on [mathematical algorithm used for analysis]."

How can I distinguish the two sections? Should I emphasize the content of the presentation more in the "presentation" section, and my day-to-day routine more in the "employment" section?

Any other suggestions?

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How can I distinguish the two sections? Should I emphasize the content of the presentation more in the "presentation" section, and my day-to-day routine more in the "employment" section?

Answer #1) I would distinguish the two sections by calling one, "Presentation Experience". The ability to execute lengthy and quality presentations is a very valuable and rare capability. Not many people can do it well. I consider myself to be a poor presenter and I've personally witnessed people who present worse than I would. By all means, accentuate your presentation experience by providing as much context as possible. Let the reader feel like they can almost "see" the presentation as it took place.

Answer #2) I don't think it's detrimental if there is a little overlap between your job duties and your presentations. Simply don't provide much or any information about your presentations in your job duties section. You might mention that one of your current job duties is to make oral presentations as required/needed.

  • Well, my current job is a teacher, so I'd consider that pretty much constant presentations. My presentation experience is primarily from undergraduate research internships. – Opal E Jan 13 '17 at 0:30
  • @OpalE Then I would focus on the internship presentations in the "Presentation Experience" section. Most readers would understand that they are much more formal. – Inquisitive Jan 13 '17 at 0:33
  • Potential phrasing: "Developed and presented an improved C algorithm for [analyzing simulations]. The presentation included detailed description of the algorithm, instruction on its implementation, several test cases, and analysis of its performance." Would this be too short? – Opal E Jan 13 '17 at 0:35
  • @OpalE I'd describe the venue, location, and crowd size as well. Let the reader get a real feel for the intensity of the conference. They might like to know about the stress level you can endure in that situation. Presenting to 5 people would possibly be viewed as easy. 100 people would intimidate many of us and we'd look at you as being quite capable. Mention if there were any high-profile people in your audience. – Inquisitive Jan 13 '17 at 0:39
  • I'm not sure an audience of 30 looks impressive unless I mention that I was the only undergradate in a room of grad students, postdocs and professors. I don't know how I would mention that without it sounding like an excuse. – Opal E Jan 13 '17 at 0:54

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