Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Professor Is in: CV or Résumé?

The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 5th, 2015



Can I refer to an academic CV as a “résumé”? If I see the latter word used in a job ad, does it mean the department is asking for something different from a CV?

I got involved in a recent Twitter discussion on this very topic. A blogger based in Britain (Patrick Dunleavy, a professor at the London School of Economics) wrote a lengthy piece on academic job documents that opens with the claim that the terms CV and résumé can be used interchangeably in the United States. Another academic tweeted his skepticism about that claim, and suggested that The Professor Is In adjudicate the question. I agreed, and we waited for Professor Dunleavy to play along. He never did. But it’s a good question, and one that I’m asked several times a year by readers and clients. So I’m taking this opportunity to answer it now.

In the United States, the word résumé is almost never used in place of CV. I wish I could just write “never,” because the distinction is vanishingly small. But I can’t, because one time, in my four years of working with clients as The Professor Is In, I saw a university ask for a résumé in a tenure-track search. Another time, I saw a community college do the same.

So I’ve seen résumé used in place of CV twice, out of the roughly 3,000 faculty job ads that I’ve encountered. That comes to 0.00067 percent. It’s not never, but it is very close to it.

Can I refer to an academic CV as a “résumé”? If I see the latter word used in a job ad, does it mean the department is asking for something different from a CV?
I got involved in a recent Twitter discussion on this very topic. A blogger based in Britain (Patrick Dunleavy, a professor at the London School of Economics) wrote a lengthy piece on academic job documents that opens with the claim that the terms CV and résumé can be used interchangeably in the United States. Another academic tweeted his skepticism about that claim, and suggested that The Professor Is In adjudicate the question. I agreed, and we waited for Professor Dunleavy to play along. He never did. But it’s a good question, and one that I’m asked several times a year by readers and clients. So I’m taking this opportunity to answer it now.
In the United States, the word résumé is almost never used in place of CV. I wish I could just write “never,” because the distinction is vanishingly small. But I can’t, because one time, in my four years of working with clients as The Professor Is In, I saw a university ask for a résumé in a tenure-track search. Another time, I saw a community college do the same.
So I’ve seen résumé used in place of CV twice, out of the roughly 3,000 faculty job ads that I’ve encountered. That comes to 0.00067 percent. It’s not never, but it is very close to it.
- See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/995-the-professor-is-in-cv-or-resume#sthash.T6QDw1PE.dpuf

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