Great advice for updating your vita

From Joshua R. Eyler, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  I had never heard that you shouldn't include your graduate grade point average, but it makes sense.



The Rhetoric of the CV
"It's always best to start at the beginning." Glinda's advice to Dorothy as the young Kansan begins her voyage through Oz is equally applicable to writers of CV's. Of course you will need to have your name, e-mail address, and other contact information up front, but I am more interested in the first real section of the CV, which is usually called "Education" or "Educational Background."

Here is information that search committees will definitely want to see: your degrees, in descending order; the dates on which they were conferred: and the title of your dissertation or final project. If you have not yet defended your dissertation or finalized your creative thesis project (for M.F.A. students), you should include a specific defense date.

If you are not yet at the point where you can set such a date, you should probably rethink your entry into the academic job market. It requires an investment of so much intellectual and emotional energy that, honestly, you would be doing yourself a disservice by applying for jobs before you are realistically ready to do so.

Never include your graduate school GPA or the scores you received on your comprehensive examinations. Doing so amounts to a significant rhetorical blunder, because you are emphasizing your role as a student rather than as a future colleague. Don't worry: The rest of your materials will demonstrate your intellectual prowess. There is no need to undermine your candidacy by overtly calling attention to your grades.

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