Tips for job applicants: describe your contribution on multi-author papers

As I read through the second pass on our over 200 job applicants, I wonder who did what on the multi-author papers. Most people just leave me wondering, but every now and then someone will specify, in italics, under the citation on the CV exactly what it was that they did. This is so useful. It gives me an idea of their skills and interests. It lets me know they are trying to put themself in my shoes as I try to figure out their CV.

Many other people put below each citation how often it was cited and whether it got any press. This is also fine, though I do not do this myself and am not particularly influenced by it. But maybe someone else is. And maybe I am and just don’t realize it.

I suppose every one of us reads a CV differently, so the more help you can give us to understand who you are from your CV the better. If there are more than five authors, let us know what part you played in the project.

Generally, try to put yourself in our place. Let us know what you’ve figured out that is creative, what ideas are yours and what ideas someone else had and you followed through. We want the story. We have a hard job to do.


About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
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3 Responses to Tips for job applicants: describe your contribution on multi-author papers

  1. Alyssa says:

    Hi Joan, thanks for the advice. Would you recommend this for multi-author papers where the applicant is first author? Alyssa

  2. Pingback: How do you get an academic job in biology? | Sociobiology

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