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A Pretty CV

A good-looking CV makes a good impression. At the Nature Jobs blog, Carol Spencely from the University of Surrey and Imperial College London gives some tips on how to spruce up the ol' CV.

The key, she says, is "to communicate clearly and concisely (with evidence) about your skills, achievements, qualifications and experience." That means not only writing about what qualifications you have and what research projects you've worked on, but also about the skill set you've amassed. That, Spencely says, is where many researchers get stumped.

To come up with a comprehensive list of everything that you've learned, she suggests making a list of everything you do — from supervising students to managing a budget to designing experiments — as a researcher.

"Most researchers surprise themselves with the amount of 'stuff' they do," she notes.

Then, she adds, provide evidence. Rather than just saying that you work well as part of a team, specify which collaborations you were a part of.

Spencely also says to customize your CV for each job application. Different organizations may be looking for different skills, so you want to emphasize how you fit in with what they are looking for, and formats may vary if you're applying to a range of positions or in different countries.