For reasons that might be discussed at a later date, I am looking for a new job.
My ultimate career goal has not exactly changed at this point in time, but I am perhaps not so resolutely committed to it as I once was. Nonetheless I am still making decisions on the basis that I’m still heading in the same general direction, even if it takes me longer to get there than I had initially expected.
Here enters the two-body element of the equation. Last fall, Paramed began working toward his Bachelor’s degree in earnest. He has a couple of years left, at which point he will most likely be working toward some sort of graduate or professional degree. This means that I really need to stay in postdoc city for 2 more years—but not (much) longer than that. I want to return to my biochemistry roots, so it’s certainly possible to crank out some publications during that amount of time. But even if I do manage that, it means that I likely will be doing yet another postdoc when we move again.
All these factors—and others not mentioned—have culminated in a decision to be less restrictive in my job search than I was a couple of years ago and to apply for both academic (postdoc) and industry positions.
Which means, among other things, having two versions of my CV.
The first is relatively easy—the traditional CV listing my degrees, fellowships, publications, etc. This is the one that will go out to heads of academic labs, and only needed to be updated from when I previously applied for postdoc positions. The second is a new beast for me—the industry CV. In many ways, it’s an expanded resumé with elements of a CV. I spent several hours this week learning about the industry CV (there are several good articles at Science Careers on the topic) and building my own.
One thing becomes immediately obvious when comparing the academic and industry CVs: Academics care about your pedigree and publications; industry wants to know what you can actually do—as in what methods and programs you actually have experience with. It’s an interesting exercise after spending years focusing on what you got and not so much on how you got there. It’s probably a worthwhile task for any grad student or postdoc, if for no other reason than to assess how much you’ve learned. And as Jeff Habig pointed out, it’s almost essential for young scientists to maintain multiple versions of their CVs these days.
Speaking of, I should get back to mine!