MODULE 4 – Converting your CV to a Professional Resume


To create or refine your resume! As you develop your resume, keep in mind which skills you have and which skills your prospective employer might be looking for and draw on those experiences you articulated last week when identifying your transferable skills.

Individual Activities

If you are considering a non-faculty position outside the academy, you will need to prepare a professional resume. Unlike your CV, which paints a portrait of your academic history and accomplishments, a resume is a marketing tool that selectively emphasizes those skills and experiences most relevant to the job you are applying for.  Depending on the job, it may be the transferable skills that you have built, and not your academic strengths, that you will want to highlight.

If you are not yet applying for jobs, doing a resume is a productive exercise anyway! By evaluating range of skills reflected in your experience set, you will be in a much better position to strategically determine what skills to invest in while at Yale.

For this module, work on a draft of your resume. To get started, review  the resources below. Be sure to drive your resume entries with strong action verbs.

    1. Resume workshop video. Note: You will need to use your CAS login to access the video. The first half of the recording addresses topics relevant to Module 1, whereas the second half directly addresses resumes.
    2. Resume Resources for GSAS and Postdocs
    3. CV to Resume Conversion Guide
    4. ImaginePhD:  Examples of how to tailor a resume to a job description for 15 job families
    5. VersatilePhD:  Examples of real-life PhD resumes and cover letters (log in via CAS)
    6. Transferable Skills and How to Talk About Them, Connected Academics, Modern Language Association

Optional: Make an appointment with an OCS advisor on the Yale Career Link for revisions and feedback!

Group Activities

For the 1st half of the session, do a peer resume review. You may use this Resume Rubric to evaluate each other’s resumes.

    1. What skills stand out? Are experiences well-described to sell relevant skills?
    2. Do descriptions of research highlight how you executed the work, or do they primarily describe the topic?
    3. Does the resume follow a consistent and clear format that uses descriptive headings?

For the 2nd half, share any new findings and resources, and reflect as a group on next steps so that everyone has an action plan.

    1. Start by recapping each group member’s career exploration: Did you have any thoughts of what careers you might be interested when you came into this program, and how have your thoughts changed?
    2. Create Smart Goals:  What (3) skills do you hope to obtain by the time of your graduation that will make you a stronger candidate for a job you’re interested in?
      1. Brainstorm as a group on how to practice those skills. What clubs or activities can you participate in?
      2. What steps will you need to take along the way?
      3. How will you monitor your progress?