Laurie Taylor Column

July 9, 2004

" Advice is urgently needed on how to write academic CVs " - Letter in Times Higher , July 2.

Darling, finished your CV for that De Montfort job?

I'm a bit stuck on page one. GIVE FULL NAME.

That's easy. Your full name is Derek Quintock. Shall I spell it?

The problem is that the application asks for "someone with proven ability as a team player". So I thought I might become "Dirk". It's more sociable. "Hi, Dirk, nice to have you aboard."

It makes you sound like a small Scottish dagger. Didn't they also want someone "capable of imposing his authority over a large diverse department"?

That's why I was going to put in a solid sounding middle initial. I was thinking of Dirk "A" Quintock.

"A" for Attila. Very nice. Any other problems?

There's AGE. They want someone who is "still essentially young at heart". I was toying with "47".

But you and your heart are both essentially 55. Isn't there also a line about "intellectual integrity"?

Then there's EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS. That's tricky. They want evidence of "academic excellence". So, I thought I'd leave out my upper second and simply say "top class degree".

Ingenious.

That leaves the MARRIED or SINGLE question. Married sounds so straight and settled. Would you mind terribly if I became single?

Not at all, darling. Who'd want anything so conventional as marriage to a youthful despotic don with a top-class mind called Dirk? What's next?

HOBBIES.

The mind boggles.

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