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					Psi Chi’s Guide to the
Application Process
Curriculum Vitae and Letters of
Part I
Constructing a Curriculum Vitae
What’s a CV?

   CV stands for Curriculum Vitae
    – Latin: “Course of Life”
   Summarizes your academic life:
    teaching experience, research
   Your CV should differ according to the
    position you apply for, but you can
    also have a general CV.
CV or Résumé?
   Length:
    – CV: longer, more detailed, but still concise
    – Résumé: A page long, less detail, extremely concise
   Purpose:
    – CV: Applying for international, academic, education, scientific or
      research positions or when applying for fellowships or grants
    – Résumé: Applying for “jobs”
   Content:
    – CV: Educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching
      and research experience, publications, presentations, awards,
      honors, affiliations and other details.
    – Résumé: Personal information, work experience, educational
      experience, other job-related skills
Sections of a CV

   Personal Information
   Education
   Professional Experience
   Presentations
   Publications
   Honors, Awards, and Memberships
   References
Personal Information

   Name at the top in large letters
   Mailing address
   E-mail address
    – Professional
   Telephone number
    – No cell phones!
    – Professional answering machine message
    – Fax number if applicable
Educational History
   Start with college
    – List all attended institutions
    – Explain gaps in education in personal statement
   State the degree you have / will have
    – Use anticipated graduation date if applicable
   State GPA
    – Cumulative GPA
    – GPA for the last two years
    – Psychology GPA
   Relevant courses – Highlight the important ones
Professional Experience

   List all applicable experiences
    – Teaching Assistanceships
    – Research Assistanceships
    – Interships
   Include supervisor, dates of
    participation, brief description of
    duties performed
   McDonald’s?
Presentations and
   Don’t group the categories together
    – List “Presentations,” “Publications,” or
   Use APA format, single-spaced
   Label items not yet accepted, in
    preparation, in progress
Honors, Awards,
   Honors and Awards: Dean’s list,
    scholarships, any other academic awards
   Memberships:
    –   Psi Chi!
    –   Psychological Society
    –   Any other leadership position in organizations
    –   APA, SEPA
   List your volunteer experience according to
    the organization (soup kitchen), but be

   Include (generally):
    –   People who can attest to your academic prowess
    –   At least two psychology faculty members
    –   One internship supervisor if psychology-related
    –   Limit 1 reference from previous institution if
        transfer student
   Get Permission!
   Consult advisors for specific programs
Other Potential Sections
   Objective: (“To obtain the degree necessary to be able to
    teach at the university level, and increase my knowledge in the
    academic areas that I am most interested in.” )
   Teaching Experience:                   Guest lectures, teaching
    classes, presentations
   Service:         Community, academic, professional; volunteering
    [This typically falls under Professional Experience]
   Grants: RAMP or other research grants received
   Foreign Language Proficiencies
Additional Tips

   Make your CV easy to read
   Complete sentences aren’t necessary
   Get your CV reviewed by faculty
    members, Glema, or Career Services
   Write everything down!
Bad Stuff

   Age                     Ethnic identity
   Political affiliation   Religious preference
   Hobbies                 Marital status
   Sexual orientation      Place of birth
   Photographs             Height, Weight, Health
   Excessive Detail        Lies
   Humor
What’s wrong with this?
                 Joan A. Student
                     1200 North West St.
                      Orlando, FL 32729
                Phone (cell): (407) 294 – 5555

My name is Joan Student, and I am the ideal candidate for your

Bridgewater High, 1994-2006
   Graduated with honors, 3.7 GPA
What’s wrong with this?
  I presented at SEPA last year with my friend
  Sigmund. It was great!


 Dean’s list, Spring 2008
 Fastest Drunk Award – Omega Delta Omega
 Christian Youth Leadership Award - Orlando, FL
Part II
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of
   Graduate programs will require three
    letters of recommendation.
   The purpose of these letters is to have
    someone vouch for your ability to
    study at a graduate school level.
Who to ask….

   Professors in your major are the ideal
    – They can speak to your ability to be in a
      graduate program within the same field.
   Please note– Often graduate programs
    will require at least one of your letters
    come from a professor.
So I am going to ask my
   When choosing who to ask it is
    important to look for a professor who
    actually KNOWS who you are.
   You cannot ask a professor that only
    knows you as that kid in the back of
    the room.
I don’t know a Professor
what can I do?
   Get involved in class!
   Help your Professors put a name to
    the face.
   Ask about working on a project with
    the Professor.
    – See if they are doing research.
Other Alternatives

   You can have other
    people write your
   Professionals in the
    – Internship
   Employers
Other Alternatives
   Though professors are best you can
    use other people whose standing is
    less impressive.
    – Your TA
    – Colleagues
    – Graduate Students
Getting the Best
   Waive your right to see the letter.
    – How can you be sure that the letter is
      good if you don’t see it?
   Pay attention to the program’s
    requirements for recommendations.
   Consider the recommender’s attitude,
    writing style and qualifications.
Asking for Letters

   Prepare a list of recommenders.
   Ask nicely.
   Two months out make an appointment
    to talk about your goals.
   Prepare a packet for each of the
What should be in my
   All necessary forms
    from each of the
    graduate programs.
   Self-stamped,
    addressed envelopes.
   Give clear instructions.
    – List out the directions
      for each school.
   Your contact
Follow up

   Reminder a few weeks before the
    soonest recommendation is due.
    – To make it seem not pushy– tell him you
      are calling to make sure he has no
      questions and that everything is on track.
   Week before- call both programs and
    recommenders to ensure that they
    have received the recommendation.
Follow up Continued
   Send each of your
    recommenders a
    thank-you note.
   When you get your
    acceptance letters and
    choose a program, you
    can send another
    thank-you note telling
    of your happy news.

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