Updated: Feb 19
When you have to fit your CV to two pages in a grant application, what you choose to cut or keep says a lot about what you think are your most important achievements. Do you include examples of impact in your CV, and if so how?
I was recently asked by a colleague how I communicate impact in my own CV. When I looked, I have to confess that I was rather disappointed; my impacts were hidden in a list of career "highlights" at the top of my CV.
So I started asking around, to find out how other people include impact in their CVs. The answers I received inspired me. In addition to clearly articulating the impact of their research, a number of colleagues had done so using infographics.
Inspired by these examples, I wondered if I could turn my intimidatingly dense two-pager into something that still had everything I'd want for a grant application, but in a more digestible format, that would more clearly show the impact of my research. I checked with my funders (UKRI) that they would accept infographic CVs in funding applications, and they confirmed that this was fine as long as I kept to the required font size and page margins. These constraints meant that it took three drafts before it eventually fitted to two pages, but with the help of Fast Track Impact's designer, Anna Sutherland, this was a lot easier than it might otherwise have been.
So here's the before and after. Click on the images below if you want to download the original files.
Standard two-page CV with impact integrated into "highlights":
Infographic CV with impact section:
Now, you might say that's easy for me - I've got a designer to help me (and you'd be right). But Anna and I wrote a blog in 2017 about how to turn your next paper into an infographic, and it turns out that anyone can do this with free software if you understand the design process for creating an infographic. One of these companies even has infographic CV templates (though they would need a lot of adaptation for an academic CV).
I've tweeted this blog below, and would love to hear from you there, and be inspired by more of your examples and ideas about how to put impact on your CV.
Find out more
If you're looking for a personal website or something for your new research project, I work with the Fast Track Impact design team to develop websites (which can include infographics) that are specifically designed to generate impact from your research.