Let’s face it, the tired old standards of education, employment history, and achievements in each role really just aren’t that helpful during the hiring process. Sure, they’re necessary data points, but they’re by no means sufficient. You and your team are going to be spending a LOT of time with your new colleague, and you really want to be sure of making the right decision. I’d therefore like to propose a new section of the standard CV format that would give everyone involved in the hiring process much more useful information on every candidate.
My idea is best illustrated through the use of examples. If I was still in the lab I might include such items as “diligent about re-ordering common reagents and making new batches of common buffer stocks before they run out”, “willing to publicly call out people who don’t do this”, and “good musical taste”, but for an office-based job I would include the following:
- good provider of shared snacks. Repertoire includes both healthy and more indulgent options (e.g. boxes of those teeny tiny oranges, chocolate, wasabi peas, chips. Especially chips. Especially Kettle chips. Especially the honey-Dijon kind. Mmmmmm, chips);
- not at all shy about being the first person to open up snacks left in the shared snack zone by others. Especially if immediate supervisor brought in honey-Dijon Kettle chips again. It’s great that we share an addiction;
- regularly, but not too frequently, emails amusing science, grant writing, and project management-related articles to the entire team (e.g. the clinical trial article Grant kindly brought to my attention last year);
- emails emergency cute animal photos (usually cats, but occasionally orangs) to people who look stressed;
- easy to talk into such things as being the floor’s fire warden;
- completely oblivious to early-stage pregnancies, even when everyone else greets the official announcement with “I knew it!”, therefore extremely unlikely to start rumours on this front;
- keeps desk messy enough to make others look good, but not messy enough to actually cause a health or earthquake hazard.
If asked for my greatest weakness in an interview, I would have to reply that I’m not much of a baker.
What would you put on your CV if you could?