Re: Maintaining The Cover On Your Secret Identity Is Key

1

I'd agree with most of it except for the advice to omit the PhD from the resume.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:33 AM
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I never finished mine, so I leave it off.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:35 AM
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My strategy was to go into grad school already having other, marketable skills. Here's hoping that was a good idea.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:38 AM
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It turns out that a degree is the kind of thing you can get in trouble for lying about. The "self-start" sort of bullshit is safer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:38 AM
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It turns out that a degree is the kind of thing you can get in trouble for lying about.
For not mentioning one you've got as well?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:49 AM
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Anyway, the secret identity idea seemed to me to be secondary to good advice that I never got the first time I was in grad school (have a plan b and an interest outside grad school that isn't drinking). Maybe people did tell me I should have other interests, but they were thinking of hobbies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:55 AM
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5: I have no direct knowledge, but I doubt it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:56 AM
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5: I kind of doubt it, but what about jobs where pay band is determined by education? There could be quite a precedent problem that might catch the attention of a union.
6: Drinking isn't a hobby? I usually say food is my hobby, and now I'm concerned.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 7:18 AM
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that might catch the attention of a union.

A what? You must not be from around here.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 7:30 AM
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I was thinking specifically of public schools. It would be hard to omit a master's to get a job, then eventually get the pay raise.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 7:48 AM
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Like all academia advice, I wish he'd been more clear about what fields he's giving advice to.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 7:58 AM
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I think social sciences and humanities mostly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:06 AM
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It's not advice about academia, but about nonacademia. The point of a resume is to sum up one's education and experience that are relevant to the position sought. It's not an exercise in writing a mini-autobiography.

Are the jobs where a PhD in Mathematics is so irrelevant as to amount to a disqualification, in the eyes of a particular employer? I would expect that there are.

As noted in the comments, an advanced degree in unicorn hunting (my preferred analogy is building a structurally correct model of the Eiffel Tower of popsicle sticks) is going to send the wrong signal for lots of jobs.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:15 AM
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Seconding 3. Although association with academic coding might be poison, on top of the assumption that a PhD is a sign of bad market analysis. Probably being over 40 makes me unemployable anyway.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:16 AM
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13: Not everything needs to go on a resume, but pretending you've not done a PhD is quite a long number of years to pretend that you've just had a small freelance job on the side.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:34 AM
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have a plan b and an interest outside grad school that isn't drinking

Blog commenting is a good backup plan, right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:43 AM
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14.last gives me fits


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:43 AM
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I'm over forty also. I'm in the best shape of my life, except for my joints, and more capable of work than ever. Also more capable of pushing work onto others, but hey.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:49 AM
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"Best" is maybe an exaggeration. Let's say top 75%.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:50 AM
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17: I hope a recent degree counts as a `reset' for more intelligent employers -- look! I cans lern noo thingz!

(And talk to the young'uns, too, see?)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:52 AM
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17: I hope a recent degree counts as a `reset' for more intelligent employers -- look! I cans lern noo thingz!

You're trying to be depressing, aren't you. . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:55 AM
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I'd imagine anywhere education is an important component of status and/or pay, the job application will ask for it - it won't be just resume and cover letter.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:58 AM
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20 is a huge relief. (17 was me).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 9:30 AM
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Well, 20's "I hope" so maybe not a huge relief but a relief nonetheless. I hope


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 9:32 AM
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Only kinda off-topic: a delightful anecdote from the workaday world, presented for your enjoyment!

So it seems our freight elevator's card reader is broken. In order to control access to various floors without it, a member of the building's security/maintenance staff has been posted in the elevator to push buttons all day (or until it gets fixed). Keep in mind: this is the freight elevator, so it's not like he needs to rub shoulders with C-suite execs or anything. I asked if he had brought a book, and he gave a rueful "if I'd known that's what I was doing today..." Being the sort of person I am, I grabbed a newspaper and one of the books from the "books for the taking" table, and offered them to him. Nervously, he said he'd better not, he wasn't sure what his boss would think, and there's cameras, y'know. Again: the freight elevator.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 9:54 AM
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Anyway, the article in the OP is clearly right, and the fact that I did not do this is one huge source of regret. The only reason it doesn't loom larger in my imagination as a defining element of How I Ruined My Life is that it's sort of dwarfed by the greater enormity of spending 8 years Not Getting a PhD, considered as an organic whole.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 9:57 AM
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3- Roadside bike repair technician?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 9:58 AM
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I don't think it fair to call leaving something irrelevant off a resume pretending it didn't happen. But yes, a more accurate section heading would be Relevant Education, like Relevant Experience.

I've heard often that one should definitely leave off the JD when applying for a nonlegal job, lest one be passed over as a probable problem.

Age discrimination in hiring is rampant, epidemic even.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 10:56 AM
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It's a rationalization, Barry Freed, NickS. Not properly a relief.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 1:50 PM
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I think in any graduate specialty that uses lots of data or modeling, you can keep yourself current by doing lots of coding and analysis. In markets for programmers I think the issue is more the stuff you've actually done and the tools you know how to use than who exactly you've done it for.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 2:32 PM
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27: couldn't hurt!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 5:34 PM
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I've heard often that one should definitely leave off the JD when applying for a nonlegal job, lest one be passed over as a probable problem.

Seems reasonable. And also adds to that sense of being permanently trapped in this line of work. ..


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 7:02 PM
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I think the most interesting thing about that Kotsko post is that it was republished by Yglesias, of all people.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 7:27 PM
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Ask a Manager had a good discussion of the PhD on resume? question. I'm inclined to agree with her. To the extent that you get to shape your resume towards what's relevant to the job, it seems ok if your PhD isn't relevant to not put it on the resume. But of course when asked directly you can't lie about it. It seems like if a job pays differently based on highest degree, that question would be asked directly in the application materials or in the paperwork that goes along with officially starting work.

Some of the comments at Ask A Manager in favor of always putting in the PhD boil down to "if they don't list the PhD, how are we supposed to stereotype and discriminate against them on that basis?"


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:17 PM
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Huh, that Ask A Manager site is interesting. Her advice seems to be pretty good.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 11:27 PM
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Wow, ask a manager offered to read resumes for $99 and had more requests than she could handle? There's your non-academic moneymaking opportunity.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 6:26 AM
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How do they know she really read the resumes? Was there a test afterward?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 6:57 AM
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If she's a good manager, she would have outsourced it.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 6:59 AM
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39

My resume hasn't been updated since 2006. Microsoft's grammar checking still doesn't like it when a university insists that its name includes the definite article. I assume because Seattle is a Pac 12 kind of place.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 7:18 AM
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40

I was going to write Gee a letter about that, but it turns out he had to resign for saying anti-Catholic things in a football-related context. Why does nobody tell me anything?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 7:23 AM
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He had to resign from being president, but he still has a cush job at THE university.


Posted by: Gordon Gee | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 7:13 PM
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So is it possible to build a shadow academic CV while working a non-academic job? Is it possible without formal enrolment in university subjects?


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 08-15-13 9:15 AM
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42: I believe John Emerson determined that the answer is no.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-15-13 9:21 AM
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