Sunday, September 16, 2007

Everyone can see we're together, as we walk on by

How common is it -- or was it -- for philosophers to list their spouses and children on their CV's?

I've recently been looking at a lot of CV's, with an eye towards finally re-writing mine. I've been surprised to find that a few of them (usually belonging to older British men) include the names of spouses and children.

Maybe these family CV's aren't meant for the job market, and maybe they stay put on the websites of tenured faculty. (In that case, some pictures might be better.)

Even so, it's pretty creepy to list one's family alongside one's presentations and publications. Or maybe I value my work too little, or my family too much.


Anonymous said...

If you take the literal meaning of 'CV' seriously, it's your "course of life", not (merely) a list of professional accomplishments. My uninformed sense is that it has turned more and more into the latter over time, but you still see some people who list not only family but also hobbies, job experience not strictly relevant to the purpose of the CV, place of birth / origin, etc.

So no, I don't see it as creepy, since it's just a difference over the purpose of the document. That's not to say that I don't think it inappropriate to *expect* such information from job candidates (since for obvious reasons you shouldn't have to list whether you're married or single, straight or queer, etc.), but very few places require you to provide that info.

Anonymous said...

I've seen a few with marital status and number of children.

Also, sometimes it's odd to find out from their cv a professor's middle name, eg... Lancelot

nth Year said...

Is it true that some places (even if they are "very few") require family information as part of the application? I know that personal topics come up during fly-back conversations (and maybe even at first-round interviews), but does anyone ask about your family in the application stage (i.e., in the stage in which you send a CV)?

That really would be creepy.

P.G.O.A.T. said...

Not just creepy, nth year. Also seriously fucking illegal. Which isn't to say that some people don't try to get away with it. Or so I've heard.

One of the bits of advice I've been given as a woman on the market has been to make sure that I've thought long and hard about how much of the family-and-kids information I'm willing to share with prospective employers, and to make sure that I've got stock answers prepared for the inevitable douchebags who are going to do their bestest to try to sleuth out whether my having of ovaries means I intend to fuck off and breed just as soon as I have tenure.

Anonymous said...

A former colleague of mine told me that, when she was going on the job market several decades ago, she was told that, should she be asked whether she intended to have kids, the correct answer is "I'm barren."

Anonymous said...

First anon here. I was thinking of religious schools that require you to sign a statement to the effect that you'll live a Christian life etc. etc., where that's understood to include not having contracted teh Gay (or at least not having same-sex partners). Sorry if I expressed myself badly.