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anyone with experience of academic recruiting?

(12 Posts)
Chachah Tue 10-Jun-14 17:07:57

I'm finishing a post-doc, and will be applying for permanent lectureships this coming year.

I'm also finishing a year of maternity leave, so my question is, should I put it on my CV?

- it explains why I have fewer articles etc about to come out
- it lets my prospective employer know I'll have fewer items to return for the next REF

- it reminds my prospective employer that I'm a fertile woman, and tells them I just started a family (cue them wondering, will she want more children soon?)
- I'm a little afraid that putting in a "career break" or something would make me look unprofessional/uncommitted.


BettyFriedansLoveChild Thu 12-Jun-14 21:12:30

I'm not in academic recruitment, but marking my place as I am in a similar-ish position. My gut feeling would be to not mention maternity leave on a CV.

Re. the REF, if you are just finishing maternity leave now, it probably won't affect your productivity for the next cycle (i.e. 2014-2020) - happy to be corrected if I am wrong as I am just starting to get my head around this. Don't you only need four good outputs for one REF? - should be plenty of time to get those together in the next five years.

Chachah Thu 12-Jun-14 22:39:25

Betty, about the REF: my point is not so much about my productivity (I'm confident I'll be fine), it's more that I'm entitled to returning only 3 outputs instead of 4 in 2020. Worth knowing, for a prospective employer looking at my publications list and trying to figure out what my top REF-able outputs are.

For what it's worth, my instinct is also to say nothing about my maternity leave. Even though not mentioning it makes it look like I've been doing less, on average. If you see what I mean.

callamia Thu 12-Jun-14 22:50:40

Please put it on your CV.
I've just finished a round of short-listing for a new lecturer, and the people who are clear that their pubs are limited by one of two maternity leaves look much more competitive than those with rather less explained gaps in publishing. You're back - you've got potential to do more. Others just look like they lack the potential.

I've just returned from maternity leave myself, and any academic will know the hit that your pub writing and grant-writing takes when you have a child.

BettyFriedansLoveChild Fri 13-Jun-14 09:20:48

Callamia, can I ask another question re. maternity leave and CVs? I'm just finishing a PhD, so will be applying for jobs next year. The PhD will have taken me just under four years to submission, and I will have had two babies in that time. I do have some publications, but obviously would have had more without the pregnancies and leave periods. I had always thought that I would leave this off the CV, but mention it at interview. If I was going to include it on a CV, in which section of the CV would it make sense to do so?

Chachah Fri 13-Jun-14 11:03:18

thank you, callamia.

to add to Betty's question - would you mention it as "maternity leave", or in vague terms such as "career break"?

Chachah Fri 13-Jun-14 11:22:38

Incidentally, Betty - finishing your PhD under 4 years, with 2 babies and some publications, is a pretty amazing achievement. I do see why it'd make sense to mention it, in your case...

BettyFriedansLoveChild Fri 13-Jun-14 11:58:17

Thanks ChaChah, the original plan was definitely to market it as an achievement, at interview if not necessarily on the CV. However, I'm now in a bit of a quandary regarding how to frame it, as its not quite as straightforward as having two babies … My second baby died shortly after the birth - this was relatively recent, only six weeks ago, so I'm technically on a leave of absence from studies right now, although in practice I'm using this time to finish up the thesis. It feels dishonest describing this as a maternity leave, and I'm not really sure how I could bring it up at interview without making everyone feel awkward. Which leave me thinking that in a professional context maybe I should only acknowledge having one baby during the PhD, although this doesn't really account for the negative impact of pregnancy on productivity. (Sorry to insert such a downer into the thread)

Chachah Fri 13-Jun-14 12:34:34

omg Betty. So sorry. (((hug)))

I don't think you should feel dishonest about highlighting your second pregnancy/baby, because a) there's no way it didn't impact your work, and b) after 24 weeks of pregnancy, the law says you're entitled to all your maternity rights, including 1 year of maternity leave, no matter what happens to the baby.

callamia Fri 13-Jun-14 13:35:32

betty and Chacha, you're both clearly brilliant.

Betty, I'm so sorry about your baby, and I hope that you are doing as well as you can. You are in maternity leave - you have still gone through birth and are a mother to two children, so calling it anything else wouldn't seem to honour you correctly. I think noting two periods of maternity leave in a covering letter, and perhaps a line on your CV where you talk about your PhD is sufficient. You can be as vague as you like at interview - although you're unlikely to be asked about your family except informally.

chacha, I'd definitely call it maternity leave. Everyone knows what that entails. You can say how long you took if you want, but is tend to assume a year out, I'd also factor your REF output needing to be lowered, so I'd look at your pubs with that in mind.

Best of luck to both of you, and happy to look at any CVs or cover letters. I've just been through over 80 for a new lecturer role.

Chachah Sat 14-Jun-14 09:37:28

thank you callamia! much appreciated.

BettyFriedansLoveChild Mon 16-Jun-14 13:03:11

Thanks callamia.

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