Use SSRN to Improve Your Resume

I’ll never forget the moment after presenting at my first conference as an undergrad when my professor, who was also my carpool driver, said “Now you can add a ‘conferences’ section on your resume.” Young and inexperienced, the thought had never occurred to me that all that writing and citing I was doing could actually add a new heading on my resume. I understood that what I was doing was valuable, yet the idea of adding it to an actual document that could actually represent me after college had never occurred to me!

To this day, I really don’t see a way around it- no matter how you dress it up, writing/updating a resume is a chore. The pressure kicks up a notch if you are an academic trying to get into a competitive PhD program, vying for an assistantship, or applying for a teaching position. Your resume is one of the only tools you have to garnish some precious attention from decision makers.

If, at some point during the application process, you want to just melt into a puddle of stress goo… we’ll just keep that between us. The good news is that your free SSRN account can give you an advantage as you build a credible resume to share with the academic community.

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How, you ask?

The academic community wants to see your research. You’ll have to prove you have experience researching and that you know how to support a thesis. That means having a “research” heading on your resume. If that intimidates you, read on. You probably have more work to share than you think.

For most qualifying applications you do not need to be a published author in a related field. If you went to college, or have an interest in pursuing an academic career chances are you’ve written a research paper or two in your life. If it is work that you are proud of, don’t just ask application reviewers to believe you that you can do the work. Show them!

Keeping a paper hidden in a word doc on your computer is like keeping a light under a basket. By posting it open access on SSRN not only can you start to curate an author profile, but it opens the door to sharing those preprints with interested readers.

Each paper you share in SSRN’s eLibrary receives a unique link, which can then be pasted under the Research portion of your resume to prove your skill. Qualifying papers may even be disseminated in SSRN’s eJournals, which may boost downloads and give you impressive metrics to add to the resume. Anytime you can measure the impact of your work be sure to include it in your resume. Our integration with PlumX makes measuring those numbers simpler and more effective.

SSRN papers can also be added to web pages and even your LinkedIn account. By establishing yourself in this open community of collaborators you open the doors to being discovered. Your research goes to work for you as you network.

Remember that author profile I mentioned earlier? That is going to be a nice highlight on your resume too. Even if you cannot boast a published dissertation (yet), you can still show off your intentions as a serious academic. Customize your author page with a professional profile image that characterizes you. Resume readers who take the initiative to go to that author profile will be impressed, and with digital resumes becoming more common they may be only one click away.

Your author profile also houses any and all of the papers you choose to upload there. This offers another chance to prove your work and show examples of your writing and your successful research.

If you’re looking to collaborate, or have research plans that haven’t quite taken shape you can even share ideas on SSRN. Use this feature on your “My Papers” page to show initiative to the people you want to impress. If fact, use it for the sake of scholarly discourse regardless of who you are impressing. If you are serious about following a long-term path in academia you’ll be glad you engaged in early-stage sharing.

Applications can be emotionally exhausting to complete. Don’t leave the research heading off your resume. Your available work can advocate for your skill. Including robust content and samples in this field will make your resume stand out.

At SSRN we are committed to author success! Take advantage of our free author accounts to build the research portion of your resume and to prove your merit as a scholar and member of the academic community.

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