#AltCV – create your alternative CV

(This idea was originally published on Digital Writing Month, co-authors Maha Bali, Sarah Honeychurch and Kevin Hodgson. This version is adapted from there)
We are used to measuring what we can count in terms of learning, but how do we celebrate the things that matter? We are often asked to tell our stories according to someone else’s standards of what counts, but we are not necessarily asked about what matters to us, what we value, even if it can’t be measured. We are even usually asked to express ourselves in some semi-standardized format, like a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or résumé.
What if we could write a CV that was based not on degrees and position and peer-reviewed publications, but on what we think is most important about who we are and what we are genuinely most proud to have accomplished? We know it’s not the first time some of you have done an activity of introducing yourself differently – so this might be easier for some than others, but we hope all of you will enjoy doing this.

Create your alternative CV by writing it on your blog or using Soundcloud for audio, Youtube for video, Instagram for images — whatever media you like. If you don’t have a blog, just create your #altcv using in a Google Doc.
Then, we invite you to share your alternative CV. Share it using the hashtags #altcv and #unboundeq. If you have a blog, we’ll work on aggregating these blog posts here also. If you used a Google Doc, change the sharing settings on the document so that others can see it, and then tweet out the link to the doc using #altcv and #unboundeq. You can also share by posting a link to your #altcv in the comments section below.

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Here are some examples of things we might include and formats we used to represent ourselves – looking forward to yours!
We are inspired by the thinking of many people who emphasize “all the stuff that matters but does not count”. Lee Skallerup Bessette writes about how service and social media activity and activism are underrated or ignored in academia. Dave Cormier held a week about counting in #rhizo15. Rebecca Hogue challenged the traditional bio. The #clmooc team encouraged participants to do untroductions.
So let’s think of less formal and more formative markers of achievement and personal growth.
Some suggestions:

  • Making a (long term?) friend through a MOOC/ peer review process
  • Being noticed/recognized by somebody “important” and/or someone you deeply respected
  • Doing or writing something that inspires others to remix it (see Tania Sheko’s radio play)
  • Finding an unrelated shared interest (e.g. knitting, ukulele, favourite band)

Some things are slightly more countable, but not usually counted for grades/promotion/tenure (see Bonnie Stewart’s research on influence via Twitter and her post about everybody being a social media guru).
Here is an activity Maha found, designed by @cogdog that inspired other educators to use as icebreakers: “Ingredients of Me“. Here’s an activity that Fred Mindlin found.

If you want to see example Alt CVs you can actually web search #ALTCV or check out the hashtag on Twitter 🙂

Image credit: One Way Street Decisions Opportunity Chance on Pixabay CC0 (adapted)

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