Compiling Professional Work Search Documents: Resumes, CVs, Cover Letters, Bios, and Profiles (Part of the Career Building: Your Ladder to Success Pilot Program)

Date & Time

Wednesday, 1 June 2016 - 9:00am to 4:00pm


Graduate Student Centre, 6371 Crescent Road, UBC, Point Grey campus


Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO)



How can I make my resumé/CV stand out from the rest? How do I negotiate a salary? How can I make meaningful connections with people who I’d like to work with?

Transitioning from a postdoctoral fellowship to a post-fellowship career can be daunting. In a competitive job market, it is vital to cultivate your brand and develop a strong professional portfolio in order to move into the professional workforce. With non-linear career paths intersecting and leading to changes to your career path, establishing a solid professional portfolio can arm you with transferrable skills that are applicable not just to industry but to multiple careers in a lifetime. The Postdoctoral Fellows Office is pleased to introduce Career Building: Your Ladder to Success, a professional development pilot program designed to assist senior postdocs as they transition to post-fellowship careers by providing support, resources, and networking opportunities. The program leads a small select cohort through a series of professional development workshops and interactive panels, which culminates into individualized one-on-one career coaching with a certified career management specialist. By the end of the pilot program, participants will have learned how to design an independent development plan, put together a professional portfolio, and navigate the interview and negotiation process.

Application is required, and space in the Career Building pilot program is limited. Preference will be given to senior postdocs, and to those postdocs nearing the end of their UBC appointments. Participants must be prepared and able to attend all sessions in full in order to be eligible to participate in the pilot program, and some pre-work will be required. As part of the pilot program, participants will be asked to complete a feedback assessment after each session, as well as a larger assessment of the program upon completion.

Program Curriculum

There will be four mandatory sessions held over a 4 -6 week period as part of the Career Building program. There will also be two annual events that PDFs are encouraged to attend as part of the search process. Unless otherwise noted, all sessions will be held at Thea Koerner House (6371 Crescent Road) on the UBC Point Grey campus. Click on a workshop title for detailed information about each session.


  • All participants must be available to attend all mandatory sessions in full. Participants who do not attend all mandatory sessions in full will not be eligible for the individualized coaching session.   
  • All applicants must hold a current UBC postdoctoral fellowship appointment at the time of application and for the entire duration of the Career Building pilot program.
  • Space is limited in this Career Building pilot program. Preference will be given to senior postdoctoral fellows, or to postdoctoral fellows nearing the end of their UBC appointments.
  • Postdocs who have repeatedly missed PDFO workshops without notice/cancellation may be considered ineligible to attend.


Applications for this session of the Career Building: Your Ladder to Success pilot program are now closed.


Please direct any questions to the Postdoctoral Fellows Office by email at

Workshop Description and Facilitator Biography

Session #3: Compiling Professional Work Search Documents: Resumes, CVs, Cover Letters, Bios, and Profiles

In the academic world of universities and research institutes, comprehensive Curriculum Vitae (CVs), as well as concise and compelling bios and profiles, are essential job search tools. However, in industry jobs, even in senior positions, the expectation is that your professional resume will be targeted, compelling, and only 2 – 3 pages long. Cover letters, professional profiles, and bios are often required for conference presentations, funding proposals, consulting contracts, social media accounts, websites, and publications.

This practical, hands-on, full day workshop for Postdoctoral Fellows will explore the differences between resumes and CVs, offer tips and strategies for ensuring that your profile or bio stands out and works effectively, and equip you to structure and polish targeted and compelling professional work search documents. Supported by facilitators, in the afternoon participants will begin to compile and organize their resumes and CVs and create sample bios/profiles as templates for future use. Leave equipped to effectively customize your resume, cover letter, bios, and profiles, and maintain a CV of your relevant professional and academic accomplishments. 

Participants will:

  • Be introduced to essential style and structural components of professional resumes and CVs
  • Examine how CVs are uniquely different from resumes
  • Learn strategies for “data-mining” relevant skills/experiences and organizing resumes, CVs, cover letters, bios, and professional profiles to present compelling evidence of fit
  • Explore examples and critically examine their own resumes, CVs, cover letters, bios, and profiles
  • Develop resume, CV, and profile-writing skills through targeting and polishing their own documents

Dr. Roberta Neault, President, Life Strategies Ltd.

Roberta Neault

Dr. Roberta Neault, CCC, GCDF-i, CCDP, is an award-winning leader in the career development sector, in Canada and internationally. She is a published author and international speaker on topics related to career management. Roberta's academic career has involved contract work at 10 universities across Canada, the US, and Asia and she currently serves as Associate Dean of a university in New Brunswick while running her BC-based consulting company. Her extensive experience supporting graduate students, postdocs, managers, executive leaders, and professionals brings unique perspective to crafting professional work search documents.