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Creating an effective academic CV

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Many selection committee members say that the first document they look at is the CV. It shows that you're fundamentally eligible to do the advertised job, and it offers a run-down of your career to date. It's the scaffolding on to which the selectors can hang all of the other information contained elsewhere in your application. Yet, for a host of varied reasons, many people persist in writing truly awful CVs.

What follows is my list of the top 10 most irritating mistakes — irritating because they can so easily be fixed. They are the fruit of more than 10 years' combined experience as a researcher, teacher, and academic careers adviser at the University of Cambridge. I have seen literally hundreds of academic applications and, hence, the myriad ways to shoot yourself in the foot with a poor CV. But if I had to sum up my advice in just one line, it would be this: Before that point, the person reviewing your application may spend no more than 90 seconds scanning through the CV, skimming for key highlights — such as your list of publications, places you've worked, grants won, and so on.

You have to make sure that the important stuff, which will not necessarily be the same from one application to the next, leaps off the page. There's no singular 'correct' way to format a CV so that it can be scanned effectively, but here are two tips.

First, you have to keep seeing it on the page, so don't spend too long editing your CV on the screen before you print it out to take a look. Secondly, the best test of whether it's scannable is — drum roll, please — whether someone can scan it.

So, give a hard copy of your CV to a willing friend, ideally someone who owes you a favour but doesn't know your career history inside out. Put a stopwatch on them for 90 seconds and ask them to read through the CV. What did they pick up in that time? What didn't stand out? Did they identify the achievements you most want the selection committee to notice? This is part of the logic of scanning.

Someone reading fast will turn the page and jump straight to the next heading, which means that whatever content has been 'held over' from the previous page could well go entirely unread.

Break up sections by using subheadings, e. I never thought to have to negotiate this, but, recently, a surprising number of early career academics have tried to argue this point with me. Let me therefore say very clearly: CV writing is not about what's logical or preferable to you; it's about anticipating your selectors' needs and trying to make their lives as easy as possible.

If that argument doesn't convince you, here's another angle. Remember that I'm going to be skimming your CV, not reading it in detail. If I cast a quick glance over your publications and see at the top of the list a paper dated , then I may well conclude that you haven't published anything since and decide not to waste more time on reading this section of your CV.

In many cases, this is simply a question of structure. If you're applying for a teaching role at a less research-intensive university, then do I really want to wade through seven or eight pages of information about your research experience before I get to a meagre section on your teaching?

Bring the teaching section forward and expand it. Include journal articles, books or chapters of books, reports and patents. If you wrote as part of a team, list all authors and highlight your own name in the sequence. Jennie is a careers adviser and during her time at Bangor University, was Acting Head of the Career Service until , was the first e-guidance practitioner in Wales and was part of the team that introduced and trained colleagues across Wales on becoming e-guidance practitioners.

Jennie also contributed to Vitae residential courses and set up a course for unemployed graduates. Prior to training as a careers adviser, Jennie qualified as a teacher and taught in the UK and the USA, but worked in a variety of jobs. What do you think about this article? Email your thoughts and feedback to us. Great jobs for bright people. Sign In Register Recruiters. SKILLS Use this section to write about your computational skills, administrative skills, team-working skills, time-management, communication skills and project management skills giving some evidence of how you acquired them.

Academic CV Additions Now you add the extra information you need to turn the Classic CV into one for your application to work in academia! Where is your research going? Where would you like it to go? Your potential employer might well know your supervisor — that will give connections and employer may well know methodology of supervisor Incorporate conferences and posters Collaborations - highlight your name even if it is third or fourth in list of contributors How have you disseminated your research to a wider audience?

Training, mentoring, facilitating Supervision of students — undergraduate? What teaching materials have you designed or prepared? How many hours and how many students? Have you organised any fieldwork or trips? Any involvement in course organisation or preparation Lab supervision Any informal mentoring or supporting students Have you supervised any dissertation work or theses?

Missed the talk about work-family balance in academia? Developing your faculty application materials? Visit our new online resources, including a how-to video and sample CV and Cover Letter.

Welcome to our collection of sample materials for faculty and postdoctoral positions. These samples have been generously donated by UCSF students, postdocs, and alumni, in order to offer you ideas about how to present your own skills and experiences. We make no claims that they are perfect, but we offer them as useful examples. Do not copy the text exactly. To do so is considered plagiarism.

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When writing an academic CV, make sure you know what sections to include and how to structure your document. Check out CV templates and sample CVs to help you write your own. Tips for Writing an Academic CV.

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A curriculum vitae allows you to showcase yourself and your academic and professional achievements in a concise, effective way. You want to have a compelling CV that is well-organized and easy to read, yet accurately represents your highest accomplishments.

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The academic CV, academic curriculum vitae (see academic cv examples/template), has a format, tailored for academic positions and emphases academic publications, research and funding awarded. A curriculum vitae, or CV, includes more information than your typical resume, including details of your education and academic achievements, research, publications, awards, affiliations, and more. Review sample curriculum vitae, the difference between a CV and a resume, and tips and advice on how to write a CV.

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Use this quick guide to help you write an academic CV for a job at a university – includes examples, design tips and more! Posted in How To Build Your Tenure File, How To Write CVs, Landing Your Tenure Track Job, Major Job Market Mistakes, Promote Yourself!, Writing Instrumentally Tagged how to write a cv, rules of the academic cv, what is a curriculum vitae permalink.