Creating an Impactful Academic CV

John Krautzel
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If you're seeking a career in academia, you may want to forgo the resume in favor of an academic CV, or curriculum vitae. While a resume focuses more on your work experience, professional accomplishments and relevant skills, the academic CV provides an in-depth look at your educational background, employment history, skills, training and publications. Find out how to create an academic CV that impresses hiring managers and lands you an interview.

1. Start with Your Personal Information

The header of your academic CV should include your name and contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses. Be sure to include the web address for your LinkedIn profile and any online portfolios that show your work.

2. Detail Your Educational Background

List any degrees you earned. Include the institution name and year completed. Also, list any relevant subjects and research topics, applicable honors and your advisor's name.

3. List Academic Appointments

If you've already held roles in academia, list them in chronological order, starting with the most recent. Include the position, institution and duration of employment. Use bullets to describe your responsibilities, and list any courses you taught. If your work history is extensive, limit your list to the experience that is most relevant to the position for which you're applying.

4. Include Any Publications

Make a list of all your published works. For extensive lists, break the publications down into categories, such as books, chapters or journal articles.

5. Outline Your Achievements

Take stock of your professional accomplishments, then list those that are impressive and relevant. Be sure to include awards, grants and fellowships.

6. Detail Your Presentations

List the speeches and presentations you've made at conferences, on campus or at other professional events.

7. Include Memberships and Affiliations

Detail any memberships you have with professional associations, and list any volunteer positions you've held. Be sure to make note of leadership roles.

8. Provide Your References

List your references on your academic CV. Choose two or three individuals who can vouch your professional or educational experience. Think employers, mentors, college professors or colleagues. Be sure to ask their permission first.

9. Outline Your Skills

If you're familiar with certain software or equipment that is relevant to the position for which you're applying, make note of it on your CV.

10. Review the CV

Before sending out that application package, be sure to give your academic CV a final look. Check for grammar errors and typos. Ensure margins are even all around, and choose a format that's clean and easy to read.

11. Customize Your Document

After you create your academic CV, be sure to tweak it for every position. Tailor the document to fit the keywords and requirements for each employer and job.

A resume is only a brief summary of your professional background, but a CV is a longer document that provides more detail. A typical CV can span three pages or more. Most applicants opt to submit a CV rather than a resume for careers in academia, as positions tend to be more complex and have specific requirements. Learning how to create an impressive academic CV can land you the job of your dreams.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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