Creating The Best Academic CV

Academic CV writing support

Professionals in American academia need to have a solid Academic CV available not just for job hunting, but for applications and consideration for awards, grants, fellowships, public speaking engagements, consultation projects, leadership review, peer review, merit review and tenure consideration. The importance level of a having a current academic CV is higher than in most fields.

Whether you choose to write your own academic CV or have Capstone Resume Services take on your project, we encourage you to have it ready at a moment’s notice. Depending on your intended use of your academic CV, some of this advice might be seem remedial, however you might pick up a new fun fact or two along the way.

If you are applying for an academic faculty position, your resume focus should emphasize college/university teaching experience, research and publications. Sources in academia suggest that your research is the most important aspect of your CV, so keep this a priority.

If you are applying for a leadership (executive positions at the University level), your resume might be a hybrid between a professional private sector resume and an academic CV. The hiring committee is looking for overall organizational leadership within an academic setting. Some of your sections might include bullets like a professional business resume, while other aspects might include classes you have taught or research you have completed.

Since most of the world presents themselves on curriculum vitaes and Americans mostly use resumes, it is important to note that this article is written for those needing advice for U.S. academic CV writing. There are some variations to make to your academic CV, if you are applying for a Canadian, British or any other country’s academic job opening.

  1. Chronological Order for Your Academic CV For the most part, you should list your most recent accomplishment and go chronologically backwards in each section. Make it easy for the hiring committee to read through your resume quickly. Gaps in employment will be obvious considering the level of detail being included. So, don’t try to hide them.
  2. Academic CVs Aren’t Just For Job Applications You never know what opportunity might pop up and being prepared with CV in hand is sure to come in handy at some point in your career. Whether you are applying for a position (read the posting thoroughly) or you are submitting your CV for merit based review or a grant application, you need to make sure it is current and presents your skills and experience in the most current manner possible.
  3. Structured Format For the most part, academic CVs follow the very structured format. Career Summary, Education, Publications, Awards, Honors & Recognition, Funding (Grants & Fellowships), Teaching, Admin Experience, Professional Experience, Other Skills & Qualifications, Attendance at Conferences & Seminars, Optional Categories (based on relevance), Non-Academic Work, Professional Skills, Languages, Professional Memberships/Affiliations, Appendices. If you don’t have the skills to place in one area, leave it out.
  4. Supporting Application Documentation If you are using your academic CV to apply for a position, the job posting might also ask you to include a cover letter, research statement, teaching statement, sample syllabi and/or a diversity statement. You might feel that some of these are duplicating what you put in your CV, but not everyone on a search committee gets to see the supporting documents, so your CV should still be your focal point.
  5. Keywords Are Important. Your CV might still be run through a computer and you want to be sure that you have used some of the same keywords listed in the job description in your resume. Showcase how you utilized the keywords in your experience with actions and results.
  6. Take Your Time. Leave yourself plenty of time to get your Academic CV prepared. You never know when a speaking engagement or a grant application will show up, but having a current professional academic CV on hand will make that process a lot less stressful. Use your rush points to focus on writing the speech or the grant application.
  7. Details Matter. Academic resumes follow a specific format, for the most part. Be sure to keep the formatting consistent and be sure to doubl check for typos or grammatical errors. Showcase your strengths as well as your attention to detail.
  8. Length of Your Academic CV The length of your academic resume should be between 2-4 pages. It will tend to get get longer with more experience, but once it hits four pages, it is time to consider abbreviating sections.

If you would like some additional help, Capstone’s Silicon Valley resume writers specializes in academic CV writing. We ask the questions to help you craft a professional and thorough academic CV.

Good luck with the process and keep up the good work!