When you are applying for academic jobs, it is important that your CV is customised to the role requirements and presented in an academic style. Academic CVs differ in some ways in comparison to standard non-academic ones, so you need to ensure yours is set up to impress recruiters in the higher education sector. Here are three questions to address in your academic CV:
What are your academic areas of expertise?
If you are applying for a research role, then you should focus on your research interests as well as any relevant qualifications and experience. Include any training that you have completed such as academic teacher training, research method training or any other relevant type of training, or non-academic teaching experience.
List any publications that you have in the same way that you would cite them, highlighting your name as author. If you have any work that is yet to be submitted for publication, include details of this too.
Include as much detail related to your PhD as you feel is suitable for the role you are applying for. You might want to include an abstract to help the recruiter build a better understanding of your expertise.
How do you interact with others?
This is the section where you can really differentiate yourself from other applicants with similar experience and qualifications. When universities are recruiting lecturers, they are not just looking for highly academic applicants, they want to find people that are able to build a great rapport with colleagues and students. If you have these ‘soft skills’ then you are certainly getting the edge ahead of other applicants who cannot demonstrate these skills as well.
To convey that you have these skills in abundance, reflect upon any events/activities you have organised to help forge these relationships or discuss the different ways you have used your interpersonal skills to develop good relationships with colleagues, students and external parties.
What impact do you make?
Remember that the key objective of any university is to get the best results, so ensure that your CV is very results focused. Don’t just say that you did X; say that you did X by implementing Y, to achieve Z. This approach is often referred to as the STAR technique – Situation, Task, Action and Result. Make sure that you cover off those key elements to show how you drive results.
If you have delivered improved exam results, for example, be clear about the actions that you implemented in order to achieve the improved results. Adding this detail shows that you know how to effectively plan and execute a strategy that gets results.
Where you have gained funding for any of your previous work, share this information too. Again, this could be an area where you are able to outshine other applicants, so always include this kind of detail. Professional memberships are also worth listing, as well as any administration experience you may have gained.
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.