Your CV is a powerful marketing tool which could help you attract the attention of prospective employers. The academic world is highly competitive. Follow these Academic CV Guidelines to create the best CV you can.
The purpose of your CV is not to get the job but to receive an interview opportunity. It is a great idea to prepare a master academic CV which you can tailor for each job application you make. Before you create a bespoke document, you need to research the department, study their website, and familiarise yourself with staff biographies and research profiles. Why not make a note as to where your area of research might fit?
A two-page limit need not apply to academic applications due to the additional supporting information relating to your PhD and other relevant research. Your academic CV could therefore be many pages in length, depending on your experience in the workplace (five pages are the average length).
Here is a helpful checklist of the experience you might like to include:
- PhD extract (and a more detailed synopsis)
- Past, current and future research interests
- Published research and articles
- Research methodologies and techniques
- Teaching experience and student supervision
- Presentations you delivered at conferences
- Funding and awards
- Professional memberships
- Administrative skills
It is wise to structure your CV carefully and make the document reader friendly. Potential employers may only have a few moments to decide if they wish to invite you for interview. Your CV needs to be specific, concise and clear. You could use bullet points and include action words at the beginning of each statement. Make your headings bold and do not be afraid of white space!
You do not necessarily need to include the words ‘Curriculum Vitae’ (at the top of the page) because the reader would know what the document is. Only include a photograph if you are applying for a job for which a photo is essential. Make sure that you include relevant personal, professional and academic information. Some people include their date of birth however it is not necessary.
Carefully selected action words can make the difference between highlighting and undermining your skills. Use some of the below words in your CV:
achieved, administered, advised, analysed, assessed, arranged, budgeted, calculated, completed , conducted, controlled, co-ordinated, created, designed, devised, developed, discovered, distributed, evaluated, examined explained, increased, instructed, liaised, managed, monitored, negotiated, organised, planned, promoted, recommended, reformed, represented, researched, responsible for, resulted, selected, sold, solved, supervised, taught, tested, trained, welcomed
- Is it in a consistent and readable format?
- Does the document emphasise your skills, experience, knowledge and achievements?
- Is the spelling and grammar accurate?
- Have you asked your referees if it is OK to give their names before you include them?
- Have you asked someone to proofread your CV?
- Have you told the truth?
- Have you kept a copy?
We hope these Academic CV Guidelines have proved useful.