An academic CV is based on the Chronological CV format. However, the two-page limit need not apply to academic applications due to the addition of supporting information relating to detail of your PhD and other related research. An academic CV can, therefore, be many pages in length, depending on your experience in the workplace – five pages is the rough guideline to average length. For more help on completing an academic CV read our Academic CV Guidelines here. An example of a completed Academic CV Example for PhD Graduate and Academic CV Example for a Senior Post is also available. Use our academic CV template to help create the perfect CV.
Write your contact details across the page (saving space)
Include your mobile, email address, LinkedIn and website/portfolio.
Briefly state exactly what it is you want – what post are you applying for. Don’t waffle.
This is an optional but if used, a key element of your CV. The rest of your CV content will be based on this section. Use words which reflect skills and experiences which match the opportunity you are applying for but keep it short.
Write in reverse chronological order, the institutions where you studied, when you studied and outcomes. If you are applying for your first post after graduating, then this section can highlight aspects of your PhD which are relevant to the post you are applying for. Include an abstract of your PhD. You may choose to write a more detailed synopsis here or you could put this as an Addendum (if relevant to your application). See the Guidelines for more information.
Write in reverse chronological order, job title, organisation and dates (only month and year necessary). Include jobs you did as a student only if they are relevant to your application. Focus bullet points on your transferable skills and achievements in each role.
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. What IT skills do you have? Rather than write a long list, use sub-headings: you may want to include some skills in your Addendum if you have one. Depending on the topic of your PhD, you might want to have a section for research skills.
Perhaps you held a position of responsibility, play/played a sport, have volunteering experience, or were an active member of a university club? Do you speak any languages, have a driving licence, play an instrument, or hold a non-academic qualification? If so, include them here.
Three referees would be appropriate. Include your PhD supervisor and at least one other academic who knows you. Give as many contact details for each referee as possible, (address, email and telephone number) with title if appropriate.
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!
An academic CV differs from others in that it should include sections which relate directly to your research and other related skills and experiences. You can see a suggested subject heading list below, or refer back to the Academic Guidelines. There is no set Academic CV format: your layout is up to you.
An applicant with experience applying for a senior post, may well want to add an Appendix/Addendum in which research information can be written in detail as well as other relevant information. A new graduate may not have the experience to do this and can incorporate all relevant headings into the main body of the CV.
Below are some suggestions of how you can record your skills and experience under different headings, and they are just examples. Remember the three key elements potential employers look for are Research, Teaching and Administration, so these three elements should definitely be prioritised and included in all academic CV’s.
- Brief summary of current research + names of supervisors
- Emphasise creative and innovative aspects of your research where possible.
- 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 the methodology of supervisor
- Incorporate conferences and posters
- Collaborations – highlight your name even if it is third or fourth in the list of contributors
- How have you disseminated your research to a wider audience?
- Conducted archival research
- Evaluated and selected the appropriate approach to identify key features of the research
- Conceptualised the problem
- Planned and managed the research project
- Ability to deal with different methodologies and theories
- Recorded, analysed and interpreted data
- Teaching/demonstrating experience both paid and unpaid – including anything of relevance.
- Training, mentoring, facilitating
- Supervision of students – undergraduate? Postgraduate? Year?
- What teaching materials have you designed or prepared?
- Seminar experience? 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?
- Have you been involved with tutorials
- What lectures you have delivered
- Evaluation techniques
- Responsibility for planning conferences
- Committees (Board of Studies – even as an undergraduate perhaps?) and student associations
- Marking, assessment and related paperwork – did you run a lecture course?
- Examinations – perhaps you have helped with invigilation or marking?
- Writing up research or checking other research work
- Ability to prioritise workload and to meet deadlines
- Have you made any changes to procedures which have improved the efficiency of the research project or department?
- Administration related to involvement with course work or degree schemes
- Have you helped out at Open Days?
- Planned or organised conferences?
- Involvement in writing research proposals
- Excellent verbal and written skills
- Write about the aims, responsibilities and successes of your research so far
- What techniques and methodologies have you used so far?
- Are you using quantitative and/or qualitative methods?
- What technical skills are you using/developing?
- What other skills are you acquiring? Problem-solving skills? Project Management?
FUTURE RESEARCH INTERESTS
Use this heading to identify where you would like your research interest to go.
- Teaching qualifications
- IT qualifications
- Language qualifications such as TEFL
- Any professional qualification
- You could put any professional courses you have attended
POSITIONS OF REPONSIBILITY
- Member of curriculum development team
- Supervised research students
- Setting and marking of examinations
- Supporting students in a pastoral/advisory role
- Membership of committees/boards
- Represented institution at conferences and seminars
- Established collaboration outside the institution
- Coordinated academic and policy dissemination
- Managed and supervised staff
- Programme administrator
PUBLICATIONS and PRESENTATIONS
Depending on how many publications you have, you could include a shortlist in the body of your CV or provide a full list in an appendix. 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.
CONFERENCES and COURSES ATTENDED
- Give details of any conferences you have attended, and those at which you have presented delivered poster presentations.
- Mention any involvement you may have had – perhaps a Grad School event or a conference at department level
- List any posters or exhibitions where you have presented
- You could use this section to list any courses you have attended
FUNDING and ACADEMIC AWARDS
- List any bursaries, scholarships, travel grants or other sources of funding that you were awarded for research projects or to attend meetings or conferences.
- Who made the award and for how much?
- Did you win any undergraduate prizes?
- Was the award for you alone or was it shared?
- What role did you play in securing it?
- When was the award made?
- Include grants, awards, bursaries and fellowships
List any membership you hold of any professional body or learned society relevant t your research or other life activities.
For further help and advice with academic applications please see:
- Academic Cover Letter
- How to Write a Cover Letter for Academic Jobs
- How To Write A Flawless Cover Letter
- CV Advice Webinar