An academic CV is very different from a generic CV, so the advice you see on other CV sites might not be relevant if you are applying for an academic job. It is important to present your CV so that it displays your academic achievements as well as relevant experience and skills and shows that you are suitable for that job. Remember, the selection panel might only have a few minutes to look at each CV, so it needs to catch their eye.
Here are some tips on how to layout an academic CV.
Unlike other CVs, an academic CV does not have a limit and is usually 3 – 5 pages long. You are expected to include detailed information about your teaching experience, research and publications.
You should put your contact details first and you might want to list information about your qualifications next (especially if you are completing a masters or PhD).
This could be followed by your experience in teaching, research publications and any grants/prizes awarded.
Ensure you include a list of any other professional activities and the names of two referees.
Personal statements are not as common in an academic CV. However, if you are applying for a specific opportunity, you might choose to write a short paragraph or bullet points summarising your research/career interests.
The order of the information will vary depending on the job you are applying for. If the job is teaching focussed, put the section about your teaching expertise near the top or if it’s a research post, prioritise that part of your CV.
Always put the most recent and/or the most prestigious example in each category first to show that your experience is current and relevant.
Do not forget to include your contact details, many people do!
Include your name, professional and permanent email address and contact number that the employer can reach you on directly. You might choose to include your postal address, LinkedIn URL and a website / online portfolio showcasing your academic achievements.
There is no need to give your date of birth or include a photo for an academic CV in the UK. Research academic CVs in other countries if you are considering working overseas.
Under the heading of teaching expertise include:
- the names of courses
- the institution where this was taught
- the level (i.e. first year, postgraduate etc)
- your role (seminar tutor, course leader)
- your duties that focus on transferable skills and achievements rather than reading like a job description (course design, marking, lecturing, leading seminars etc)
Under the heading of research publications include:
- books (academic and textbooks)
- online publications
- don’t forget to include information about any grants/prizes you have been awarded for your research, including dates, names of awarding body and amount awarded.
Under the heading of professional activities include:
- membership/leadership of public bodies in your field
- editorial experience (journals or collections of conference papers)
- refereeing experience (for journals or publishers)
- administrative roles you have done within your department such as admissions tutor
Avoid large chunks of text and instead, use headings and bullet points where possible.
Do not use fancy fonts or graphic gimmicks.
Keep underlining, bold and italics to a minimum and use it to guide the reader’s eye to the most important sections.
Use a large enough point size for the average reader to be able to easily digest information (12 point is usually about right).
Keep the appearance simple and professional.