7 Tips for Writing a Successful Academic Curriculum Vitae

When applying for a job within the academic field, a well written curriculum vitae, or CV, is crucial to your success. A CV is more detailed than a resume, and includes any accomplishments or course work that may be relevant to the position you are pursuing. The following seven tips will make sure you create a CV that is perfect for your next job application.

  1. Logical Structure. Since a CV is much longer than a resume, you want to make sure and present the most relevant details right up front. Don’t bury information about your education or job history on page three. The employer may get bored with the first couple pages, and never make it to the more impressive stuff. Put your best foot forward to encourage them to read on.
  2. Contact Details. This is an obvious point, but one that is missed more often than it should be. Make sure your contact information is located prominently on the first page of your CV. Your name, address, phone number, and email address should be easy to find with just a glance.
  3. Cut Out the Generic. Terms like ‘hard-worker’ and ‘over-achiever’ appear on just about every resume or CV that an employer receives. Make yours stand out by not including such generic terms, and spending a little more time writing on specifically what makes you the best candidate for the job.
  4. Highlight the Most Relevant. If you are applying for a teaching position, outline exactly what kind of teaching you have done. If it is a research position, the research experience you have gained should be more prominently displayed.
  5. Do Some Research. Instead of sending out a blanket CV for every academic job you apply for, customize it for each position. Research the school or organization you are applying to, and tailor your CV content such that is speaks more directly to their needs.
  6. Use Bullet Points. Just like in this article, bullet points are great for highlighting main ideas and keep the reader interested. Big blocks of text can cause the reader to lose interest quickly.
  7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask. If you are applying to a university that receives applications on a global scale, feel free to ask what format they prefer to receive the CV in. You will have a better chance at an interview by providing the CV how they want to see it, and your attention to detail will make a good first impression.