How To Write A Perfect Academic CV

This could be the first time you are applying for an academic job. This informs the need to prepare a well-articulated academic CV. This would go a long way to prove the extent of your expertise. It would also show the value you can add to an educational institution.

Normally, an academic CV contains more details than a usual CV. In an academic CV you would have to talk about your research activities and different awards. You would also include relevant publications and different funding you might have received.

You would usually or include all these things after every other thing a normal CV should contain. That is skills, education and work experience. Fortunately, this time around you can exceed two pages.

It is important to point out that there is so much competition for roles in the academic circle. Because of this your CV should be adapted to look different and grab attention. You should adequately portray your worth so as to be shortlisted among those to be interviewed. Haven gone through all these, it would be worthwhile to examine a few things on how to write a perfect academic CV.

Choose a target job

Writing a fitting CV requires that you understand what employers after. Before setting out to write a CV, you should first research the role you are targeting adequately. If you properly understand the audience you are targeting and what is required in a candidate to satisfy them, it would be easier for you to provide a suitable CV for employers.

Study the job description and its requirements

Take time to list out all the skills and experiences required for the academic job you are applying for jobs. Also, learn as much as you can about the institution you are applying to.

You should seek to understand whether the institution is research oriented or if it is an institution that boasts of its quality of teaching. Once you have done this, you can choose to re-organize or rearrange the different sections of your CV to meet the purpose of the job description.

Maintain a simple format

Whatever format you choose for your academic CV is very important. This is because recruiters should be able to scan through your academic CV with ease in order to pick out the qualities they are looking for.

If you are in doubt, here is how to go about it:

Begin with a strong academic profile

Usually, this would be the first place employers would check. The most important thing with this section is to capture the interest and the heart of the reader, hence, encourage him to read on. It should not exceed ten lines. You should summarize your most relevant academic accomplishments and impressive performances. You should also point out important skills, awards and achievements or honours.

Follow this pattern:


  • Outline your previous jobs in a reverse chronological order
  • Include current or past research experiences
  • Point out educational background by including institution, date of study and graduation
  • Include notable publications that are relevant to the job (you can include an appendix if necessary)
  • Use a clear and easily readable front
  • Include white spaces for easy digestion

Though, academic CVs are longer than normal CVs, do not go beyond four pages. Encapsulate all important, but also relevant, facts and figures within a maximum of four pages.

Make your personal profile memorable

Majorly, the profile of your CV does the work of selling your skills and experiences in the academic field. It equally communicates the goals you have for the job if taken. This section is more or less an abridged version of the introductory cover letter that accompanies your curriculum vitae.

The main idea of a cover letter is not to be repetitive with the contents of your CV. Rather, the idea is to make a summary of all your key skills and experiences so as to prove to the employer why you are a competent match for the job.

You should use this section to pinpoint the salient selling points that would have been otherwise hidden within the CV. It’s important to prove your point within the limited time.

This personal profile is also the best place to include some relevant keywords. These relevant keywords would help you pass through Applicant Tracking Systems(ATSs).

Finally, it is necessary to point out that this section must be kept brief. Between 3 and 4 sentences would do. You may also decide to create a bullet-form personal profile.

Provide enough relevant details on your education section

In a usual CV the education section may not include more than institution name, date of study and grades. However, in an academic CV provided when applying for jobs USA, Canada or internationally, you have to go into more details on your educational background.

When highlighting your higher educational achievements, it is important to go into details with projects accomplished. You should also provide details of papers written. Together with this, you can also mention examinations and assignments in which you performed very creditably.

When providing information on your PhD, you should include the names and qualifications of your doctoral supervisors. You should also point out your thesis and dissertations. It is always helpful to also include relevant scholarships and awards received in your academic CV when they are available.

Prove achievements made in your previous roles

The essence of your academic CV is to prove your worth to a potential employer in the academic sector. Therefore it would not be hurtful to brag over your previous achievements.

In an academic CV you should not just point out your skills and experiences, job roles or previous teaching engagements. It would be helpful to include major accomplishments and successes you might have attained in the course of discharging your previous roles.

If you have won important awards, outstanding prizes, funding, scholarships or obtained good and excellent grades previously, you should include them.

When demonstrating the impact of these awards and accomplishments, you should use verifiable facts and figures as well as metrics to prove your point. This would eventually prove to the recruiter how useful and innovative you could be to the new role.


by Shared Scholarships Hub

Shared Scholarship Updates is a scholarships information website for all nationalities students, international students. is not awarding scholarships.

Our aim is to help interested international students, mostly from developing countries, by sharing current and verifiable scholarships round the world.

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