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What to Include in an Academic Resume (CV)

As these professor resume samples demonstrate, CVs vary widely from one field of academia to the next. So, before putting pen to paper, you’ll need to conduct some in-depth additional research that will help you understand employer expectations within you own field or specialty. For example, portfolios of previous work and accomplishments differ greatly between studio and fine arts programs and science-based disciplines.

But in general, most CVs, like the professor resume samples shown here, can be broken down into a broad group of basic subsections that will allow readers to quickly find the specific information they’re looking for. These sections will include:

· Areas of Interest

· Education

· Grants, Honors and Awards

· Publications and Presentations

· Employment and Experience

· Professional Memberships

· References

There’s no single right way to create a curriculum vitae, but as these professor resume samples indicate, each of the sections above will need to appear somewhere in your document.

While most industries present candidates with a choice between the “chronological” and “functional” formats in the work history section, CVs typically follow the chronological format only. This means your education, accomplishments and workplace experience will need to be broken down by dates and presented along a chronological timeline.

You’ll also notice that by comparison with standard non-academic resumes, these professor resume samples are much longer. While most hiring mangers require no more than a two-page summary of a candidate’s history, academic selection committees expect CVs to go on for many pages—as many as a candidate requires in order to present his or her credentials in full detail.

How to Write the Academic Resume Areas of Interest Section

As you can see from reviewing professor resume samples, one of the key distinctions of the academic CV lies in the first subheading in the document.

As opposed to the summary sections in traditional resumes, the areas of interest section that you’d find in a typical academic CV isn’t always presented in paragraph form. Some professor resume samples begin the document with a set of bullet points or a list of phrases that outline the candidate’s areas of expertise and specific academic fields of study.

You may also decide to add a very brief career statement, or the academic version of a traditional resume summary. The combination of your career statement with your areas of interest will help your reader assess the alignment between your ambitions and the needs of their university or institution. In addition to the professor resume samples, take a look at the examples below.

Career Statement: As a professional educator with more than eight years of classroom experience, my primary role and my primary challenge are the same: to understand and adapt my teaching style to meet the unique needs of every individual student. My record of national teaching distinctions and my impressive list of grant awards and academic honors demonstrate my accomplishments in this endeavor. Research is vital, but in my classroom, the students come first.

Areas of Interest::

Semiconductors and nanostructures

E-gun evaporation and molecular beam epitaxy techniques

Digital circuit design using VHDL

Two semesters of classroom experience teaching mid-level mathematics and computer modeling and simulation including MatLab, FlexPDE, PSPICE

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How to Write the Academic Resume Education Section

The education section of a CV typically appears at the top of the page and prior to a description of the candidate’s work history. As you can see while reviewing these professor resume samples, educational credentials are presented in reverse chronological order. You’ll list your most recent degrees and diplomas first, so your terminal degree will appear at the top of the section and your bachelor’s or associate’s degree at the bottom. You’ll certainly include any degrees, honors or courses that are still in progress.

In each heading, you’ll list the title of your degree (and the department where necessary), the institution that granted it and your completion date. You’ll also use this section to list the titles of your thesis and dissertations.


How to Write the Academic Employment and Experience Section

As professor resume samples demonstrate, the employment and experience section of your CV will be dense with information and will continue for as many pages as you like. Don’t worry about keeping this section short; focus on providing your readers and reviewers with as much information as you care to share (the limit for inclusion is usually around 15). Each of the courses you’ve taught should receive a mention here and should be broken down by institution, department, your title, course title and an optional brief summary of the syllabus (there’s no need to include course number).

Your graduate and post-graduate research experience can also be documented here. List each project separately, including the nature of the research, your own role, the notable clinical techniques or equipment that you used, and any other information that your reviewers should know about.

You’ll also use this section to document the service aspects of your career history, so any volunteer work, leadership roles you’ve held on boards and committees, and projects you’ve launched outside the classroom will all receive mention here. Just be sure that this kind of information is absolutely relevant to the job you’re applying for; if it’s not, omit it.

Again, keep in mind that science, art, medical, mathematical, and sociological fields all apply their own sets of standards and expectations for this section. These professor resume samples cover some of these areas, but you’ll need to conduct your own research to make sure you’re meeting the needs of your own target employers.


How to Write the Academic Grants, Honors and Awards Section

This section will give you an opportunity to claim credit for the scholarships, grants and competitive financial awards or assistantships you’ve earned.

You’ll also list and describe the grants you’ve received for your research. And if you’ve been honored for your teaching efforts or you’ve received any special awards and distinctions for your research, list them here.


How to Write the Publications and Presentations Section

If any of your written work or research projects have been formally published, you’ll use this section to list the relevant information. This is especially important for positions that might be research-heavy (not teaching-centric).

Include everything from book publications and edited volumes to reference journal articles and book reviews. In this section, you can also include forthcoming publications that are in the printing stage as well as presentations/talks you’ve given at conferences or at campuses other than your own.

When listing this information, do so in chronological form and according to citation best practice.

To keep your document organized and readable, you may decide to break this section into two separate lists: one for publications and one for presentations.

TIP: Need a cover letter? Click here to view our Professor Cover Letters.

How to Write the Scholarly and Professional Membership Section

In addition to highlighting your education, publications and employment, you’ll need to create a subsection in your CV that lists and describes your memberships in professional and academic societies. If you’ve held leadership roles in these organizations, you can list them in the experience section described above or you can include them here. Just make sure your affiliations are clear.


Should I Include References in my Academic Resume

The final section of your CV should include a section dedicated to your references, or the names, titles and contact information of the colleagues, superiors and mentors who can vouch for your skills as a researcher and classroom instructor. You’ll need to include the phone numbers and email addresses of those who have written your letters of recommendation, and you can also add the names of others who have expressed willingness to speak on your behalf.

Make sure you’ve carefully vetted these people and obtained permission to use them as resources. Choose references who you can trust, and choose only those who have had direct personal experience with your working style.


Academic Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid

      As you create your CV, you can use these professor resume samples as your guide, but you’ll also need to keep close eye on these common mistakes.

      Exclusions and omissions: Your CV will be read and re-read dozens of times before your potential employers make a decision, so you’ll need to be certain that every detail of your experience and accomplishments gets its time in the spotlight. You’ll severely damage your prospects if you leave out a certain course, skill, or award that could have helped you make your case.

      Disorganization: Formatting rules and standards are looser and more varied for CVs than they are for traditional resumes, but this can lead to a serious problem—poor organization. Your readers will need to be able to quickly find the specific information they’re looking for. If you make this difficult, you’ll miss opportunities to stand out.

      Personal Information: Employers in some countries require applicants to include certain details like marital and family status, salary histories, and medical information in their CVs. In the United States, it’s not legal for employers to require this information and it’s not ethical to use it as a hiring criteria. Don’t state this information in your CV, since it’s likely to harm you, not help.

Job Prospects in the Academic Field

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, enrollment is steadily increasing in both public and private colleges and universities, and as more students enter the classroom, the demand for instructors will continue to grow. In fact, opportunities in this field are expected to increase by 19 percent between 2012 and 2022, which exceeds the average across all fields and industries.

But be warned: many of these positions will be available for part-time and adjunct faculty only, and these positions vary widely from those of tenured, full-time instructors who are protected by long-term contracts and provided with higher salaries and employment benefits.

To fully understand the job outlook for your own section of this industry, conduct some research and be sure to account for your academic field, your area of specialty, your level of experience, your education, and your geographic area.
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