Academic CV Tips

For academic CVs, all the advice from my previous post about CVs still apply. However, there are some specific tips for academic CVs that I have listed below. 

  1. List Everything!!!! And remember to put details, what did you do? Put numerical values whenever you can, and describe the competition if you can (ie. National Competitive award for $20,000/year for 5 years), if it is a publication what was your role for the publication.  
  2. Example of some categories to include in your CV 
    • Academic: Education History, Research, Publications, conference abstracts and presentations, interviews, research funding, grants, scholarships and awards, employment related to research?, patents, organizations you are part of (ie. American Society of Human Genetics).  
    • Non Academic: non research/non academic employment, mentorship, leadership, teaching, volunteering (both at the university/college or in the community) and if you were part of any committees (graduate committees, chair of a society?, graduate student rep?, union rep?). Just to name a few categories that I have seen. 
  3. Remember academic positions want you to have research excellence (you can show that with your publications, conferences and scholarships/awards). 
  4. But you can also demonstrate leadership abilities and management/ mentorship abilities. (you can show this with listing who you have mentored, or do you have any leadership activities?)
  5. My biggest tip of all!!! Compile a list of activities you have done for your CV when you start or complete an activity. You can do it when you have a bit of time, even now, years before you are thinking of applying. These CVs can be used for scholarships/grants/awards etc. It’s easier to compile a list of activities slowly as you are completing these activities than writing a CV from scratch. 

These are some of the tips that have worked for me. I would also check your institution/granting agencies for more institution or award specific CV criteria. Hope these help you. Best of luck! 

Advice for writing CVs (for jobs outside of academia)

I have been applying for jobs for awhile. I have noticed that CVs are different when I am applying for jobs outside of academia (jobs outside of research institute/ jobs in industry) compared to jobs within academia (lab/teaching/researcher positions) .

I have listed some tips that I have used when writing my own CV. I hope this helps you! Be sure to look on my instagram page (@life_of_learning) in the next few weeks for tips on writing the academic CV.

For jobs outside of academia… typically they want a shorter document (1-2 pages). This limit however will definitely depend on the job. But, be sure that the activities you have listed are relevant for the job! The tips I have listed below are fairly general and can be applied to most CV/resumes. 

  1. Read their job description and figure out what qualities the job is looking for and think of things that you have done to match those qualities. Make sure to list these relevant activities in your CV.
  2. Use their terminology in your CV (ie. they want someone with leadership, list that category in your CV). 
  3. Keep it concise, but give them information. For example if you lead a team, what was this team for? How many people were in this team? Was it an interdisciplinary team? 
  4. Use action words! Instead is saying “I did this”… change it to  “I initiated this fundraiser that raised over >500$ in funding above our goal.” Having action verbs in your CV gives the reader a clearer idea of what you achieved in that role and it makes you stand out! 
  5. If you are ever stuck and don’t know what the proper formatting is for your particular job, I would ask others in the field! Some fields are pretty particular about how they want their CVs. ( ie. for a teaching position, they want you to demonstrate that you have taught classes, and sometimes they want you to demonstrate your teaching effectiveness with student feedback and/or teaching awards).
  6. Be consistent and be sure to proofread and align your document. Be consistent with formatting, titles, fonts, grammatical tenses etc. You just want the CV to be readable and not have grammatical errors. Your CV is your first impression with the company, you want to make it as easy for the hiring managers to read as you can. 
  7. My main tip for when you are applying for multiple different jobs is to have multiple CVs! Make sure to tailor your CV to the job in which you are applying for. I have one master CV with everything that I have ever done. Then, when I apply for jobs, I will pull activities into a separate CV document for that particular job.

Hope this helps you. Best of luck!