Resume Samples & Templates

The Complete Guide to Academic CVs

It’s critical to demonstrate your qualifications as a contender for a vacancy when seeking a new position. This is particularly true in the academic sector, where several positions are very competitive. You are more likely to catch the eye of hiring managers and land an interview by creating a strong academic CV.

In this post, we define an academic CV, describe how it differs from a CV for a job, describe its appropriate structure, offer formatting advice, and give an example to assist you in creating an academic CV that will work for you.

What exactly is an academic CV?

An academic CV is a written summary of all of your academic accomplishments, including your training, publications, honors, research, and teaching experience in the higher education setting. An academic CV is often submitted when you’re looking for post-graduate study, a job at a higher educational institution, or a job in research.

An academic CV, or curriculum vitae, is a comprehensive document that provides a detailed and organized overview of an individual’s academic and professional background. It is primarily used in the academic and research fields, such as when applying for academic positions, research opportunities, fellowships, or grants. Academic CVs are typically longer and more extensive than a standard resume, and they are designed to showcase an individual’s academic achievements, research contributions, teaching experience, and professional qualifications.

Key components of an academic CV may include:

  1. Contact Information: Your name, contact details, and possibly a professional website or academic profile.
  2. Education: A detailed list of your academic qualifications, including degrees, institutions, dates of attendance, and dissertation or thesis titles.
  3. Research Experience: Descriptions of your research projects, including your role, the goals, methodologies, and outcomes. This section may also include publications, presentations, and conference participation.
  4. Teaching Experience: Information on courses you’ve taught, your teaching methods, and any awards or recognition for teaching.
  5. Academic Appointments: A chronological list of your academic positions, including dates, institutions, and job titles.
  6. Grants and Funding: Any research grants, scholarships, or awards you’ve received.
  7. Professional Memberships: Affiliations with academic or professional organizations.
  8. Conferences and Seminars: A list of conferences or seminars where you’ve presented your research or given talks.
  9. Publications: A comprehensive list of your academic publications, including books, articles, book chapters, and other scholarly works.
  10. Languages: Any foreign languages you are proficient in.
  11. Awards and Honors: Recognition or awards you’ve received for your academic and research work.
  12. References: Contact information for individuals who can provide recommendations or references on your behalf.

Academic CVs should be tailored to the specific position or opportunity you’re applying for. They should provide a clear and detailed overview of your academic journey and contributions, highlighting your qualifications and suitability for the role or opportunity in question. It’s important to follow any guidelines or preferences provided by the institution or organization you are applying to, as academic CV formats can vary by country and discipline.

The differences between an academic and a professional CV

Your academic CV’s general format could be remarkably similar to the one you use to seek other employment. There are parts in both documents that describe your training, prior employment history, talents, and certifications. A professional summary can also be included at the start of both of them to briefly describe your worth to a future employer.

Academic and professional CVs (Curriculum Vitae) serve different purposes and have variations in format and content. Here are the key differences between the two:

  • Extra sections: The number of sections on a conventional CV is restricted to the employment history and academic sections. Additional elements like fellowships, pertinent publications, and conferences attended are typically included in academic resumes.

1. Purpose:

  • Academic CV: These are used in academic and research settings. They are primarily intended for applications within academia, such as applying for teaching positions, research opportunities, fellowships, or grants.
  • Professional CV: These are used in the business world and other professional settings. They are designed for job applications in industries outside academia, including business, healthcare, government, and more.

2. Content:

  • Academic CV: Academic CVs are detailed and comprehensive, with a focus on academic achievements, research contributions, and teaching experience. They include sections for publications, research projects, academic appointments, and conference presentations.
  • Professional CV: Professional CVs are more concise and emphasize professional experience, skills, and qualifications relevant to the industry. They typically include sections like work history, skills, certifications, and relevant professional accomplishments.

3. Length:

  • Academic CV: These CVs tend to be longer due to the detailed inclusion of research projects, publications, and other academic activities. They can be several pages in length.
  • Professional CV: Professional CVs are typically shorter, often limited to two pages, to ensure that hiring managers can quickly assess your qualifications.

4. Emphasis on Research vs. Work Experience:

  • Academic CV: These CVs focus heavily on research, including publications, grants, conferences, and the depth of your academic involvement. Teaching experience is also prominently featured.
  • Professional CV: Professional CVs prioritize your work experience, highlighting your accomplishments and responsibilities in past roles. Academic qualifications are mentioned but not as extensively as in academic CVs.

5. References:

  • Academic CV: Academic CVs may include references or a reference section, as academic positions often require letters of recommendation.
  • Professional CV: Professional CVs generally exclude reference information; instead, you provide references upon request at a later stage in the job application process.

6. Industry-specific Information:

  • Academic CV: These CVs may contain specific academic sections like “Dissertation/Thesis” and “Grants and Funding” which are not found in professional CVs.
  • Professional CV: Professional CVs include sections that highlight industry-specific skills and qualifications relevant to the job being sought.

In summary, while both academic and professional CVs serve as tools to showcase qualifications and achievements, the key distinction lies in their purpose and content. It’s important to tailor your CV to the specific position you’re applying for and consider the expectations and preferences of the hiring institution or organization.

How to Create an Academic CV

Your academic CV’s organization will impact how well your application is received. Your reader will understand it more easily if each portion is presented in a logical, simple-to-follow arrangement. The following steps will assist you in creating your academic CV:

1. Consider your audience

Similar to a conventional CV, your academic CV for postgraduate study or job should be tailored to your audience. Before applying, conduct as much research as you can to learn how to best represent yourself to a potential company or university.

For example, look into the department’s principles if you’re looking for a position at a school. The organization may have historically given promotions that prioritize articles over classroom experience. If so, utilize a template designed specifically for academic resumes to showcase all of your published publications before listing your teaching experience. Conversely, if you’re applying to a school that prides itself on the caliber of its education, utilize an academic CV structure that prioritizes publications over teaching.

2. List your contact information

Your contact information should be listed first on your academic CV, just like on a conventional one. Comprise the following:

The first line of text should be bigger than the remainder of the page, with your name at the top.

  • Your residential address
  • If applicable, your college’s address
  • If applicable, your office phone number
  • Mobile phone number
  • Your business’s email address

Ensure that all information is accurate and presented clearly. Additionally, you might include your name and email address in the footer of every page. In this manner, each sheet of your CV will have the appropriate contact information for you if it is printed.

3. Provide a summary of your research and experiences.

Your academic CV will be lengthy; thus, help your potential employer by adding an overview of your research and prior work experience that is pertinent. Explain briefly your primary study fields, your greatest successes, and your upcoming research objectives.

This summary just informs the reader of what to anticipate when they completely review your document because the remainder of your academic CV will give complete facts about your career. Only one or two brief paragraphs should be used.

4. Include employment information

Your academic CV should include information about your professional background, including your educational background, employment history, and areas of expertise.

Describe your education briefly, mentioning the universities you attended, the dates you were there, and the degrees you have received.

  • Professional background, including any jobs in research or teaching
  • Accomplished training, like applicable technical or scientific instruction
  • Certificates and licenses
  • Language abilities

5. Describe your academic background.

The majority of your CV will be made up of details about your academic background, like:

  • Residencies or fellowships
  • Dissertations
  • Research achievements
  • Presentations that you’ve made
  • Publications that you’ve written for or that have featured you
  • Community service initiatives
  • Industry-specific honors
  • Memberships in pertinent professional organizations, patents, or grants that you have earned

6. Use clear formatting in the document

For the reader to quickly scan your paper and absorb the pertinent data, it must be clear, succinct, and well-formatted. Below are some tips for formatting your academic CV clearly:

  • Use a margin of 2.5 centimeters on all sides. The distribution of the content is guaranteed by this formatting.
  • Use a straightforward font, such as Times New Roman or Arial. It’s best to use a 10-point to 12-point font size to prevent squinting when reading.
  • Include section headings in bold to try to break the text up. You can list the courses you’ve taught, your job responsibilities, and pertinent abilities using bullet points as well.
  • It’s critical to be consistent. Maintain the same format throughout each section and page.

5. Check your work for errors before sending it.

Before submitting your CV, make sure to carefully proofread it. Every academic job takes discipline and attention to detail. Your CV is your first chance to showcase these traits.

When you’re done, ask a classmate or a different coworker to proofread it for grammar and spelling mistakes as well as readability. If you have a coworker who is experienced with the structure of an academic CV, ask them for help on how to best arrange your accomplishments.

Academic CV sample

You may use the short academic CV sample below to write a CV when seeking a teaching career or postgraduate courses.

Doesan Yadav

160 High Street, Cambridge, CA2 2BN

University: Cambridge University, CA2 3HJ

Phone: +44 09123 456789


My current Ph.D. project focuses on data security throughout distributed applications. I want to manage the loss of information on high-latency connections in my future studies.


Imperial College Cambridge

Data Science MSc

2018 – 2020


Director of Data Engineering at BigTech Companies

2013 – 2018

  • Cloud-based data architecture was implemented for mobile applications.
  • Constructed analytics platform by company needs
  • Maintained up-to-date data servers


  • Data Engineer, Microsoft Gold Professional


Imperial College Cambridge’s Group-Work Supervisor

2020 – Present

  • Helping undergrads with their research projects


Department of Data Science, Imperial College Cambridge

2020 – Present

Project: “Recognizing Stress factors in Data Security among Distributed Systems”

  • Proven the link between delay and data loss
  • Studied ways to cut down on layoffs


Recipient of the DataArm Data Research Grant ($50,000/annually)


The Journal of Data Science published “A Data Retrieval Mechanism in High-Latency Networks”, in September 2020.

“Datagram Organization Requires to Be Rethought Immediately.” Brighton,  February 2020.


A participant in the Research Centre of Data Scientists


Equality of Access for All: Tackling Data Injustice, Global Academy of Data Scientists Conference 2020, July 2020.


Dr. Robert Williams

Imperial College Cambridge


Only use the most pertinent data. Depending on the needs of the position you’re looking for, you can potentially include other areas. You can completely omit a section if it doesn’t apply to your industry or if you have no expertise with it. For illustration, the academic curriculum vitae sample mentioned above has a segment for the postdoctoral experience. If, however, you haven’t finished any postdoctoral work, you can omit this item from your resume.

Frequently Asked Questions about Academic CVs

  • What makes an academic CV unique?

Your professional resume is a compelling marketing document intended to highlight your most noteworthy professional accomplishments, in contrast to your academic CV, which is similar to a peer-reviewed chronology of your work experience.

  • What distinguishes a CV from an academic CV?

Your work experience and talents are briefly summarized in your industry CV. It is made to swiftly communicate how qualified you are for a certain job. On the contrary, your academic CV paints a very detailed and thorough image of your experience.

  • What makes a good academic resume?

A strong CV efficiently and succinctly communicates your abilities as well as your professional and educational accomplishments. It’s laid out and simple to read while appropriately highlighting your greatest successes. Be confident in your accomplishments while also keeping your word. Do not lie or exaggerate anything!

  • What should I include in an academic CV?
  • An academic CV should include key sections like contact information, education, research experience, publications, presentations, teaching experience, grants and fellowships, awards and honors, professional affiliations, and any additional relevant information specific to your academic field. Be sure to emphasize your academic achievements, research contributions, and teaching experience. It’s also common to include references or a reference section. The exact content and structure may vary depending on your field and the specific requirements of the academic position or opportunity you’re applying for.
  • How do I format an academic CV?
  • Formatting an academic CV is essential to present your qualifications clearly and professionally. Here are some formatting guidelines to consider:
    • Use clear and consistent headings for each section.
    • Use a legible and professional font.
    • Include your name and contact information at the top.
    • List your academic and professional experience in reverse chronological order.
    • Provide detailed descriptions of your research projects, publications, and teaching experience.
    • Ensure the document is well-organized and easy to skim.
    • Avoid excessive use of jargon or technical language that may not be understood by all readers.
    • Tailor your CV to the specific position or opportunity, focusing on the most relevant information.
    • Be mindful of length; academic CVs can be longer, but they should remain focused and not overly lengthy.
    • Proofread carefully for grammar and spelling errors.

Remember that academic CVs can vary significantly based on your academic discipline and the requirements of the institution or opportunity you’re applying to. Always check for specific guidelines provided by the employer or institution.

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