How to Write an Academic CV (2023)

An academic CV is an essential document for any stage of your academic career. It is required for applying for jobs, grants, fellowships, and conferences. An academic CV is different from a business résumé in both length and format.

Unlike a business résumé, an academic CV does not have to be limited to two pages and can become longer as your career progresses. It also does not include bullet points detailing the duties of each position. Instead, an academic CV is essentially a list, presented in reverse chronological order with clearly indicated dates. This format allows the person reviewing the CV to easily assess your productivity over time.

When creating your academic CV, it is crucial to tailor it to the specific position or institution you are applying for. This means prioritizing the achievements that are most relevant to the position or institution. Consider the focus of the position or institution, whether it is more geared towards teaching or research, and highlight the appropriate accomplishments.

It is also important to carefully read the job posting or application requirements and follow them closely. For instance, some fellowships may only request a selection of your publications, rather than a full list of all your published work.

When writing an academic CV, consider the following tips:

  1. Length: Unlike a resume or some other CVs, an academic CV can be any length as it needs to include all relevant publications, conferences, fellowships, etc. However, if you are applying for a specific job, check to see if there is a page limit for your CV.
  2. Structure: The structure of your CV is more important than its length. Place the most important information at the top, such as your education, employment history, and publications. You may also consider adding a personal statement to make your CV stand out. Within each section, list your experiences in reverse chronological order.
  3. Audience: Tailor your CV to your audience, just like a resume. For example, consider the university or department you are applying to work at and what they value in terms of publication and teaching for tenure and promotion decisions. If the department values publication more, describe your publications before your teaching experience. If the department values teaching more, list your teaching accomplishments before your publications.
  4. Feedback: Ask someone in your field for feedback on how to structure your CV. Every academic department has slightly different expectations for a CV. Consider talking to successful people in your field or department and ask if anyone is willing to share a sample CV with you to help you craft a CV that will impress people in your field.
  5. Readability: Keep your CV easy to read by including ample margins (about 1 inch on all sides) and space between each section. You may also include bullet points in some sections (such as when listing the courses, you taught at each university) to make your CV more readable.

CV format

A good academic CV should include the following sections,

  1. Contact Info
  2. Summary
  3. Education
  4. Professional & Research Experience
  5. Publications
  6. Conference participation
  7. Awards, Honors, and Fellowships
  8. Languages and Skills
  9. References

List your contact information

Your contact information should be included at the top of your CV. This should include:

  • Your name
  • Phone number
  • E-mail address
  • Physical address (optional). If you do, only include the city and province.

Your contact information allows the hiring person to reach out to you for an interview. You can also include the address of your personal or professional website if it includes research and publications related to the position you are applying for.

Professional Summary

A professional summary is a brief overview at the beginning of your CV that highlights your educational training, academic research interests, and relevant work experience.

This section is an opportunity to confidently and enthusiastically introduce yourself as a professional and academic and highlight your most notable assets. To ensure clarity and readability, you can keep this section to three to five sentences.


Your academic background should include the institutions where you received your undergraduate and graduate degrees. For each degree, including the institution, location, degree, and date of graduation. If applicable, mention the title of your dissertation or thesis and the names of your advisors.


Your employment history should be listed on your CV in reverse chronological order, including the positions you have held and the dates of employment. You may choose to divide this section into multiple sections based on your field, such as “Teaching Experience” and “Administrative Experience.” Be sure to include details about each position.

Publications & conferences

You have the privilege of the academic CV to include more information about your professional accomplishments than a resume. You can include presentations, published dissertations, articles, and books that you have created or contributed to.

When listing published materials, include the title of the material, the authors, the publication date, a brief summary of the content, and the volume or issue number. Use the same citation format for all of your publications.

If you are including a presentation, list the title of the presentation and conference, location, and date of the presentation.

Awards, Honors, and Fellowships

This is the section of your CV where you can highlight your achievements and accolades. List all awards and honors you have received in reverse chronological order, including the name of the award, the year you received it, and the institution that presented it to you.

Skills and Languages 

Here in this section of your CV, you may choose to include any hard or soft skills that demonstrate your suitability for the position. Hard skills are abilities you have gained through professional experience, training, or formal education, such as experimental or instrumental techniques or specific software.

Soft skills are personal qualities and abilities that you naturally possess and continue to develop, such as leadership, critical thinking, etc.

You can list all of the languages you are proficient in reading academic texts. Indicate your level of proficiency using the phrases “native/bilingual,” “fully proficient,” “advanced,” “intermediate,” or “can read with a dictionary.”

Do not include languages that you only have a very basic understanding of. This information is useful for demonstrating your language skills and can be helpful for institutions or organizations that may require language proficiency for certain positions.


You may choose to include a list of references at the end of your CV, depending on your field. This list should include the names, titles, and contact information of individuals who can speak to your professional abilities and can serve as a reference for you. It is common to include professors, advisors, or previous supervisors as references.

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