Whether you’re applying for your first academic role or your fifth, making your CV stand out is crucial if you want to beat the competition.
However, the key challenge that many academics face is that their CV needs to be much more comprehensive than a regular application; it needs to include a lot of detail with regards to your academic qualifications, skills and past experience.
So, how do you go about creating a strong academic CV that gets you noticed and proves that you’re capable of doing the job?
Check out our tips below.
Structure your academic CV for success
One of the simplest and most effective ways to make your CV stands out is to structure for success. You need to make sure your academic CV is well organised, clearly laid out and using an easy-to-read font.
You also need to structure your content so that your most important and impressive skills and experience appear higher on your CV. A good structure should look something like this:
- Contact details
- Personal profile - Giving an overview of your key skills, academic experience and notable publications
- Experience – Including your most recent roles
- Research – Listing your past research experience
- Education – Including the institution, subjects and your grades
- Notable publications – Listing any publications you have produced or been published in
Tailor every CV you submit
Recruiters and employers can spot a generic CV from a mile away. Therefore, you need to put careful thought into every application you submit and tailor this accordingly.
To do this, you need to research the institution and comb through the job description, carefully highlighting any of the key skills and experience required.
The more information you gather and the more research you do beforehand, the easier it is to effectively tailor your academic CV to show your genuine interest in the role.
Create a killer personal profile
Academic CVs can be lengthier than average, sometimes up to three pages long. However, your personal profile will still be the first thing that recruiters see, and therefore, it needs to capture their attention right away to encourage them to keep reading.
You have around five sentences to summarise your top skills, expertise and academic experience, including any specialised fields of study and notable achievements.
This is your chance to prove you’re a perfect fit for the role.
Quantify your achievements
Your academic CV should show off your greatest achievements, but if you really want to get your CV noticed, be sure to include plenty of facts, figures and metrics. In doing so, you can provide evidence of the impact you’ve made in your field.
For example, you could include the number of students in your class, what percentage achieved top results or perhaps the size or timeframe of a notable piece of research you published.
Stay positive and proactive
By following our tips above, you can craft a strong academic CV that gets noticed by employers. But remember, it can still take time for you to secure the perfect role, so don’t become disheartened. Always stay positive, proactive and keep our tips in mind. This is the key to job hunting success.
Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading UK careers advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.
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About the author
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.