Writing an academic cv for university employment

An academic resume is an integral part of the package of documents for admission to a magistracy or graduate school. His main task is to briefly describe the key achievements of the undergraduate or phd in his chosen field. It is important to understand that an academic summary is not a brief summary of biographical data, but rather those stages of development that make the applicant a welcome participant in the student body of the university. The resume should not exceed 2 pages, even if the applicant is an extremely successful candidate.

Writing an academic cv for university employment

Where to start writing an academic cv?

The first thing an applicant must indicate in writing an academic cv for university employment is his name. You should not write “CV” or “Resume”, because the structure of the document already speaks about it. The academic resume does not indicate data that is traditional for a working resume: age, gender, nationality, etc., because in the world of science achievements are evaluated first and foremost, emphasis on personal data will only emphasize the conservativeness of the applicant, while the motto of the academic world is "aspiration to diversity and equality". However, it is perfectly acceptable to indicate contact details in the CV writing, for example, the email address immediately after the name or the actual address to which the applicant is expecting a response.


The next paragraph should indicate the data on education in reverse chronological order. Only the degree obtained and the name of the educational institution are indicated (of course, this does not include school education). If the applicant has already completed a master's degree, in this case it is necessary to indicate the initials of the supervisor and the topic of the dissertation. It will not be superfluous to demonstrate the average Grade Point Average (GPA) diploma, as well as make a note that the applicant graduated with honors (if this is true). In this section, you can include information about certificates received and courses taken. It is important that they are relevant to the area in which the applicant plans to study.


The members of the selection committee highly appreciate various awards - scholarships and study grants. In this section, you should list all available academic awards you had, and then the incentives received in other areas, for example, diplomas for winning sports competitions, etc.

Research experience

The presence of research experience should definitely be mentioned in the resume, which will be a huge plus for the applicant when entering graduate school. Work as an assistant in the department, a personal assistant to a teacher or a practitioner in the laboratory - all this is an invaluable experience, which should be reflected in the resume of the applicant. For each position, the skills acquired in the course of research are necessarily listed: statistical analysis, work with special software, laboratory procedures, etc.

Work experience

As a rule, candidates with postgraduate programs are more likely to accept candidates with work experience in a specialty that was obtained outside their own university. If the applicant does not have professional experience, he should describe it briefly, without going into details. The emphasis must be placed on positions that required the applicant to apply technical or managerial skills, as well as skills that are valuable in the chosen postgraduate field. For example, the collection and statistical processing of data, work with large amounts of information, and more.

Publications, scientific papers and presentations

Having official publications and mentioning them in an academic summary will also be a big advantage. They are drawn up on the model of footnotes: the author of the work, its title, publication and year of publication (again, in reverse chronological order). If there are no publications, the applicant can, as an alternative, indicate speeches at scientific meetings or educational events. Subject graduation work can also be included in this list.

Extra-academic activity

This section of the resume will be especially relevant for applicants entering humanitarian specialties, for example, programs for the struggle for equality, organizations of activists, volunteer programs, etc. It is not superfluous to indicate participation in the student council, but special attention should be paid to activities that contributed to the formation and development of such qualities as determination, leadership, organizational abilities, the ability to comply with deadlines and more.

Knowledge of foreign languages

An applicant who knows one or several foreign languages at a high level must necessarily include this information in his or her application. If the language is mastered only at the tourist level, this is not worth mentioning. The applicant's task is to present skills that will be useful during further training, therefore in this section of the CV should be indicated only foreign languages, which the applicant speaks at least at B2 level.


Here it is necessary to note the special skills that were obtained by the applicant during the professional or academic activities. And this is not a standard set of phrases that are found in typical working resumes (stress tolerance, sociability, knowledge of MS Office, etc.). This section should demonstrate more complex skills, for example, the ability to work in highly specialized programs. Skills must be consistent with the academic experience of the applicant.


The last section is a list of professors and teachers who recommend an applicant as a worthy candidate. If there are several recommendations in the package of documents, you should indicate their authors and their attitude to the activities of the applicant (supervisor, teacher, member of the commission), as well as their contacts.

Additional tips that will make your resume more attractive

Several sections below will help highlight the strengths of the applicant and recommend him as an active, erudite and sociable person with leadership qualities.

Trade Union Membership

Belonging to any trade union or specialized association indicates the candidate’s ability to work in a team, his desire to cooperate with others and the ability to find a common language with colleagues. And it doesn’t matter if the union has an academic relationship or not. This information should be indicated in the summary.

Charity and volunteer activities

Only significant projects should be entered in this paragraph, for example, raising funds for an orphanage, organizing language courses for migrants, creating websites for non-profit organizations (shelters, boarding schools, non-profit rehabilitation centers), working as a translator at conferences, and so on. It is important to indicate that all these services were provided on a voluntary basis, i.e., free of charge.

Non-academic publications

As a rule, many young scientists like to share interesting information with their colleagues and friends, writing their research in small scientific articles, which later become available for viewing and discussion on the Internet, in a personal blog. Such platforms, of course, cannot be compared with publication in a scientific journal, but they testify to the active life position of the candidate.

Guest appearances

This column includes all non-academic speeches of the applicant as an expert in any field. For example, an applicant was invited to one of the schools with a request to tell about their own experience in preparing and passing the TOEFL exam or about entering a foreign university. This item will only play into the hands of the applicant because he characterizes him as an active person who wants to share his experience and knowledge.

Media Appearances

Quite often, young scientists are invited to various news or thematic television and radio programs, where they act as experts in any issue. Participation in one of these meetings is worth mentioning if the program is really worthy and resonates with the academic activities of the applicant.

Resumeget - professional CV writing service,

Common mistakes in writing an american academic cv

  • The word "Summary" instead of the first and last name at the beginning of the letter;
  • Indication of personal data in the academic resume (date of birth, gender, marital status), which is unacceptable for this type of document;
  • Upon admission to the Ph.D. program, indication of data on the school certificate and awards received during school years;
  • The presence of grammatical and lexical errors in the document.

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