How to… write a PhD curriculum vitae
In this “how to” we will give you some tips about how to make an outstanding CV. As a little gift, we even have added an easy to fill in format of an academic curriculum vitae.
Along the years we have come across may candidates from all over the world and have noticed quite some difference in the applications we receive. Some candidates send their CV accompanied by a motivation letter or cover letter and others just send their resume.
“We highly recommend to always send a motivation letter. Read our how to… blog with some tips and tricks.”
So what is the difference between your CV and a resume and what is important when you apply for a research position? The difference is the length. Your resume is a short version and not the best option for research positions. We always recommend to apply with your CV; it provides more information and more details to show your academic experience and talent. Don’t forget that with the large competition now a days, you need to clearly show your worth.
Indispensable CV content
- Basic demographic information (name, contact address, birthdate and photograph)
- Brief statement of your research area/interests/objectives
- Degrees obtained/in-progress (institution, supervisor, thesis title, GPA)
- Academia-relevant jobs (e.g., research assistantships, teaching assistantships, tenure-track appointments)
- Publications (especially in the case of junior researchers, also papers that are under review/in submission)
- Awards, honors or grants
- Teaching experience (including in labs, if you are a junior researcher)
- Supervisory experience (if you have helped co-supervise other students)
- Extracurricular work (reviewing duties, committees on which you’ve served, organization of workshops/conferences, editorial work)
- Research project experience (where you can outline work that you have done in a research lab)
- Presentations and seminars (especially if you have been to any conferences or workshops)
- References (presumably your previous supervisors)
Not only content is important, but also the layout. The CV2.0 or even CV3.0 versions, where you stand out with many graphics and internet profiling respectively, are not recommended for academic positions. Professors want clear and structured information and do not have time to appreciate your originality or your digital profiles. Our best tip is to make a nicely readable layout with soft colours and repeating patterns. This simplifies information uptake when scanning quickly through your CV.
Tips to improve of your CV layout
- Don’t add several colours and fonts (sizes) to draw attention (for headers it is enough)
- The good old spelling check which is forgotten too often
- Put relevant and most recent information first
- Don’t stuff all the information on a page. Multiple pages are not a sin.
- Convert your CV into a PDF file. (no issues with layout change)
- Put your name in your CV file, like: CV_name_year. (great for search options)
If you want to make your life easier, then just use our CV format for your academic applications. We are sure you will make a great impression with it.