ECH Careers: Your CV

1 October 2014

Good advice is available from university careers services about how to present your curriculum vitae; bear in mind those general points about clarity and order when applying for academic jobs.  The most common problem with a CV is that it is hard for readers quickly to identify the important information.  Think about this every time you apply for a job.  For some posts, you might want to put teaching first, then research.  For one particular job, you might want to highlight a specific course that you’ve taught, or conference that you’ve organised, because it fits well with the remit of the post.  As with all other application materials, think what you would like to committee to realise about you, and arrange your material accordingly.  Don’t make it too fussy in appearance:  a variety of italics and bold scripts and underlining and capital letters bewilders the eye.

Think particularly hard about how you present your publications, which is often done badly. Committees will not be fooled by information that is deliberately left imprecise to make the list look more substantial than it is. Items that have already been published should be clearly distinguished from those that are forthcoming.  And “forthcoming” should be used for pieces that have been accepted by a publisher and are in press, not things that you hope to write next summer.  If an article has been accepted subject to minor revisions, say so.  If a piece is under review, say so.  The more precise information you can give, the more you show that you are au fait with the process of academic publishing.  Make sure there’s nothing on your publications list that you couldn’t give further details about at interview if asked.  If your list of actual publications is still short, add a section on Publication Plans.