Get recruited with a strong academic CV | Sunday Observer

Get recruited with a strong academic CV

28 November, 2021

How do I find a job after completing my PhD? This is a question that many PhD holders have asked themselves on various occasions. If you want to make the right choice in academia, you need to have a well-prepared CV. Utilising the achievements in your PhD, you can move on to your next stage through a successful CV.

A well-prepared CV summarises and effectively shows your skills and your academic and career achievements and qualifications. It accurately represents your top achievements in a well-organised manner. Don’t hesitate to mention your achievements in your CV, but remember to be honest about your information. Avoid exaggeration or lying to increase the number of pages in the CV.

Academic CVs are generally different from non-academic CVs. In academic CVs, you present your research, various publications, grants received, scholarly activities and knowledge exchanged in addition to other items mentioned in a non-academic CV. Since you have gained academic knowledge and experience after your PhD, how should you present it? A well-prepared CV can go a long way in helping your application for a new academic job. So, when you are planning to start an academic job, knowing how to present your CV is a vital skill. Many people lack it.

Generally, an academic CV starts with your personal and contact information. That information could be your name, email address, current position and the address of your organization.

You can even include a picture of yourself. However, this is not necessary. The rest of the CV should contain all of your career achievements, starting with your undergraduate level. This should include degrees, jobs, training, awards, publications, scientific presentations, and teaching or research experience.

Recent qualifications are first mentioned. So that the employers can quickly understand your current situation. For publications, published and accepted manuscripts can be mentioned. If manuscripts are being submitted, the name of the journal should not be included. The CV should include updated contact information for the three referees at the end. These above are general guidelines for making an academic CV.

In addition, the CV should be clear, concise, and easy to read. Classic fonts (11 or 12 font sizes) are recommended in an academic CV. Decorations are not advisable. Do not try to include too much information in the CV, but focus on giving only the most relevant details. For degrees, include the course and university name as well as the duration and date of the award.

The title of your position, the name of the company and the time spent in the position should be mentioned under positions. Pay attention to spelling and grammar errors. Although it is advisable to keep non-academic CVs to two pages, academic CVs are lengthy. If you have not seen an academic CV before, to get an idea, you can ask your investigators or senior scientists who are working with you. Nowadays, templates for academic CVs can be found online.

The following section provides information on some important topics to be included in an academic CV. However, under each section make sure that your CV highlights what you have achieved.

Personal details

In general, the most important information should be mentioned first, and that is about you. Provide your name, contact information and current address. Nowadays, Orcid ID ( entry is becoming more and more popular in CVs. ORCID offers you with the Permanent Digital Identification (ORCID iD) that you own and control, which differentiates you from every other researcher in the world. This is especially useful as it provides a unique number that can be linked to your publications.

Short personal description

Short personal description is commonly seen in academic CVs. Short personal description helps you to have the opportunity to show your most important talents. Using this you can attract people who read your CV. This part helps you to expand you research needs. Targeting the expected place or lab, in this section, you can show your research experience here and outline your aspirations.

Education qualification

In this section, educational achievements are listed in reverse chronological order. No matter how well you study or perform, employers pay less attention to your old qualifications. They pay attention to your recent postgraduate and your undergraduate qualifications. If you have any experience at diploma level or pre-university level, you should highlight them as well. You can include your class and grade obtained from the degree in this section.


You experience starting from research and teaching to administration can be listed here. Sit and think about what experience and what aspects that experience has relevant to the applied job. For example, If you are applying for a teaching job, indicate your teaching experience. If you do not have teaching experience, determine transferable skills employers are looking for. If you have trained undergraduate students, indicate that also. This section is best suited to show you any opportunity to show leadership as well. Use this section to show your ability to work as part of an effective team.


Try listing your publications in reverse chronological order. This section covers various types of publications including research articles, reviews, communication, letters, books, book chapters and patents.

Awards and funding received

This section includes travel grants, research grants, awards and prizes you have received in your career. Under grants, you can include your role as a principal investigator or co-investigator. The amount of funding is not always necessary. Awards during your undergraduate and postgraduate period may also be included in this section.

Conferences and workshops attended

If you have the opportunity to attend seminars and workshops locally or internationally during your studies, list them here. Also if you have chaired sessions in conferences, you can include them here.

Knowledge exchange activities

Activities you have involved in knowledge exchange and science popularization activities can be mentioned here. This includes speaking to the public at events, interacting with the industry, and communicating the impact of your research activities. This section can also be used to indicate if you or your research work has received any media attention.

Scholarly activities

Your participation in reviewing articles, grant proposals, books, book chapters, patents and communications can be included here. Also, your roles in editing books and journals can also be mentioned in this section.


Wherever possible, a referee should be ideally someone you worked closely with. Your undergraduate or postgraduate supervisors are ideal referees. The purpose here is to ask people who know you and can provide an honest summary about you.