How to Lay Out an Academic CV

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An academic CV is very different to a generic CV, so the advice you see on other CV sites might not be relevant if you are applying for an academic job. It is important to present your CV so that it displays your experience and skills and shows that you are suitable for that job. Remember, the selection panel might only have a few minutes to look at each CV, so it needs to catch their eye.

Here are some tips on how to lay out an academic CV.


Unlike other CVs, an academic CV should be 4 or 5 pages long. Because you need to include detailed information about your teaching experience, research and publications, employers realise that this cannot be done in 2 sides of A4.


You should put your contact details first, then information about your qualifications.

This will be followed by your experience in teaching, research publications and any grants/prizes awarded.

Finally you should include a list of any other professional activities, and the names of two referees.

Do not include a personal statement (i.e. a few sentences about the sort of work you are looking for) on an academic CV.

The order of the information will vary depending on the job you are applying for. If the job is teaching focussed, put the section about your teaching expertise near the top or if it’s a research post, prioritise that part of your CV.

Always put the most recent and/or the most prestigious example in each category first to show that your experience is current and relevant.

Contact details

Do not forget to include your contact details, many people do!

Include your name, a postal and email address and contact telephone number.

There is no need to give your date of birth or include a photo for academic CVs.


Under the heading of teaching expertise include:

  • the names of courses
  • the institution where this was taught
  • the level (i.e. first year, postgraduate etc)
  • your role (seminar tutor, course leader)
  • your duties (course design, marking, lecturing, leading seminars etc)

Under the heading of research publications include:

  • books (academic and textbooks)
  • articles/papers
  • online publications
  • don’t forget to include information about any grants/prizes you have been awarded for your research, including dates, names of awarding body and amount awarded.

Under the heading of professional activities include:

  • membership/leadership of public bodies in your field
  • editorial experience (journals or collections of conference papers)
  • refereeing experience (for journals or publishers)
  • administrative roles you have done within your department such as admissions tutor

Overall appearance

Avoid large chunks of text and instead use headings and bullet points where possible.

Do not use fancy fonts or graphic gimmicks.

Keep underlining, bold and italics to a minimum and use it to guide the reader’s eye to the most important sections.

Use a large enough point size for the average reader to be able to easily digest information (12 point is usually about right).

Keep the appearance simple and professional.


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