Academic CVs: Differences between Arts and Sciences CVs

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Much of the advice on this website is specifically tailored to academics. The academic CV is different from the generic private sector CV in that it is generally longer and more detailed and usually places less emphasis on the personal statement and more on your teaching and research experience. But are there are key differences between CVs in the arts and sciences?

These differences will not apply in every case but do highlight important areas to bear in mind when crafting your CV depending on which faculty you work in.

Research emphasis:

It is usually the case that science based CVs will place more emphasis on the research history of the individual and the collaborations he/she has had with other scholars. Sometimes scholars in the arts or humanities faculty do include large research projects on their CVs, but in science it is key.

Therefore your career outline as mapped out on your CV will probably be built around the projects you have worked on. In each case you need to give a project synopsis, the names of the people you worked with and details of your particular contribution. This is challenging because it is important to avoid writing large blocks of prose on a CV so make sure you distil this information down into as small a quantity as possible.

Many university-based scientists have little teaching experience and spend much more of their time on research than their humanities counterparts and so in that case, teaching expertise will only form a minor part of their CV.


Science CVs are more likely to include collaborations with other colleagues whereas arts publications are more often single authored. This is not always the case but collaborations are more important in the sciences.

Science CVs are more likely to contain articles and reports whereas art/humanities CVs should include a monograph (i.e. a single authored book) if you are at that stage in your career.


Details of poster demonstrations given at various conferences should be included on a science CV whereas this method of communication is not employed regularly in arts and humanities conferences.


There are more similarities on academic CVs in the arts and sciences than you might imagine. Some of the basic points that all scholars need to think about when creating their CV, whether in sciences or arts are:

  • include your contact details but not date of birth (surprisingly many people do forget these!)
  • list your qualifications in reverse order, the most important first
  • include your publications list and give a prominent place to the most prestigious
  •  include a list of the conference papers you have given (only the most recent if the list is very long)
  • don’t forget to include the names of at least 2 referees, hopefully people who know you and your work very closely
  • always tailor your CV to a particular job specification
  • don’t forget to sell yourself and your achievements: give details of prizes and awards you have won, or seminars/lectures that you were invited to present.

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