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The Academic Curriculum Vitae

What is the academic curriculum vitae, or CV?

The academic curriculum vitae, or CV, is essentially your own biographical write-up of your personal academic career. It is a statement of your academic accomplishments in an easy-to-read format that future employers can scan quickly and efficiently to determine if you are the most accomplished candidate for a particular job. However, a well-written academic curriculum vitae should also highlight your specific background, your individual achievements, group achievements, and even your future aspirations.

How does an academic curriculum vitae vary from a traditional resume?

Because many driven student/professionals have developed both a high-quality resume and a curriculum vitae, some people that are unfamiliar with the CV concept assume they are the same thing. However, this is not true. The CV varies from the traditional resume in the manner in which specific sections are stressed.

Why is having academic curriculum vitae important?

The truth is, an academic curriculum vitae is most useful when applying for jobs in the scientific, educational, or academic fields, since academic accomplishments are often weighed more heavily than professional exploits. In other pursuits, in search of jobs of a professional or business nature, the academic curriculum vitae is not as important. However, many a professional will create a CV for himself or herself just to be able to provide it to prospective employers if it happens to be requested. Regardless, having an academic curriculum vitae is extremely important because it allows prospective employers to learn of your academic qualifications with just a glance at a few well-written, concise pages.

What are the major parts of the academic curriculum vitae?

While there is no set format for the academic curriculum vitae, there are several areas of information that should be incorporated into your particular format. These include:

  • Identifying Information: In this area, you should include the basics such a name, date and place of birth, telephone number and address. Obviously, this should be placed near or at the very top so that whoever is reading it knows exactly who the CV is describing.
  • Education and Academic Qualifications: Within this section you will list all of the schools, colleges, or universities that you have attended throughout your academic career. Be sure to include the dates that these schools were attended, honors achieved, and any academic group memberships you belonged to.
  • Employment History: Within the employment history section, list all of the major jobs you have held, beginning with your current job, or at least the last job that you held. Include the dates that you held these jobs and the locations they were in. If you have held many trivial jobs, these can be trimmed from the CV if they are not relevant.
  • Personal Information: In this area you should list all the personal skills or accomplishments that you feel portray you in a positive light or will be seen as useful to a future employer. This can include your ability to speak or write in a foreign language, your outstanding achievements in the athletic world, an interesting or relevant hobby, or some special courses you have completed. In this section you can also include the fact whether you are a non-smoker, drug-free, etc.

How long should my academic curriculum vitae be?

The exact length of the academic curriculum vitae is not set in stone. Some have been as short as three pages, while there have been reports of some enthusiastic applicants turning in CV’s in excess of thirty pages. However, most experts recommend that it should never exceed ten pages, simply because if the CV gets any longer it can become tiresome searching through something that long.


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