How To Write An Academic CV (With Template And Example)

Updated 18 April 2023

Candidates typically submit a CV when applying for academic roles such as a researcher or postdoctoral fellowship. CVs for these positions usually outline a prospect's educational background, teaching and research experience and publications produced. Knowing how to write an effective CV can help you create effective applications and improve your chances of progressing to the next stage of the recruitment process. In this article, we explain what an academic CV is, outline how to write one in eight steps, provide a template and present an example to help you create your own.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

What Is An Academic CV?

An academic CV is a document that scholars and researchers use to apply for scholastically related roles. Unlike traditional resumes, these CVs include additional information specific to academia. While they typically contain a candidate's contact information, professional summary, educational background, certifications, teaching and research experience and skills, they also incorporate a prospect's publications, attended conferences, awards, fellowships and grants. Because of this, the documents are usually longer than resumes for non-academic roles.

How To Write A CV For Academic Roles?

Follow these eight steps to learn how to write an effective CV for academic roles:

1. Choose appropriate formatting

Start by choosing appropriate formatting for your CV and applying this consistently throughout the document. Consider using a font that is professional and easy to read, such as Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri. Adopt a readable font size of 11 or 12 and use bold for the headings to make it easier for employers to scan through the document.

Related: How To Format And Write A Resume For University (With Tips)

2. Tailor the document

Like other resumes, CVs for academic roles are specific to the application's audience. To tailor yours, research the role, institution, department and other scholars working there. Consider the institution's values, mission statement and culture and try to show your understanding of these in your application. For example, if you are applying for a role at a university that focuses on research more than teaching, consider prioritising your research achievements over your teaching experience when writing your CV.

Related: How To Write A CV (With Template, Sample And Tips)

3. Insert your contact information

Begin your academic CV by inserting your contact details in the document's header. Doing this saves space and helps ensure the educational institution can easily find how to contact you regarding your application. Add your most recent qualification in this section to highlight your suitability for the role. For instance, if you are applying for an academic position that requires a PhD in English literature, list this qualification here, along with:

  • Full name

  • Phone number

  • Email address

  • Location

Related: Resume Format Guide (With Examples)

4. Write a professional summary

Follow your contact details with a professional summary. This can be a brief paragraph of two to three sentences highlighting your academic experience, credentials, skills and achievements. In this section, mention your teaching and research experience and your area of specialisation. Stating your key contributions to the educational institution where you work and highlighting your involvement in conferences and publications is often beneficial. If you received any awards or grants, you might also briefly mention them here.

Related: How To Write A Resume Summary (With 30 Examples)

5. Add your teaching and research experience

In the next section, add details of your teaching and research experience in reverse chronological order. If you finished a fellowship or postdoctoral training, also include this information. For each entry, state the role you held, your employer's name, employment dates and the role's location before listing your duties with bullet points. For each point, start with a verb and mention what you did and the outcome, using data to support any claims you make. When listing current positions, write in the present tense. For previous ones, use the past tense.

For example, if previously employed in a teaching position at a university, consider outlining how you helped the university deliver its teaching programme. You might also mention the number of courses you taught and whether these were at the undergraduate or postgraduate level. As many teaching roles at universities involve research, mentioning any conferences you attended or publications to which you contributed may be appropriate. Alongside your duties, include any appointments you had while working at that institution.

Related: How To Write An Application For A Teaching Job

6. Include your academic skills

Add a section highlighting your academic skills. Format this part of your CV as a list to improve the document's readability. Here are examples of academic skills you may want to include:

  • Presentation skills

  • Public speaking

  • Attention to detail

  • Time management

  • Research

  • Academic writing

  • Critical thinking

  • Analytical skills

  • Responsiveness to feedback

  • Lesson planning

  • Reading comprehension

Related: 10 Useful Academic Skills (Plus Tips For Developing Them)

7. List your academic credentials

At the end of your CV, list your academic credentials in reverse chronological order, including any undergraduate or postgraduate degrees along with relevant certifications. For instance, if you are applying for a human resource (HR) teaching position at a university, you may want to include your PhD and HR certifications. When listing your qualifications, ensure you list the following:

  • Name of the institution or awarding body

  • Degree or certification name

  • Location of institution

Related: 35 Common Academic Advisor Interview Questions To Expect

8. Proofread your CV

Once you finish writing, check your academic CV for grammatical and spelling errors and formatting inconsistencies. This is an excellent way of demonstrating your attention to detail to prospective employers, a key attribute of many academic roles. It also allows you to make a positive first impression. An effective way of checking your CV for mistakes might involve asking a trusted friend or colleague to review it. Alternatively, leaving the document for a few days before checking it yourself often makes it easier for you to find errors.

CV Template For Academic Roles

Here is a template you can refer to when writing a CV for academic positions:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City], [State or Union territory]

Professional Summary
[Two to three sentences that highlight your years of experience, relevant skills, education or certifications and achievements as a professional.]


(For the most recent role, list 5 experience items. For previous roles, list 3.)

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [State or Union territory]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [State or Union territory]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

[Degree] | [Name of School or University]
[City], [State or Union territory]

Related: CV Template: Importance, Components And Example

Example CV For Academic Roles

Below is an example you can use to help create your academic CV:

Sophia Jai, PhD in English literature +91-9877767890 | | Mumbai, Maharastra

Professional Summary
Dedicated Lecturer and Researcher with over 10 years of academic experience in English literature. Contributed to literature publications and attended domestic and international conferences. Experienced in supervising PhD and MA theses and teaching students at an undergraduate and postgraduate level.


Associate Professor of English Literature | August 2016–Current
University of Meni | Mumbai, Maharastra

  • Teach 11 undergraduate and four postgraduate courses, which involves developing lesson plans, hosting seminars, setting assessments, providing recommended reading lists and advising students during office hours

  • Deliver lectures to classes of over 50 students and consistently receiving positive feedback from attendees

  • Supervise PhD and MA theses while completing research duties

  • Become a member of the university's internal examinations board

  • Contribute an article to prestigious research journal discussing contemporary English literature

English Literature Lecturer | August 2011–August 2016
University of Meni | Mumbai, Maharastra

  • Helped deliver the university's undergraduate degree programme in English literature to a group of 50 students, including hosting seminars, lectures and workshops

  • Taught five undergraduate courses under the head of the department's supervision and completed administrative duties

  • Supervised dissertations and attended domestic and international conferences

Research | Academic writing | Public speaking | Critical thinking | Time management | Self-discipline

PhD in English Literature | University of Meni
Mumbai, Maharastra

MA in English Literature | University of Meni
Mumbai, Maharastra

BA in English Literature | University of Meni
Mumbai, Maharastra


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