Dr. Karen’s Rules of the Academic CV

Reposting classics on the basic job market documents as we gear up for the 2016 job search!


Today’s post is a long overdue post on CVs. 

While the CV genre permits a wide range of variation, and there is no consensus on the value or desirability of one particular style, I am going to present a list of expectations that govern my own work at The Professor Is In.

These expectations will produce a highly-readable, well-organized CV on the American academic model. British and Canadian CV-writers will note that the font is larger, the length is greater, the margins wider, and the white spaces more abundant than you may be used to. These are the typical norms for American CVs (again, admitting of enormous variation among fields and individuals).  

These norms govern the “paper” CVs that are submitted as elements of a job application. The CV can be created in a program like Word but submitted as a PDF to ensure proper formatting on the receiving end.

These rules do not encompass online CVs, which may employ elements such as bullet points that I reject. 

Candidates seeking work in the UK or Canada might want to consult with experts from those countries for opinions on whether this American model CV will work against candidates in searches there.

Without further ado: Dr. Karen’s Rules of the CV.

I.  General Formatting Rules

One inch margins on all four sides.

12 point font throughout

Single spaced

No switching of font sizes for any element, EXCEPT the candidate name at top, which can be in 14 or perhaps 16.

Headings in bold and all caps.

Subheadings in bold only.


One or two full returns (ie, blank lines) before each new heading.

One return/blank line between each heading and its first entry.

Left justify all elements of the cv.

Do not full/right justify any element of the cv.

No bullet points at all, ever, under any circumstances. This is not a resume.

No “box” or column formatting of any kind. This interferes with the constant adjustments a dynamic professional CV will undergo on a weekly/monthly basis.

No “XXXX, cont’d” headings. Page breaks will constantly move as CV grows.

YEAR (but not month or day) OF EVERY ENTRY THROUGHOUT CV LEFT JUSTIFIED, with tabs or indent separating year from substance of entry. Why, you ask? Because candidates are evaluated by their productivity over time. Search and tenure committees wish to easily track yearly output. When you produce is as important as what you produce. Year must be visible, not buried in the entry itself.   (table formatting another option as described in comment stream)

NO NARRATIVE VERBIAGE ANYWHERE. Brits, I’m talking to you.

No description of “duties” under Teaching/Courses Taught

No paragraphs describing books or articles.  

No explanations of grants/fellowships (ie, “this is a highly competitive fellowship…”).

No personal stories.

No “My work at the U of XX is difficult to condense…” etc. etc.

One possible exception: a separate heading for “Dissertation” with a VERY short paragraph abstract underneath. I disapprove of this. Some advisors insist on it. One year or so beyond completion, it should be removed.

II.  Heading Material:

Name at top, centered, in 14 or 16 point font.

The words “Curriculum vitae” immediately underneath or above, centered, in 12 point font.  This is a traditional practice in the humanities and social sciences; it might be optional at this point in time, and in various fields.  Please doublecheck with a trusted advisor.

The date, immediately below, centered, is optional.   Senior scholars always date their cvs.

Your institutional and home addresses, tel, email, parallel right and left justified.

III.  Content:

1. Education. Always. No exceptions.  List by degree, not by institution.  Do not spell out Doctor of Philosophy, etc.; it’s pretentious.  List Ph.D., M.A., B.A. in descending order.  Give department, institution, and year of completion.  Do NOT give starting dates.  You may include Dissertation/Thesis Title, and perhaps Dissertation/Thesis Advisor if you are ABD or only 1 year or so from Ph.D.. Remove this after that point.  Do not include any other verbiage.  

2. Professional Appointments/Employment. This must go immediately under education, assuming that you have/had these.  Why?  Because the reader must be able to instantly “place” you institutionally.  These are contract positions only– tenure track or instructorships.  Ad hoc adjunct gigs do not go here; only contracted positions of 1+ years in length.  Postdoctoral positions also go here.  Give institution, department, title, and dates (year only) of employment.  Be sure and reflect joint appointments if you have one.  ABD candidates may have no Professional Appointments, and in that case the Heading can be skipped.   TA-SHIPS, ETC. ARE NOT LISTED UNDER PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT. COURSES THAT YOU TAUGHT AS AN ADJUNCT ARE NOT LISTED UNDER PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS.

3. Publications. Subheadings: Books, Edited Volumes, Refereed Journal Articles, Book Chapters, Conference Proceedings, Encyclopedia Entries, Book Reviews, Manuscripts in Submission (give journal title), Manuscripts in Preparation, Web-Based Publications, Other Publications (this section can include non-academic publications, within reason).  Please note that forthcoming publications ARE included in this section. If they are already in the printing stage, with the full citation and page numbers available, they may be listed the same as other published publications, at the very top since their dates are furthest in the future.  If they are in press, they can be listed here with “in press” in place of the year.

4. Awards and Honors. Give name of award and institutional location. Year  at left. Always in reverse descending order. Listing $$ amount appears to be field-specific.  Check with a trusted senior advisor.

5. Grants and Fellowships (if you are in a field where these differ categorically from Awards and Honors). Give funder, institutional location in which received/utilized, year span. Listing $$ amount appears to be field-specific.  Check with a trusted senior advisor. Year at left.

6. Invited Talks. These are talks to which you have been invited at OTHER campuses, not your own. Give title, institutional location, and date. Year only (not month or day) at left.  Month and day of talk go into entries.

7. Conference Activity/Participation. Subheadings: Panels Organized, Papers Presented, Discussant. These entries will include: Name of paper, name of conference, date. Year (Year only) on left as noted above. Month and date-range of conference in the entry itself (ie, March 22-25).  No extra words such as: “Paper title:”   Future conferences SHOULD be listed here, if you have had a paper or panel officially accepted.  The dates will be future dates, and as such they will be the first dates listed.

7a.  Campus or Departmental Talks.  These are talks that you were asked to give in your own department or on your own campus. These do not rise to the level of an “Invited Talk” but still may be featured under the heading of Campus Talks or Departmental Talks.  List as you would Invited Talks.  Under no circumstances may guest lectures in courses be listed here or anywhere on the CV. That is padding.

8. Teaching Experience. Subdivide either by area/field of teaching or by institutional location, or by Graduate/Undergraduate, or some combination of these as appropriate to your particular case. 

ADDENDUM 9/18/13: Format in this way:  if you’ve taught at more than one institution, make subheadings for each institution.  Then list the courses vertically down the left (ie, do NOT use the year-to-left rule that applies everywhere else).  To the right of each course, in parentheses, give the terms and years taught. This allows you to show the number of times you’ve taught a course without listing it over and over.  Give course titles BUT NEVER GIVE COURSE NUMBERS! Course numbers are meaningless outside your campus.

If your quantity of courses taught exceeds approximately 15, condense this section; it is not essential for a highly experience teacher to scrupulously list every single course taught, every single time.  Just cover your general range of competencies.

TA experience goes here.  No narrative verbiage under any course title. No listing of “duties” or “responsibilities.”  There is one small exception to this rule, as noted in the comment stream (near comment #100).  If your department is one that has its “TAs” actually design and sole-teach courses, then this needs to be clarified.  Language to be added can include, “(Instructor of record)” after course title, or “(As TA I designed and sole-taught all courses listed here),” etc.  Keep it short and sweet.

9.  Research Experience. RA experience goes here, as well as lab experience.  This is one location where slight elaboration is possible, if the research was a team effort on a complex, multi-year theme.  One detailed sentence should suffice.  

10. Service To Profession. Include journal manuscript review work (with journal titles [mss. review CAN be given its own separate heading if you do a lot of this work]), leadership of professional organizations, etc. Some people put panel organizing under service; check conventions in your field.

11. Departmental/University Service. Include search committees and other committee work, appointments to Faculty Senate, etc.  Sorry to be a pain, but here the convention is that the Title or Committee is left justified, with the year in the entry.  Don’t ask me why, and only a convention, not a strict rule.

12. Extracurricular University Service. [Optional. ] Can include involvement in student groups, sporting clubs, etc.

13. Community Involvement/Outreach. [Optional.]  This includes work with libraries and schools, public lectures, etc.

14.  Media Coverage. [Optional.] Coverage of your work by the media.

15.  Related Professional Skills. [Optional.] Can include training in GIS and other technical skills relevant to the discipline. More common in professional schools and science fields; uncommon in humanities.

16. Non-Academic Work. [Optional—VERY optional!] Include only if relevant to your overall academic qualifications. More common in Business, sciences. Editorial and publishing work possibly relevant in English and the Humanities.  

17.  Teaching Areas/Courses Prepared To Teach.  [Optional].  You can give a brief list of course titles (titles only!) that represent your areas of teaching preparation.  No more than 10 courses should be listed here.

18. Languages. All languages to be listed vertically, with proficiency in reading, speaking, and writing clearly demarcated using terms such as: native, fluent, excellent, conversational, good, can read with dictionary, etc.

19. Professional Memberships/Affiliations. All professional organizations of which you are a member listed vertically. Include years of joining when you are more senior and those years recede into the past—demonstrates length of commitment to a field.

20. References. List references vertically. Give name and full title. Do not refer to references as “Dr. xxx,” or “Professor xxx.” This makes you look like a graduate student. Give full snail mail contact information along with tel and email. To do otherwise is amateurish, even though we know nobody is going to use the snail mail address. Do not give narrative verbiage or explanation of these references (ie, “Ph.D. Committee member,” etc.). The only exception is a single reference that may be identified as “Teaching Reference.” This would be the fourth of four references.

IV.  Principle of Peer Review.  

The organizing principle of the CV is prioritizing peer review and competitiveness. Professional appointments are extremely competitive, and go first. Publications are highly competitive, and go second, with peer reviewed publications taking place of honor. Awards and honors reveal high levels of competition, as do fellowships and grants. Invited talks suggest a higher level of individual recognition and honor than a volunteered paper to a conference—this is reflected in the order. Teaching in this context, ie, as a list of courses taught, is not competitive, and thus is de-prioritized. Extra training you seek yourself, voluntarily, is fundamentally non-competitive. Etc. Etc.

What is never included:

ANYTHING FROM YOUR UNDERGRADUATE YEARS!!!  Remove all undergraduate content, other than listing your BA degree under Education.

Overseas travel

Career goals

Anything you’d see on a business resume.


Please read the comment thread closely—it contains many more refinements and additions to the advice here.

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Dr. Karen’s Rules of the Academic CV — 765 Comments

  1. Great post. And just to stress: including “guest lectures” for other people at your institution, or including on-campus responses to some round table or other in your conference section is very common, and very very unprofessional. It makes it look like you are padding your cv.

      • I have a heading called ‘Invited Speaker’, at various universities, research institutes, and an ambassador’s association, this is not the same as ‘guest lecturer’ right?

        • I am in music and have a number of professional performances (“Creative Work”) on my calender into 2017. Can I include these?

          • I’m in my 5th year of an assistant professor position. Under grants and fellowships, I currently include grants and fellowships from graduate school. Should I take those off my CV?

          • My advisor was a fairly well-known opera singer before beginning his teaching career, and is now a tenured professor at an R1 with lots of publishing activity, as well. He says that when it comes to tenure considerations for performers, our performances count as publications — they’re your peer-reviewed body of work, so to speak. So yes, I’d think.

      • I received my graduate training at a UK institution, and so guest lecturing (and a very short lecture series) is, unfortunately, literally my only undergraduate teaching experience (I have elementary and summer school experience, but no one wants that). I am just graduating with my PhD this year. Is it OK for me to put these down, labelled very clearly as ‘Guest Lectures’ as I’m applying for my first teaching jobs?

  2. Awesome!

    It occurs to me that one reason why people tweak this kind of formatting (rearranging the order of content, or burying the year in an entry) is to cover up or minimize gaps in research productivity, as for example when nothing much happened in one’s life professionally for a couple of years because of children or illness or ailing parents. In such circumstances, is it better to brazen out the gap and stick to the formatting you suggest or to adjust the formatting to give greatest prominence to what one has accomplished without drawing attention to ones failure to achieve as much as possible?

    • You always raise the hard questions, Kirstin! I guess my response would be: readers don’t usually miss those gaps. So, may as well own up to them. A brief, non-defensive word of explanation can be included in the accompanying letter.

      But I’m open to other viewpoints on this. What do you think?

      • I have always listed the year at the end of the entry (including the degrees) and it doesn’t seem to have affected me either way. I am in the humanities.

          • I am applying for a teaching position after 10 years staying home and raising my kids. How should I address this on a CV? ANY and ALL advice is welcome and appreciated.

      • What sort of explanation should be given? I unexpectedly had to take a semester off to have a child and my department acts as if it ended my career before it started. I have been told not to wear my wedding ring to job interviews and not mention anything about my family, even if asked. I am not sure how to explain this gap in my productivity. I was very productive right before the pregnancy, and then had to wait two years before I could complete my last three required courses, sit comprehensive exams, etc. I did teach in that time-frame, but didn’t attend any conferences during that time. My productivity now (ABD) is the highest it has ever been, but I am not sure how to address the gap if asked about it. Should this be addressed in a cover letter and if so, how?

  3. I’ve always been told to prioritize according to what’s most important to the institution/position. According to this logic, for R1 positions, the order you list here is best; but for schools/jobs that emphasize teaching over research, it’s best to put teaching ahead of publications. I’m of two minds about this advice. While I can understand the rationale, it still seems counter-intuitive in some ways. I’d like to hear what you (and others) think about this.

    • Yes, I also paused to ask myself whether I should add a note about teaching positions, and whether to list teaching first and/or more elaborately in such contexts. My general feeling, after reviewing something like 300 cvs, is that FAR FAR more people lean too heavily on their teaching and allow it to take up FAR too much space on their CV than otherwise. Put another way, far more adjuncts who are seeking tenure track work send teaching-centric CVs, than the reverse. Basically, I want to hammer home, yet again, the point that TEACHING DOES NOT GET YOU TENURE TRACK JOBS! RESEARCH DOES. EVEN FOR TEACHING-CENTRIC POSITIONS.

      I’m shouting. Yes, I am. And I will continue shouting until I’m hoarse. I’m sick of seeing adjuncts doom themselves. I’m going to write a post on this soon.

      So yes, there is a school of thought that Teaching should be more prioritized on the CV for some positions. if you wish to adjust the order and put teaching a bit higher in the CV for adjunct teaching positions, it’s not the end of the world, go ahead. But for tenure track applications, even at SLACs, you want your research to go first.

      • I would say, speaking as someone who is t-t at a teaching-centric university, that Karen is spot on. When we look at candidates we look at both research and teaching. But as long as they have reasonable teaching experience etc., the time is spent on looking at research. Search committee folk glance through the CV first pages to understand the research potential, before moving on. I would say that the major exception to this is applying at community colleges. It is a major flag at cc’s when research is emphasized.

          • Only exception–if you are applying to a community college. If it looks like you really want to do research, community colleges will not hire you. With a typical teaching load of 5/5, and all evaluations based on teaching, you won’t have time to do research and the CCs know this.

          • I’m dubious. But then I’m in the sciences, where we don’t have adjuncts applying for positions – we have postdocs. At my school the load is roughly 80% teaching, 10% research. If you’ve gone through grad school and postdocs you might not have ANY experience as instructor of record. (If you got your PhD in Europe, you likely won’t even have any TA experience!) I’m certainly interested in teaching experience first.

            Then research experience will be a tiebreaker, sure.

            Overall, your CV description doesn’t look like any CV I’ve seen… but then maybe that’s the point? We all do it wrong?

      • What about putting grants/fellowships after education?
        This is a strong point for me, more so than my publication record at this point (ABD status)

      • It all depends, if you have teaching experience like I do in three different countries, teaching from 6 grade to university, it will count. Many institutes want to see research. But teaching also counts. Of course, there are other factors, race, ethnic, friends, connections, prejudices against Latinos, and the list goes on. It is not always the Resume or the CV, that will grant the position. I have been in those fake interview, where they hiring committee already have in mind who will get the position. I went through this twice at Miami Dade College.

  4. Excellent post. Here’s a tweak: “Books, Edited Volumes (this covers both edited collections in book form and special journal issues), Refereed Journal Articles, Book Chapters, Conference Proceedings, Book Reviews, Manuscripts in Submission (give journal title), Manuscripts in Preparation, Other Publications.” I like to see edited volumes separate from books because they have a different status from monographs. I wholeheartedly agree with the advice to keep the material under submission separate, because it looks like padding when articles that have simply been sent out appear in the same section as accepted and forthcoming and published articles.

  5. For clarification–is an adjunct position at a community college considered “professional employment” or does it go under “teaching experience”? And does a post-doc fall under “professional employment”?

    • excellent questions, lynn. Postdocs DO fall under Professional Employment. I will add that note. Now, adjunct positions can be tricky. If they are year-long appointments, especially at ranking institutions, then yes they count. If they are one-off, semester-by-semester appointments, then no, they don’t count, and must go under “Teaching Experience.” Sometimes the lines are blurry, and that is why people hire me! Seriously, I spend an inordinate amount of time parsing details like this. I am hoping this post minimizes that in future.

  6. Great advice! As a foreign language PhD, I’m curious where to include study abroad experience (as an instructor and even graduate student). I know that many SLACs – and even some larger public institutions – prefer candidates who have experience taking students abroad and who are willing to participate in and develop their schools’ study abroad programs. This experience abroad is also important for non-native speakers of Spanish, French, Italian (or any language), applying for a position teaching said language. Where should this information go? Would you recommend a separate heading, or would this be included with teaching experience and courses? Might it be completely unnecessary for an R1 school? In my field, I have been told that this type of “overseas travel” is quite important. Thoughts?

    • This would fall under Teaching Experience or possibly Departmental/University Service. If it has somehow become a major element of your teaching profile, you could make a separate heading: “Study Abroad Program Experience” or something like that.

    • Teaching assistant work goes under “Teaching Experience.” Research Asst work goes under a heading I forgot tomention (oops) called “Research Experience”. Adding that now!

      • This was my question too. This is an incredibly helpful post about something that is so basic/integral to our tool kits, but for which I’ve never received any good advice. Thanks!

  7. This is a very helpful post and helps greatly with the editing of my CV. I do have one question, however. As I am just finishing up my PhD and have had no “professional appointments” but have been working as an adjunct, do I leave out the “Professional Appointment” section altogether and go directly to the “Publications” sections (also sadly short, at this point)? Or, would it be better to label the section “Professional Employment” and list my adjunct work to at least illustrate some experience?

    • Kimberly, first, please remember that many adjucting jobs would be fine to list under Professional Appoinments anyway.

      Now if you have only one-off course adjuncting, and you are ABD, then yes, it is fine for you to launch directly into Publications.

      It is worth clarifying: ABDs are not expected to have professional appointments! So the absence of that section is not in itself problematic. It becomes problematic only after the Ph.D. is granted.

      • It might be useful to clarify the post with respect to what adjuncting can be placed under professional appointments. I taught 3/3 at a SUNY school, for three years, including compensation for academic advisement, prior to even entering my PhD program. I’m not even the only person in my cohort with that level of adjuncting. Given contemporary practices, especially at state schools, some clarification seems relevant.

  8. How about pedagogical training as a sub-heading to teaching experience? I know it’s a common feature of UK CVs, but perhaps not so emphasized on US ones?

      • I actually really dislike the “Research Interests” heading. I know it’s quite common, but it always feels like a lot of fluff to me. The reason is: if you have the PUBLICATIONS that you should have, your research interests should be OBVIOUS. Excuse me for shouting. I know it’s obnoxious. But this relates to my shouting in the response about whether to prioritize the TEaching section. Too many ABDs and Adjuncts just refuse to get the message: Only publications in the highest ranked venues you can manage give you meaningful advantage on the job market.

        Now, you raise a good point with “Teaching Abilities.” I dislike that particular title, because it sounds desperately grad student-ish (“I can do it, I swear!”). I would call it, instead, “Courses Prepared To Teach” or something like that, and yes, that is a valid heading, although not very common.

        • I think ‘research interests’ can be a helpful heading for search committees if it is conceptualized as a way of indicating the various audiences/fields of scholarship that are addressed by one’s published work.

          For example, if a scholar of African history works on the influence of the Cuban Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa, it might be helpful for a search committee to be told (via the research interests section) that one’s work is relevant to scholars of ‘the Cold War in Africa’ and the ‘global 1960s’ in addition to the obvious field of modern West African history. This can help a search committee member in how she thinks about one’s publication list as she quickly scans it, ranks it, and moves on to the next c.v.

          As long as I’m posting here, I want to second what Karin said about about the importance of research and emphasizing one’s research accomplishments even in applying for jobs with a heavy teaching load. As the job market has gotten worse, more and more people with impressive publications and research records are junior faculty at schools with 4/4 teaching loads. I’m currently serving on a s.c. at one of these schools, and we had a few early battles between more and less recent hires about the nature of the people we are looking for: i.e., how much should teaching count in the search? Long story short, the more recent faculty who publish won as administration came down firmly on their side, accompanied by a warning to publish more or not get tenure to the faculty in the department that were hired before 2009. All this was of course done more tactfully than I’ve presented it here, but the message wasn’t lost on anyone. This year’s job market will help cement this change, which will remain in place until most of us can use our research to bolt for better jobs. Who knows when that will happen on a large enough scale to change things back to how they were before 2009.

          • Thanks for this incredible view from the front, Severus. Well actually from the back of the front. Which is even better.

            Any chance you’d write an anonymous guest post elaborating on this?

    • Yes, that can be included. It really isn’t typical in US CVs, but as long as its kept relatively brief, it’s ok. In a US context, having too much of that makes you look like a grad student. It appears infantilizing to emphasize the “skills training” that you pursued, as if the gazillion years of schooling wasn’t good enough and you were still kicking around in this and that class. I of course can see it from the other side, that it shows commitment to quality teaching, etc. But that is not how it comes off looking, in a US context…

  9. Thank you so much for this post! As an ABD (possibly going on the market next year), do I already need to nix everything from college (including academic awards, research experience, and such)?

        • Depends–are they undergraduate? then no. Are they in a job, but connected topically to your current work? Then they can be included in “Other Publications.” And a new subheading under Conferences is possible, such as “Non-Academic Presentations.”

          • This is where I am having my biggest CV conversion headache. I have an established career as a fundraising practitioner, and am pursuing a doctoral degree in (interdisciplinary) philanthropic studies. My practitioner background informs my scholarly choices and my scholarly work is also prompting development of practitioner articles and presentations – some at conferences, some as workshops. For simplicity’s sake, does the idea of including these presentations as a subset of “conference activity” carry over to this situation? Similarly, could significant leadership activities in a practitioner (not academic) professional association be considered “service to profession” when the field is topically relevant?

      • I kept undergrad awards on. And I’m a decade plus out of undergrad… But they weren’t dinky. It was like ‘best student in department’ awa rds. I have honors on there too…. But now I think I’ll delte.

  10. ?”Give course titles BUT NEVER GIVE COURSE NUMBERS!!!!!” … Good lord. This post is for people who believe there is a perfectly right way to do everything, and every other way is very, terribly, horribly, wrong. I would not like to work for any department that shudders over my use of bullet points or course numbers or anything else so utterly trivial.

    • Do you want to be right or do you want to be hired? Dr. Karen knows her stuff, and what she is doing is giving the inside scoop/unwritten rules about what experienced academics and screening committees want to see when they review a CV. She is giving you the secret handshake, tipping you off to the inside joke. If you want to show that you are part of the club, you might want to pay attention. This is social capital at work. Ignore at your own peril.

      I am currently in the process of reviewing applications for a major national fellowship, and throughout the process one of the things I pay close attention to is how people present themselves. Do I rule out an application because of a typo or because they listed part-time non-academic jobs they had as early graduate students? No, but it does call into question their attention to detail, their ability to comply with administrative procedures, and whether or not they have enough real, relevant experience to warrant a major investment by a funder. There are limited opportunities out there, and competition is fierce. You don’t have to take Dr. Karen’s advice, but in my view it is right on the mark.

      • thanks, lhamo! That is *exactly* it. As a search committee or review committee member I didn’t instantly toss a document that had a typo or a few errors…..but I absolutely made a mental note that the candidate was showing a degree of sloppiness, unpreparedness, or ignorance of basic conventions that raised questions. This then colored how I viewed the rest of the application.

        And let me take this a step further. In days when there were only, say, 100 applications to choose among, such an outcome might have little impact. But in a day when there are 1000, anything short of an A++ presentation is as good as an F.

        That is the core message of the blog. Not all want to hear it, of course. I’m just glad so many do.

        • “but I absolutely made a mental note that the candidate was showing a degree of sloppiness, unpreparedness, or ignorance of basic conventions that raised questions. This then colored how I viewed the rest of the application.”

          This is exactly what happened to me when I read this post. I simply could not get past the ALL CAPS AND HUNDREDS OF EXCLAMATIONS MARKS!!!!!!!! If you had given a rational argument for why you don’t find these things helpful rather than making it sound like a dictate from God himself, I might have listened.

          I don’t think it’s very helpful to people looking for jobs either, as I have heard from several others on job committee searches that they DO appreciate bullet points and course numbers. It’s important for everyone to know that this is the perspective of only one person and if you ask another person in another department you will probably get another response.

          • I think I understand why Jena believes committees would appreciate course numbers. I think underlining idea here is that course numbers give you an opportunity to inform the committee about your audience, e.g., undergraduates, graduate students, etc. However, because course numbers truly are unique to a school, supplying a course number really doesn’t mean much. I would instead suggest adding subsections or identifiers specifying which courses were taught to which audiences—if you desire a distinction. An example of such a subtitle could be “Courses Taught to Undergraduates.”

          • I just want to add that as an art historian I was once told post facto to include course numbers on my cv (which in theory indicate the difficulty of a course, 100-200-300-level) so I later added them. This certainly seems like a less-than-straightforward issue.

      • “She is giving you the secret handshake, tipping you off to the inside joke. If you want to show that you are part of the club, you might want to pay attention. This is social capital at work. Ignore at your own peril.”

        Exactly why I wouldn’t want to work in her dept. Thanks, but I’m very happy where I am. I personally wouldn’t hire anyone who writes everything in all caps with 5 exclamation marks after it, but that’s must me.

        If Karen and others like her really expect these types of things from their job applicants, it would only be fair to reprint this information in the actual job posting.

  11. Having come out of Cultural Resource Management, where do all those reports I wrote/projects I ran fit in? It’s research, though not in an academic setting… and yes, many of them are negative surveys or Phase I/Screenings for stuff like cell towers, but there are also some good, beefy Phase III/Data Recoveries in there that I’m pretty proud of.

    • I would say that could go under Research Experience (a new section I added to the post). Or, it could go under “Ohter Work Experience.” And there is a chance it could go under “Other Publications”. Without knowing more it’s hard to say for sure, but I think any of those would be candidates.

      • Like Digger,
        my background is in public history, my publications include listings on the National Register of Historic Places. My question is where do I put museum exhibits that I’ve worked on? These are team produced products of many hours of research that are public (but not published).

      • “I didn’t instantly toss a document that had a typo or a few errors…..but I absolutely made a mental note that the candidate was showing a degree of sloppiness, unpreparedness, or ignorance of basic conventions that raised questions.”

        To wit: “Ohter [sic] Work Experience.”

        Ironically, I do have Otter Work Experience.

  12. This is quite useful. In terms of formatting, however, I would recommend using a 2-column table (with all borders/lines made invisible) for lists. This allows the years to be justified left (as you recommend) and the substantive information to appear neat, evenly spaced, and consistent. Then, as one earns more fellowships, grants, awards, etc, one simply adds a row above, keeping all spacing perfectly consistent, and avoiding weird things that happen when one relies on tabs.

    • you know, jordan, the 2 column spacing would seem to be the easy solution, i agree. yet in practice I find that it isn’t, and that column formatting ends up causing no end of difficulties as the cv grows and evolves. It’s always possible that this is a function of my relative incompetence with page layout…. but I would guess that some or most of my readers are equally incompetent, so that is why i do not recommend columns.

      I also had an absollutely dreadful experience as a Dept Head with an asst prof who turned in his tenure CV that had been done in columns, and I spent HOURS miserably having to adjust and futz with it to correct for all this wonkiness that happened when moving across platforms… This ptsd also plays a role.

      • No, no, don’t use columns! Use a table. They’re different and behave differently. A 2-column table can be manipulated in ways two columns cannot — you’re right that columns make messes, but tables do not. Test it: go to Word, insert a 2-column and 5-row table. Adjust the column width so that the left is just wide enough for dates and the right gives plenty of space (you can do this with a cursor, just move the vertical line to where you want it). Now make the borders invisible (you’ll see them as a faint gray, but they won’t show when printed or in a pdf). Insert stuff. Now add a row. Delete a row. Position it at the end of a page so it spills over. It will retain its formatting. Try it!

    • A lot of you are probably wondering why I didn’t do that. I certainly considered it. But there are two reasons. First, CVs are very personal documents, and DO end up reflecting the “feel” of the individual writing them. I am not trying to force everyone into a single identical mold, but giving an order and logic of presentation that will ensure what you do submit works to your best advantage.

      There are countless variations on good CVs, and when I actually work with clients, the starting point of each is always completely unique and distinctive. I work from that starting point, following the rules in this post. The end points are thus not identical, but still marked by the tone and feel of the original draft. And that is important to me. It would NOT be effective to have a CV that was identical to 100 others.

      And that brings me to my second reason, which is that of scale. The readership of this blog is becoming rather large. I would feel awkward posting a single model as “the” authorized Professor Is In model, which might then be adopted by possibly hundreds of readers. That would be counterproductive for all of you.

      So, I limited myself to a narrative description of the elements and organization. Now, to further complicate matters, I’ve recently checked out the vita models given in several major academic job search handbooks, and they are nothing short of dreadful.

      My recommendation for finding models of the CV is Kathryn Hume’s Surviving Your Academic Job Hunt.

      And of course, if opinions differ, follow mine! 🙂 (or, alternatively, ask a trusted expert in your field. Just be careful who you ask. There are some terribly ignorant and irresponsible senior scholars out there).

  13. Two thoughts:
    1. Put name and page numbers in the header so they show up on each page (besides the first one).
    2. Writing out “Curriculum vitae” on the first page below your name seems like the equivalent of writing “Book” beneath the title of a book. Everyone who will review it knows what it is. (I’m a science-type and haven’t observed this convention before, so check your field to see if it’s appropriate.)

    • Re #1: YES!

      Re #2: NOOOOOOO. At least for humanities and social sciences. The words “curriculum vitae” remain the default and norm, and deviation, while certainly not a job or grant deal-breaker, marks you as ignorant of the norms in their most “proper” and time-tested form.

      Like many practices in academe, it is old-fashioned, like including the snail mail addresses of letter writers in References. But it continues to hold sway.

      Of course if it’s not the practice in Sciences, that is another matter, and I’d appreciate knowing that.

      • Ok, so I just looked at the examples in Julie Miller Vick and Jennifer S. Furlong’s “CV Doctor” column on the Chronicle, and they don’t do it either for science CVs or non-science ones. So I guess the message is to check your field’s conventions.

        • Oh my god, those two!!!! That column is one of the primary causes of this suffering! Or perhaps I should thank them for giving me so much business. I have their book, and it is without question the source of the worst, most unprofessional, embarassingly bad CVs I’ve ever seen.

          Dude, think! They work in Career Services! Are you aware of how much damage well-intentioned Career Services people do to poor, hapless Ph.D.s on the academic job market? Perhaps you are not. But I will tell you, because I see the outcome of their advice in my business every day. I don’t doubt that they are sincere, but they are *completely* ignorant of the biases and rigidities and unspoken norms and judgments that dominate Ph,.D. hiring. I know that they work closely with Ph.D.s. But they’re profoundly “off.” Because they aren’t in the thick of it, fighting through 500 applications for one tenure track position. The wide variability that they permit and endorse, the vast wordiness of so many of their models, which in a “normal” hiring context might be perfectly reasonable, are simply deadly in a context when search committees are harrassed, overwhelmed, underslept, and forced by circumstances to be utterly unforgiving.

          Let me put this another way. Tenure track hiring is now the equivalent of the Olympics. What was good enough at local, city, state, and national levels is reduced to .001 second differences between winning Gold and not qualifying at all. Mistakes within the .001 realm in your job documents are enough to keep you from even being shortlisted.

          Hate to be the messenger here, but….

          This is an example of how a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

          A post based on this rant to follow soon.

          • Sure enough. With respect, I’m not interested in debating. I personally modeled that aspect of my CV on what some recent “stars” (new hirees at top institutions in the past few years) in my field did, and not one of them wrote “Curricuum vitae” under their name. That’s why I wrote what I did in my comment, and tried to point out that it’s a good idea to check what’s appropriate to your field.

          • This outburst was not actually directed at you personally! Sorry. You were just the catalyst for a rant. “Dude” here referred (in my mind) to all Ph.D. job candidates who are led astray by outdated advice.

      • For what it’s worth, I just looked through a folder I have with many law professors’ CVs, and none of them had “curriculum vitae” at the top (or anywhere else). So in that field at least, it looks like this is not required or normal.

        • Interesting. This may be both a field and a generational thing. I’m not yet prepared to list this item as “optional” in this post, but I will definitely be willing to listen to arguments from clients that it’s “not done in their field.”

          • I concur with KG on this point about it not being necessary to write out “Curriculum vitae.” I finished my PhD in summer of 2011 as an ABD from an R1 and got an R1 TT for fall 2011 (I was very lucky). I’m in Religious Studies. My advisor does not write it out “Curriculum vitae”on her CV. I never wrote it out on mine or was advised to do so and I was fortunate enough to score 3 campus interview, one of which was a hire. I also just served on a search committee for a 1 yr lecturer position and very few of the candidates wrote out “Curriculum vitae,” including the one we hired. CV formats are a pretty clear signal in themselves of what the document is. I also use and like bullet points for certain list-like sections (teaching interests, professional memberships, etc) and I’m not going to change that. I like the feel and the look of it, the clarity it brings, and the ease of reference it affords. That said, I consult this blog regularly for advice and though I don’t follow everything, it’s a very useful resource for reflection and modeling, especially for those who are uncertain about norms. I recommend all my friends who are on the market to come here (whether they are ABD or deep into a TT). And as I go on the market again this year to try to get a better location than the midwest or at least some negotiating power (I’m up for 3rd year review in 9 months), I definitely plan to be visiting here more regularly. Very valuable resource. Thanks for the time and effort you put into sharing your experiences with us. ~T

  14. *How do you identify the level of course you’ve taught without the course number. I included it because I thought Soc 1002: Introduction to Sociology and Soc 3010: Studies in Power & Stratification highlighted that I’ve taught at both the first & third year level. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for the ‘pearls’, btw. They’re really helping me think about my job apps.

    • The point here is that numbers such as 1002 and 3010 are totally meaningless outside of your campus (ie, I’ve never seen 4-digit class numbers in my own teaching career). The way around this is to divide by subsections such as “Introductory,” “Lower Level, “Upper Level,” etc. Not elegant, but clear (and more elegant than yucky numbers).

      • Jen, in my field (Classics), different colleges and universities of course have widely ranging numbers for courses.

        First, allow me to make a distinction here with which Karen and others may or may not agree. (A bit of background: I’m 7 years out of my PhD, an associate prof. in a TT position, but looking elsewhere to make a shift from a liberal arts institution to an R1 institution.) That distinction would be the ‘internal CV’ vs. the ‘external CV’. For the internal, I don’t think course codes are a moot point, because your colleagues (departmental and non-departmental) will not only know but will likely want to know exactly what you taught. But for my external CV, for me to list, e.g., LTN 210 is meaningless: not only meaningless, but it graphically and intellectually looks stupid and thus makes me look stupid. So, I write “Latin Literature (Intermediate)”. Even to write “Latin 210”, i.e., to ‘parse’ the course code, is pedestrian and makes one look as though one is ignorant of other institutions’ code systems.

        I tend to list the course title as it was taught followed, in parentheses, by the approximate level as it would translate into the majority of peer institutions. So, for example, “CSW-300” becomes “Classical World Literature (Advanced; in translation)”. Again, Karen and others might disagree, but in my defense, I have used this system since I was ABD, and I have held two different TT positions since 2006. I’ve also worked in visiting roles in the UK and Germany, and this formatting seems to make sense cross-culturally.

        On the issue of US vs. allophones, to which Karen does well to draw attention: do also bear in mind the make-up of the hiring institution’s department. I am not saying that you must make a different CV for each position to which you are applying, but if you are only applying to, say, 4 or 5 jobs whilst in your current job, then it doesn’t hurt to format toward your audience.

        Let’s pretend I have a PhD in English and wrote my thesis on Yeats but I am at a liberal arts college where a stand-alone course on Yeats is hardly if ever offered. Let’s also pretend this is a full-time job, but not TT, nor adjunct, and that I had another similar job before it. A simple and coherent format could be as follows:

        TEACHING [ = header]

        Funny College [ = subheading]

        Becket and Proust (Advanced English: Spring 2012)
        English Pastoral Poetry (independent study: Fall 2012)
        Literary Theory (Intermediate English: Spring 2012)
        Introduction to Rhetoric (Elementary English: Fall 2011)

        University of Silly [ = subheading]

        Twentieth-Century British Texts (MA level: Spring 2010)
        Irish Poets: Yeats to Heaney (Advanced English seminar: Fall 2010)

        And so on…

        Now that’s just one example around this problem which I have seen work for others and which has worked for me. I don’t think Karen is saying everyone should follow her model; how your CV looks also depends on what career path(s) you have taken. I don’t have statistics on this, but among my cohort of PhD peers, most of us have had, from, say, 2005 through 2013, 2 or 3 different positions; many of us are back on the market for a variety of reasons. It’s not fun to have moved so often, for some of us, but for most of us the exposure to different institutions, different types of institutions, and the kinds of CV details and formats which do and do not hold muster have been edifying if nothing else.

        l’autre professeur

  15. Apparently including dollar amounts for grants, even if relatively small, is becoming de rigueur in my field in the US. The justification I’ve heard is that in cash-strapped times universities are increasingly expecting even humanists to bring in external income. In any case I’d say about 80% of job market CVs I’ve seen have amounts for all funding $500 and above listed (which is about the same percentage as the those who begin every line of their CV with a date).

    • Casey, thanks for this. Now, the fact that 80% do it is not in itself persuasive, since 80% or more of the CV first drafts I get are an absolute mess.

      But, having said that, I am always aware that conventions will change with changing conditions, so I’m willing to adjust this advice. It certainly makes sense that in the financial downturn even smaller amounts of funding would carry weight.

      I’d like to know your field.

      And I’d like to hear from others. Thoughts on putting dollar amounts for small grants?

      • I’m straddling sociology and media studies/communication. (I’m also straddling the US and UK academic worlds and have had lots of fun preparing a CV for my website which, hopefully, works for both sides of the pond, FWIW.) I’ve noticed several stylistic differences between CVs from American academics in these two fields, but in terms of my comment about dollar amounts earlier, I was talking about sociology.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if the lowest amount you’re likely to put down depends upon whether you’re a qualitative or quantitative researcher. All types do it, though. In fact, I’ve been following a handful of searches at R1s and prestigious SLACs advertised last fall in my various subfields, and although I have not applied for them myself, I’ve kept tabs on the outcomes. Checking now, *all* of the hires announced thus far have dollar amounts of very small grants, i.e. $500-$1000, listed.

        • Casey, thanks. I think I’ll shift my thinking on this matter. I would prefer more voices from advanced people who actually do the reviewing before reversing course and insisting on $$ amounts, but I’ll definitely consider them optional and field-specific now. I do see a macro-economic logic to this emerging practice.

          • I’m in Religious Studies, starting my 3rd year TT at an R1 and since I am interdisciplinary focused (sciences and humanities with a foundation in history of religions), I put dollar amounts received, unless it’s small. The smallest one I’ve indicated was just over $1500 and it was a grant from my college (though I may pull that). But anything $5000 and above I would definitely indicate. I was advised by a senior faculty member who straddles both sciences and humanities (he’s a cognitive anthropologist) to do so because if you are bringing in money to fund your own research and you are in a humanities field, it’s a big deal. It suggests that even though you are in the humanities, you are competitive enough in a field that it is extraordinarily underfunded to get hard-to-compete external (or internal) funding, which suggests something about the quality of your research.

          • I’m neither senior nor junior, and I am in classical studies (Latin and Greek), a quite underfunded field. I just got ‘associate’ in my TT position at an SLAC, and I’ve seen funding listed and not listed. I think this depends on the type of person you are. My Ph.D. advisor does not list funding amounts despite having won major grants: to list dollar amounts just does not suit her personality, I suppose; she has said as much to me. I have listed funding amounts for my internal CV which I used for promotion, but I removed the funding amounts for my external CV which I am using for a new (and tentative) job search. I would suggest the following approach for folks in smaller humanities fields like mine: if the award is over $1,000 then list the dollar amount. If the award is $500 or under, then do not list the amount, as that is not much different than, say, an honorarium for an invited lecture: I would never list an invited talk and then list what the honorarium was, and I have won awards where the dollar amount was roughly equal to the dollar amount given for an invited talk.

  16. Where should consulting gigs go?

    I’ve seen a lot of senior faculty have a separate section for this, but for junior people with limited experience consulting, would this go in the relevant professional experience section?

    • Yes, that’s right. When there are only one or two such entries, the “Related Work Experience” section would be appropriate. when it exceeds two, it probably deserves its own section.

    • I confess, Sara, I am struck that perfecting your CV would fall under the category of “new year’s resolution,” like dieting and exercising. This points to a certain psychological barrier to CV-development that I think is revealing, and might really go a long way toward explaining why the CVs I get are such an unholy mess. I think the CV might just be the very epicenter of guilt, shame, resentment, inadequacy, and fear among young academic professionals… By the way, this is not a judgment of you personally, just a helpful observation for me, arising out of your comment.

  17. Thank you for a very useful post. I have a few questions not covered in your post.

    1. I attended graduate summer programs at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens & the American Academy in Rome. Participating in the summer programs is not nearly as prestigious as being a fellow for an academic year, but considered important nonetheless. Do these go in Education (although no degree is awarded)? Do they go in Fellowships although unfunded?

    2. Would blog posts for online publications (an arts journal) or for a museum be included? If so, where?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Tricia, these are the kind of things that get complicated (I mean #1). Some people do end up putting these under Education. I am not thrilled with that, because I prefer to keep Education “pure” and dedicated to the official degrees. For those of you facing this question, I would probably opine: if you have one of these things only, put it under Education. if you have two or more of these things, create a separate section entitled “Additional Professional Training” or something like that.

    • Online publications are absolutely to be included. They can go under the subheading “Other Publications” or, if numerous, a new subheading alled “Web-Based Publications,” under Publications.

      • What if the blog post is just for one’s own personal (yet topical, for an academic audience, and in the same field as one’s research) blog?

        • Charlotte, I see a series of queries by you to this blog post. I unfortunately cannot respond to all queries at this point in time as volume exceeds my ability to keep up. I’d strongly advise you consider doing a doc edit with my and my team. That would allow a personal review of your actual CV. Email me at gettenure@gmail.com if you want to learn more.

  18. What if you declined a postdoctoral fellowship? Is it helpful to list under “Grants and Fellowships” as declined or does it just look like you’re padding?

    • thanks for this, M! A critical point that I will add to the body of the post. IF the fellowship is a major, prestigious fellowship (it would need to be external to your institution), then by all means list it, with the note (declined). That is not padding, because the review process of top fellowships is among the most rigorous in the land, so the award itself, as opposed to your condition of having accepted it, is the honor and the evidence.

      • And what if you were the runner-up for a prestigous post-doc? Also runner-up or semi-finalist for prestigous book award? I’ve been advised to include these (with runner-up listed) but I feel uncomfortable about it, as if it makes me look like I’m always a bridesmaid. (The book went on to win an award, but I am still up for other postdocs or TT jobs.)

        • Sorry, no runner-ups or nominateds, in the Dr. Karen model. I think it looks chintzy and like padding. but if others were to write in explaining another position on this, I’d be interested to hear it.

          • Hey Karen. Would you put a declined prestigious fellowship only if it’s clear that you took a different fellowship instead, or even if you did not receive another fellowship (but had other institutional support to rely on)? In my case, I’ve received a prestigious fellowship, but it requires me to be located across the world from my partner. I can afford not to do it, and thus not put my relationship in a tough spot right now, because I have other funding, but I don’t know whether I can put it on my resume as awarded but declined considering the fact that I may not get any other fellowships for my last year of the PhD. (I may, but I’m waiting to hear). Thanks!

  19. I have a question about the ordering of academic awards and fellowships. Normally, we list items in reverse chronological order (most recent first), however what if the most recent awards aren’t the most significant? Is it acceptable to list the awards and fellowships in order of significance (like putting a Fulbright at the top), instead of chronologically? Or might that look too strange?

    Great, great site, by the way. And I loved your book Women on the Verge.

    • Robert, thanks! I love hearing from fellow Japan people!

      Sorry, no, you must not, under any circumstances, ever change the principle of reverse chronological order. That one act alone could definitively damage your standing and credibility. The point here, if it’s not clear, is that you should always be gunning for “the next big thing” so that you have highly prestigious grants/awards within the top 3 or so grants on a cyclical or ongoing basis. This is why academics have ulcers.

      • Thank you for the reply. I adjusted my CV to reflect your advice. To avoid having more prestigious awards get buried, I removed some more minor grad school awards, like travel awards. In the big picture, that stuff is less important, although at the time it was the difference between paying and not paying rent!

        • What if you called the section something along the lines of “Selected Fellowships and Grants”? If I read this it would imply that there are others, but these are the cream of the crop (that could just be me, I’ve never been accused of thinking like other people…)

  20. Meta-question: how consistent are expectations for CVs and other job stuff across disciplines? Is there a way of finding out if a particular department is deviating from the disciplinary norm?

    • It is not typical that a department per se will deviate from a norm, or, in a related vein, demand that external job applicants conform to some odd internal model that is not public. So, as long as your CV conforms to basic expectations of format, order, organization, etc, departments WILL allow for wide variability.

      The problems that this set of Rules is meant to address are rather those variations that take your CV into the realm of the unprofessional, amateurish, improper, misleading, self-sabotaging, etc. That is why I am not giving a physical model, just a set of rules. Because as long as you get the organization and the principles behind the organization, you can vary somewhat, and still have a CV that works for you on the market.

  21. I’m trying to implement your suggestion to have the “year of every entry throughout cv left justified” and I cannot quite make this work. If I start with “2011” and then tab, and then type my publication info, for example, what happens when the citation runs beyond the first line? How do you format this so the second and subsequent lines look spiffy? (p.s. just discovered your blog today and love it.)

    • A table is better, IMHO — you can apply paragraph formatting to just one column so that it still wraps in the right place, has indentations, or whatever you are aiming for without having to mess around with adding and deleting tabs in order to get things to line up correctly.

  22. Karen: Having a website that includes photos of fieldwork, etc. is pretty much standard in my field. Where do you think it is most appropriate to put the website address: in the CV or the cover letter (or both)?
    Also, it would be great to see a post on academic websites, if you feel so inclined.

    • I would put it on the CV, at the top, just under the address material. It can be mentioned in the letter IF you construct a rationale–“this book examines the social manipulation of space in domestic environments (examples of which can be seen in a gallery on my website xxxx). By contrast, writing “see my website for more information” is, in my opinion, tacky.

      I am at present completely unqualified to opine on academic websites. My years of departure from academia coincided with the widespread adoption of the practice of the academic website. I badly need a qualified guest post on that subject, and if anyone would like to propose one, I’d be most grateful.

    • My own $.02, is this: I include my website along with my other contact info in the header information.

      For academic projects of mine that have (or are!) websites, I include those in the entry, just like I would publication information for a book.

      Title of my Brilliant Book Big City: Eminent Publisher, Year.
      Title of my Brilliant Digital Project Hosted by Big Lab (if applicable): http://awesomewebsite.com

  23. I (fortunately) stumbled upon your blog just a couple of days ago and have been reading as much of it as possible since– I appreciate your straight-forward style and look forward to future posts!

    This CV post, in particular, comes at a great time for me. I’m a postdoc and will be “officially” on the market this fall. With so much conflicting advice out there (and so many truly horrid ones circulating), I’m curious if you have an example CV or two illustrating your advice that you can share. After I give my current version a makeover, I’ll see about getting a “Quick CV Review” as well.

    • Annie, Welcome– I’m glad the blog is helpful. I am not posting a model CV for reasons explained in an earlier comment—mainly, some variability, while still following these rules, helps to retain the individuality of your document. Good luck!

  24. No “XXXX, cont’d” headings. Page breaks will constantly move as CV grows.

    Do you still think this is true if you know how to create running headings, i.e. there is NO danger that your “heading” will accidentally end up in the middle of the page?

    I have been using the same heading as MLA requires for after the first page “Last Name Page#” and that’s it. Thoughts?

    • i think we may be talking about different things with “headings”. I don’t mean headers. I’m talking about when someone has a Publications section, for ex., and it goes over a page, and then they write, on the first line of the next page, “Publications, cont’d.” That is always a bad idea because different default fonts on printers can mess up the “cont’d” line’s spacing, for one thing, and of course, as you add items to the CV, the “cont’d” line moves down toward the middle of the page and you have to remember to constantly adjust it. That’s why people rarely use this method at all, and I make a point to say not to.

      Headers, by contrast, are an EXCELLENT idea, and should always be included to have your last name, CV, and page number at the top of each page.

  25. I notice you suggest condensing teaching experience when it runs above 15 courses. What about conference papers? I worry that I may be listing too many, but as someone doing interdisciplinary, transnational work, I keep up with national conferences in two fields, and often present in 2 or more countries per year. I’m proud of having my work accepted and feel the range of papers paints a great picture of my research interests.

    • no such thing as too many publications or too many conferences! (it’s a parallel to what my mother used to say: you can’t be too rich or too thin).

  26. Thanks for this extremely useful post! I have one more question, not covered by the post and in comments.

    I am a PhD candidate in an English department, and have been a TA for the last 3 years. In our dept., though, a “teaching assistant” is usually the sole instructor and designer of lower and (in some cases, for advanced ABD candidates) upper-division literature and composition classes. That is, we design, teach and grade our own individual sections, and don’t assist senior professors. Would these teaching appointments be ranked higher than just TAships in the “Teaching Experience” section? How can I make it clear that I have been sole instructor in these courses without resorting to verbiage? I was considering titling the section “Teaching Experience and Curricular Development”.

    • Terrific question, and something I’ll clarify in the post. Yes “sole instructor” always counts for more and is ranked higher than typical TA-ships. It’s complicated when depts use the term “TA” to refer to primary instructors/instructors of record.

      In this case, a little bit of verbiage is necessary. Something like “(Instructor of record)” on one list, and “(Assistant to instructor)” on another list, or, if you were always the instructor of record, then in the initial status of “Teaching Assistant, U of XXXX” add “(As TA I was designer and instructor of record for all courses listed here),” or some version of this. Keep it short and sweet. No need t elaborate–i designed, taught, graded, etc. etc. Those responsibilities are understood.

      • The CV doctor post has me opening mine up and cringing at the unnecessary things! (Though, I try to keep a running list of everything in some file so that I can pull things out when necessary) As far as instructor on record etc I think some times it depends on the fields. I’m a doc student in french lit and (though, someone may prove me wrong!) I think in our neck of the words it is understood that foreign lit grads teach primarily language courses with no other instructor present. Though, I suppose it does not hurt to make it abundantly clear that you were the only one responsible for the course. When I sign up for my own CV consultation with you down the road, I’ll have questions about my fellowship teaching (we were treated like adjuncts, university with multiple campuses and individual departments at each ‘school’) as well as my concurrent professional appointment as a lecturer elsewhere.

      • Sally raises an excellent question, one with which I wrestled about 7 years ago when applying for my (current) TT job. At my Ph.D. institution, we were called “Teaching Fellow”; in my dept., at least, there was no TA role to be had: one was either a Teaching Fellow or one was not. I addressed the matter in 1 dynamic but short sentence in my cover letter, and avoided mention of it on my CV. (By then my CV already had 1 post-doc and 1 tenure-track position on it. Not sure if my comment helps, but there is a way around this problem I’m sure.

  27. I’ve been ABD for about two years and currently writing my CV in order to apply for my first adjunct position. For a variety of personal reasons my CV will have very few publications and no teaching experience outside TAing. Thus, I am wondering what is the best way to present a sparse CV and discuss its shortcomings in the cover letter – if indeed I should address them at all.

    I also have the following questions:
    – If I was a guest lecturer at a high school and community college while I was a graduate student should this be included on my CV?
    – Does the fellowship I receive from my institution which covers my tuition and stipend count under the “Grants and Fellowships” category?
    – The place where I currently live has very few departments in my field (film studies) so this CV will need to show that I can also teach courses in other departments which intersect with my research interests perhaps in gender, ethnic and general media studies. How should my CV reflect this?

    • The guest lecturer gigs can count under Community (or Public) Outreach.

      Your internal fellowship absolutely counts under Grants and Fellowships

      The teaching can be clarified under the heading: Courses Prepared To Teach

      • I’m finding this post in 2019 and am so excited to fix my CV! This question above is interesting. My MFA tuition was paid for by the university, and I received a stipend for being a Teaching Assistant/ Instructor of Record for undergraduate classes. I have basically nothing under my Grants/Fellowship header. Would the fact that my MFA was paid for by the institution be considered a fellowship or grant? If so, how would that be phrased?

  28. I am an adjunct first-year composition instructor, and I heard a rumor floating about that my involvement with my university’s adjunct instructor organization should not be included in my CV. I have done work in organizing, served on the executive committee, and gone to a couple of conferences. I’m guessing that the political climate may not look favorably on union involvement, but would it really be a bad idea to include this on my CV?

    • Marcus, first off, thanks for being involved in your union organizing. I wish everyone were.

      Now, having said that, yes, I do hear rumors that union activity works against candidates! This makes me want to vomit. But I want readers to be aware. Sadly, I recommend leaving off.

  29. Thank you for posting this information!

    I’m wondering whether papers presented at conferences, which then also appear in conference proceedings should be listed twice; that is, once under Conference Activity>Papers Presented and again under Publications>Conference Proceedings? Or is this considered padding? And if so, I suppose the Publications section should take precedence over the Conference Activity section, right?

    Thanks for this endlessly helpful post!

    • An interesting subtlety. I think they should be listed twice, since the first represents participation at a conference, while the second represents a later vetting process and the publication cycle.

  30. What do you think about putting your name at the top of the page in a font that is non-traditional?
    I hate the way my name looks in Times New Roman or Cambria, but I think it looks great in Lucinda – Handwriting on top of a CV in all Times New Roman. (16 pt font on top of 12).
    I also think it looks more memorable – but I don’t want it to be memorable because it looks unprofessional.
    Thoughts? Thanks.

  31. It came to my attention recently that some folks are listing job talks under Invited Talks in their CV. I suspect that you agree with me that this should absolutely not be done but perhaps you want to talk a bit about what an Invited Talk actually is and isn’t.

    • I hope the good doctor addresses this point, because I had the same question. What to do with job talks? I’ve been including them, with the thought that reviewers have no way of knowing the context of the lecture. (Does this make me deceitful???) So, Dr. Karen, what’s your opinion on job talks on the cv?

      • I confess, I avoided responding because to tell the truth, I’m not 100% sure. I know! The Professor is unsure! I guess now that there are two comments about this question, I will crowdsource it to learn what the prevailing view is. I see totally persuasive arguments on both sides.

  32. Where is a good place to include my work as a tutor at my university’s writing center? It forms most of my departmental work and, as a potential doctoral student in rhetorical composition, it is a strong selling point.

  33. Hi Karen. Just found your site, and I love it.
    I added an unconventional section to my CV this past job season (finishing my PhD in ’12) and wanted to hear your take on it. Since many of the schools to which I applied were teaching-oriented, and my TA reviews and adjunct teaching reviews are stellar, I put a short section summarizing my average 5 point ratings on a few questions, and maybe four student comments. My reasoning on this was that most places didn’t ask for student reviews as part of the application materials, and I wanted this info in front of them.
    Your thoughts? Amateurish or helpfully innovative?

    • Amateurish. Sorry, but deviations like that make you look desperate and unprofessional. It’s not so much that the committee doesn’t want the informaiton; it’s that they most want to know that you’re the real deal, a legit contender and “player” who understands the rules of academia and is successful within them. Deviations tell the opposite story. Put that information where it belongs, in the teaching portfolio, and let your record calmly speak for itself.

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  35. Hi Karen,
    I am a new immigrant in Canada. I’m having a lot of challenges in writing a good academic CV measured to Canada standard. I have gone through most of your correspondence online and I feel you can be of assistance.

    Can you please be of help?


  36. Thank you for posting this.

    Do you have any advice for how to present creative work on a CV? Many programs in my field (Theatre) expects faculty to be active as both artists and scholars.

    • Excellent question, but one that requires an answer from an expert. Please do start gathering the cvs of senior faculty in your field, and follow their general practice.

      • Meron, not sure if you’ll be able to read my reply (8 months after your post…I just stumbled on this site), but I have been in a similar position. I have translated and co-produced a number of plays, and decided to go as follows:
        1) With translations which became publications, I put those (naturally) under publications; but so as to distinguish those works from ‘scholarly’ articles and books, I made a category beneath ‘Books’ (1st) and ‘Articles’ (2nd) called ‘Translations’.
        So, Heading: Publications; Subheadings: Books; Articles; Translations, and so on.
        2) With theatrical work which was not published, I placed this under Campus Service or Departmental Service.
        Because solution (2) above results in theatrical work being pushed down to the last pages of my CV, if a position asks for/about my work as a ‘practitioner’ (to use the language of one recent advert in my field), I mention the work in my cover letter.
        It is also my experience that my theatre work has had some sort of funding behind it, whether internal or external; so if that work does have funding, I think listing it under a grant/fellowship category is appropriate.
        If you’re talking about something altogether different, then as Karen says, yes, by all means ask a senior colleague.

        • For the field of theatre creative work is the equivalent of scholarship. It also is evaluated according to its scope– acting or directing or designing more a major regional theatre is more valuable than a local community theatre. Whether it is Equity or not may determine whether the work is considered professional or not.

          Your section on scholarship should be titled Scholarship/ Creative Achievements. Then include subheadings as already noted for publications and presentations and add one or more subheadings for “directing” “design” etc.

    • Hooray! A fellow theatre professor. I’ve been scrolling and scrolling to find anyone in fine arts. I love this site and it has helped me get my last two jobs, but sometimes it’s difficult to sift through what is meant for PhDs (which I completely understand, since I’m assuming 99% of her readers are).
      Like anything, it depends on your creative work and discipline. I’m an acting professor who is also expected to direct, and most of the positions I apply for want to see professional work in the field. Therefore I have a heading for professional acting (I DON’T include any non-union work); a heading for professional commercial/film/industrial, radio, etc.; one for directing; and so on. I don’t have a primary heading over all of these because they are all important and deserve their own. However, if you are a dramaturg, or a theatre history professor, or something else that would necessitate a PhD and not an MFA, your CV will probably be different than mine, even though we may be in the same department.
      When I graduated with my MFA, I sought out a trusted acting theatre professor (which whom I had done shows) and asked him if he’d be willing to share his CV so I could get an idea of format and structure. He did, and I have used his model ever since. My best suggestion to you is to do the same, for whatever part of the field you are in. I have had two tenure-track jobs and am now on the hunt for another. All that being said, there is plenty Karen puts on her site, including here, that I feel can easily apply to my own materials (for example, putting “Curriculum Vitae” under my name; I have not done that before, and even though I’ve been hired, I’m going to do it now because it does look professional and why not? I don’t know why there was so much arguing about it up top. If they don’t care then it won’t matter, and if they do, it’s there). I follow the model I think search committees in my discipline are looking for, but learning more about the professionalism of the entire document is very helpful. Thanks Karen.

      • Thanks for these notes. BTW, my team and I we have a supply of MFA/Arts focused models and instructions for all docs, for when we work individually with clients in the Arts.

  37. Karen-

    I know what your mother said about “too rich or too thin,” but I wonder if your comment about publication lists applies in my case. I am a recent Ph.D, hitting the job market soon, and I have some good publications, but I’m also a poet with a few dozen poems published in various journals. Should I list them on my regular CV? Is ‘a publication a publication,’ or should I only do this for jobs that ask for creative writing teachers?
    Thanks for this site, MW

    • Oh, excellent question! A couple of considerations. If your Ph.D. field is English or Writing, Theater, etc., then the poems will count for more than if your field is Mathematics or Sociology.

      In the first case, you will want to have a heading “Creative Work” and list the poems under that. That should follow behind all of your academic/scholarly publication headings.

      In the second case, if the poetry is going to be seen as a weird distraction from your ‘real’ work, then I’d either leave off entirely, or make a heading called “Creative Writing” and put it down toward the end, near “Other Work Experience.”

      • Similar question: I’m in English, and I have some short humor pieces on McSweeney’s. Two have innocuous titles (though one of these makes fun of Trump), but one is about my life as a graduate student in the voice of Werner Herzog. I don’t actually satirize academic life there, but perhaps a reader might get the wrong impression from the title. Should I leave all of these off my CV, or is there a reason to leave them on?

        • This is a judgment call. If you’re in creative writing, I’d include. But if by English you mean English lit, then there is no inherent reason you have to include it, and no requirement that you NOT include it! In other words, You can include a heading “non-academic writing” or “internet publications” on the CV and include McSweeney’s. Or you can leave off. If I did writing for a club newsletter or something (while i was still an academic) I would not have listed that work on my ac. CV. McSweeney’s is sort of like that; it really doesn’t relate to your actual academic career, and thus doesn’t really belong on the CV, unless you’re in creative writing. But since it is oriented TOWARD academia, and has tons of academic readers, it does seem related. So in short, this is a question with no clear answer! You should do what feels right to you–if you want people to know that you’re funny and irreverent, include it. If you’d prefer to play it safe (and I would prob lean toward that in a brutal and unforgiving market), leave off.

  38. Pingback: Jill Bohle (jill.bohle) | Pearltrees

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  40. At what point in one’s post graduate school career does listing the courses assisted as a TA begin to be unnecessary? As a full time instructor I’ve taught/designed about a dozen courses, so it seems like listing the ones I served as a TA is just adding superfluous length. Would you recommend just listing my position as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and the years held, and leaving off the list of course titles? Or keep ’em on there forever?

    • Actually, I recommend removing TA courses as soon as you have a any kind of record with sole-taught courses—i suppose if i had to quantify it, I’d say, at the point you have 3-4 sole taught courses, the TA stuff can go, never to return. TA experience does pretty close to nothing for you on the market.

  41. Where does a book under advance contract go in the order of publications subsections? What exactly should the subsection be called? I would assume that logically it would it be in the “Manuscripts in Submission” or “Works in Progress” (if the ms is not done) subsection, listed as “*title,* Under contract with X Press”?

    However, is there any way to make it stand out more instead of burying on the second page of my CV between book reviews and “other publications”? It seems like a book contract should be worth more than a book review. Any ideas?

    Thanks so much!

    • There is variability here, but my advice is that a book goes under a heading labeled: “Books.” Even if it’s just under advance contract, you write, in paren., “(In progress; Under advance contract with U of X Press)” I realize this contradicts the clear subheading division between “in progress” and “published” that I maintained for articles and chapters, but that is because books are “monumental” and get a standalone category that includes those in progress as well as those published. Others may disagree, and I would accept their logic, but this is what I did and suggest others do.

      • thanks for the answer, this makes sense. it seems like the lack of a date on the left and the note in ()’s should make it clear I’m not pretending it’s already published.

  42. Hi Karen,

    Great website!
    I have a question and a comment.
    1) For all your concerns about formatting changing across platforms and computers, can’t they just be solved by distributing your CV in PDF format only? Obviously you would keep your own working copy in non-PDF format, but that one would not switch computers and platforms all that frequently.
    2) Do you have any advice for CVs of junior graduate students? I’m only in my Master’s, and my CV (which, although I’m not looking for a job, I still need for grants, scholarships, etc…), if I follow all of your headings, looks very depressing. I know that, in many ways, no one is expecting as much from me… Obviously, if I don’t have anything to put under a heading, I don’t list the heading. But would stuff such as the following look unprofessional or like padding in an MA student’s CV?
    -giving a guest lecture in a course in which you are a TA
    -teaching swimming lessons (i.e. under Teaching Experience)
    -listing research interests (since I do not have enough publications to make those clear)
    -listing my (tentative) MA thesis’ title
    -undergraduate awards
    -funding/grants under $500


    • 1) Yes on PDF. But it has to look great before you convert to PDF, and that’s where the rub is.

      2) Guest lecture: yes.
      Swimming: Absolutely not!
      Research Interests: yes.
      MA Thesis title: yes.
      Undergrad awards: Yes, for now. When you have more stuff, remove.
      Funding/Grants under $500: yes, but don’t list $$ amounts.

      • I am applying for Ph.D. programs in philosophy (and grants and fellowships to help fund it!), and I am trying to build my CV. I have received my MA and am now working toward an advanced master’s (MPhil). I have been a Roman Catholic seminarian, and I also intend to return to the seminary (which means I will eventually be ordained a priest and work in ministry, although professorships in seminaries is not entirely out of the picture). To expand on Julie’s list:

        -Certificate in Catholic Foundations (required taking a few courses and workshops, and now certifies me to teach religion in Wisconsin)
        -I have six years experience teaching religion (catechism classes); mostly, I have taught grade school, but I have also taught high school level. I have occasionally cooperated with another individual in planning and teaching the classes, but for the most part I have been solely responsible for the preparation of and teaching the courses.
        -Institution to liturgical ministry, and other ministry related experience and qualifications (including my employment as a seminarian for my diocese)
        -I also have extensive theatrical experience (performance and production). While it does not particularly apply to my area of study (phenomenology), it does help paint a picture of who I am.

        Should I include any of these things? If so, under what category/categories? Thanks for your guidance!

  43. Thank you for your Web site.

    I’m a 6th year ABD grad student, defending in the fall. I’m kind of stuck on the teaching section. I have a lot of teaching experience, because I have taught since my first semester in grad school. However I have also taught several courses multiple times. Do I only list the first year I taught it, or do I list the last date I taught it? Do I mention how many times I’ve taught these courses? Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    • People do this differently. Since you’re still just ABD, you probably want to indicate the true scale of your teaching, so you can list the name of the class and then in paren. you can write “(Fall 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2012)”

  44. Karen, I love your blog and you will definitely be hearing from me in the future, as I get closer to the job search! As a fellow anthropologist, I was surprised you didn’t mention how to add fieldwork to the CV. Would it go under Research Experience? Does it get its own subheading? I’ve also been struggling with how to represent the amount of time spent in the field. If I was in my field site for a summer, do I include the months and years in the date column on the left, or do I include the duration, e.g. “3 months,” in the entry on the right? What should the entry itself say? Right now mine says, “Dissertation pilot research, Middle of Nowhere” and “Dissertation research, Middle of Nowhere.” But maybe this is all redundant since these field trips were funded by grants that are already listed on my CV. Thoughts?

    • It goes under Research Experience. Do list it there. The grants are a separate thing, even if they funded the research.

      Never include anything but year in the column on left. Put the months (not days, and not duration) in entry. Your proposed research wording si fine.

      • Should fieldwork conducted for an undergraduate dissertation and field school experience be included under research experience on an ABD CV? O

  45. Last year I was an alternate/honorable mention for a prestigious dissertation fellowship, and had listed this on my CV under “grants and fellowships”. This year I reapplied for the same fellowship and just found out I’m an awardee! Is it appropriate to leave the line for “alternate/honorable mention” or should I remove it? Thanks!

    • This is actually a good question. My recommendation is that you remove the earlier “alternate” listing, since you’ve now been awarded the fellowship. If you hadn’t been, you could leave it on. Others might disagree and argue you can keep the ‘alternate’ previous year listing on, but to my eye, that looks a little tacky and sad (sadder than you need to be, since you did eventually get it!).

  46. Hi Professor K, I’m back with another question!

    I read that bit about how you can never be “too rich or too thin” or “have too many conference presentations,” but what if you presented more or less the same paper in 2 conferences, say a major national one and a minor university-level/statewide one? The titles would of course give it away that these are similar presentations you are making, even if the content is not exactly the same in both cases (my research may have evolved between presentations, say). In such an instance, should I just not mention the smaller, less-important venue presentation because I don’t want to seem repetitive and like I’m flogging the same horse over and over again, or should I list *all* of these conference presentations? Is choosing to selectively present information on your CV unethical?

    • No, actually you continue to mention each and every one. I personally recommend not recycling the identical title each time. But some people do. And it’s viewed as basically ok. Many fine, fine works are that way because they benefited from repeated presentation and discussion at academic venues around the country/world.

  47. Any thoughts on discrimination of publications based on your position in the author list? This may be particular to the physical sciences, but it is common in my field to have papers with 50 or more authors. Readers of your CV will naturally give less weight to your inclusion on those publications than, say, being the first of three authors.

    I’ve seen CVs that divide the publications list into sub-headings with “First Author Publications” or “First and Second Author Publications,” and then something like “Other Publications” to catch everything else.

    Alternatively, I’ve also seen some CVs that use bold text to highlight the CV writer’s name within each author list (I know you’re not a fan of bold font). When truncating long author lists, some people use a snippet of descriptive text like

    Author, T. F. et al. (incl. K. Kelsky) 2012

    This latter practice seems unnecessary (it’s your CV after all, we know you’re on every publication).

    • Good question, and worth addressing in the post. After a lot of work with clients in the sciences, I’ve come around to recommending a single list, with the author’s name bolded. I do see the appeal of the subheading route as well, but given you already have subheadings for in press, in submission, and so on, that seems like it’s going to get impossibly complicated.

      • Thanks for the help reconstructing my CV but how about some consistency? You said bold only for headings. Now you are saying to make your name bold in the authorship?

  48. Hi Professor,

    How should one list a “major” or “multiple” book review? I.e., a review of more than one book that is 4,000-4,500 words long. Should it just be listed with the rest of your book reviews, along with other non-refereed publications, or in its own section? Thanks!

    • I suspect there are disciplinary and situational variations here. My feeling is in general, that one does not put a list of grad students supervised on your general, multi=purpose CV. It’s more often seen for “internal” CVs used for competitions within your university. Now, I have seen a handful of senior CVs that list the names of students supervised. But my feeling is that it just seems mildly inappropriate and off-point. My feeling is—we ALL supervise students, so listing them by name seems like padding and putting peoples’ names on a public doc where they shouldn’t really be.

      As I said, I’d be open to hearing whether other fields have other conventions in this. Or any other opinions about this question.

      • Is there a way to show that you have supervised undergraduate or graduate students without listing the specific students? None of my positions held (post-doc, instructor, adjunct) would suggest supervisory responsibilities without a separate listing. I’m in biology if that’s relevant so post-docs sometimes, but don’t always supervise undergraduate or graduate students in the lab.

  49. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for your site – I just discovered it today, along with your article in the Chronicle (Graduate School is a Means to a Job). Much food for thought in both, but I can’t help thinking, why didn’t anybody tell me this stuff BEFORE I signed up for Grad School??!! It’s only now, having submitted my thesis and starting the job-search in earnest, that I realise how much stuff I SHOULD have been doing already! Don’t get me wrong, along the way I’ve presented at conferences, TA’s, sole-taught, published a couple of essays (in the dreaded edited volumes – NO ONE TOLD ME!), applied for jobs, heck, even had a couple of interviews, but most of the time I’ve been, well, trying to finish the damn thesis. Any suggestions as to how to “catch up”?

    Thanks too for the post on the difference between US and UK approaches – very helpful for someone schooled in the colonies, now attempting to make some headway in both job markets.


  50. Hi Karen,
    I’ve only recently really started digging into your site, and I really appreciate all the time and effort you’ve put in to make so much great information available for free!

    I have a bit of an odd question, perhaps. I received a large amount of media attention of my work a few years ago, and am about to be on the job market. I’m unclear as to how many/which of these media interviews I should list. Certainly, the national and recognizable ones, but what about the local, regional, and somewhat obscure international ones?

    I’ve gotten two different types of advice on this. One advisor says I should put *everything divided into “notable” and “other” media categories because that makes the list complete and more impressive. Another says I should only list the major interviews so as to avoid looking pretentious and possibly distracting from other sections of the resume. What would you suggest?


  51. My name is non-western, long and apparently very difficult for people to pronounce or remember. After an exhaustive application process I had only one interview and the interviewers stumbled over my name more than once. I’m not sure if this contributes to my problems on the market or if I’m being completely paranoid. Either way, since I’m not planning to change my name before the next job season, I was wondering there if there was some kind of consensus about whether it would be appropriate to include a pronunciation guide for my name on a CV?

    • I am not sure about consensus, but I personally know an Irish client who did this and I think it’s brilliant and smart.

    • Harry, I had a friend with the same problem. He started putting his nickname in quotes (very short and easy to pronounce in English) between his long, hard-to-pronounce name. He started getting calls back right away. It does make people feel apprehensive to call someone whose name we can’t pronounce.

  52. Hi Karen

    I’ve been reading your advice here and trying to re-format my CV accordingly, however I have a few questions.

    First off, I’m an undergraduate student embarking on the terrifying journey of contacting several extremely intimidating and God-like professors at the best aerospace universities in the States. I’m in Canada but planning on continuing to a Master’s and PhD in Aerospace in the US. As an undergrad I’ve worked my ass off to do all kinds of research during the summers, and I’ve presented most of these projects at prestigious conferences as well as written and published papers in refereed journals. I’ve also worked as a TA and lectured fellow undergrad students on pretty complicated topics. In no way do I mean to brag but also I realize that I’m competing against the best and brightest in the US, and I’m going to have to really stand out.

    These unusual undergrad achievements give me a significant head start but now I’m struggling with the formatting of this damn CV. Clearly your guide is aimed at the PhD/post-doc level and here I am just a little academic seedling. So finally here is my question: you very clearly state that mentioning stuff like the details of each award is a no-no, and I can’t elaborate on teaching positions held or research assistantships. Is that still true for an undergrad applying for grad school? Are there any other changes I should make?

    This is harder than my actual degree, my goodness.

    Thanks for your great advice!


    • Kerry, congrats on your excellent efforts to do grad school right. The rules are a bit looser for undergraduates, for sure. You can very briefly describe the substance of the research that you did as an undergrad. But in truth, there is little purpose served in verbiage that looks like padding. Just list your accomplishments and stand by them.

  53. Oh and one other question: which publications do I include? I have a couple first author and several 2nd 3rd … etc. Although I built all the experimental apparatus for all the research referenced in these papers, I was not directly involved in the experimental results…

  54. Karen, I have a question about maternity leave. I have been ABD for a few years but took time off to work full-time. The job was in my academic field and I have multiple publications from it. Now I’m back to the PhD, but first took a very un-American nine months of maternity “leave” (not that I’m on-campus anymore or getting funded; in fact, I’m living abroad, which closes off the possibility of, say, adjunct work to keep my cv looking active). I have now re-entered and have a paper accepted for a conference. All the same, this period of time after the end of my formal employment will look like a lot of empty space, especially without my having a job right now (my husband and I agreed that he will support me through the end of the diss so I don’t spend my 30s on it, and I am indeed working very efficiently). I’ve seen examples in my current country of residence where women wrote the dates of their maternity leave in the left column and simply “maternity leave” on the right where it fit in between their jobs / research gigs. But that was in natural science; I’m in the humanities. What do you think of that? I should clarify that in the long term, I’d like to go into research work outside of a university context, which frees me from the tt ratrace but will demand my keeping up academic connections, etc. As a personal-political-social thing, I think it should be ok to acknowledge that there are times when women are on leave to have and care for babies. But in academia, one is more likely to feel guilty than justified for those months.

  55. Karen –

    Age-related question: When I first went back to school (i.e. grad school, after a long time at another career entirely) and was speaking with the head of a department in my field, he told me that I would never be hired by an R1 university because of my age (particularly as I was just starting my M.A. in my early 40s). This advice, right or wrong, has stuck with me and embedded a bit of paranoia. You mention here that, on my CV, I need to include the years of my degrees. That’s all well and good for my more recent M.A. and my upcoming Ph.D. but very icky for my ancient B.A. I am extremely hesitant to list a date that out-of-date right at the top of the first page.
    Is it ever acceptable to leave those three dates off the document, leaving only teaching and publications, and conferences etc. with dates?

    • Lorelei, please read my blog post: Ageism and the Academy: My Thoughts and a Request for Yours. The comment stream has a lot of different thoughts on this very question.

    • that goes under “service to the profession.” Or, if you really do a lot of it, it can have its own heading: “Manuscript Review.” both of those are service and go far at the end, just above languages, affiliations, and references

  56. Hi Karen,

    Congrats on having the best and most concise academic CV resource on the web! My question is–I’m looking for more an adjunct professorship (non-tenure track), and aside from a trio of relevant master’s degrees, my primary academic experience is at the secondary level. Should this even BE on a CV, and if so, what’s your best recommendation on how to include it?


  57. Hi Karen,

    This website is amazing, and this post in particular and all the reader comments probably saved me from writing a CV that would doom my chances of getting an interview.

    I would be very grateful if you took the time to answer my questions below. Some context: I’m a science major finishing my PhD very soon, and applying to an open tenure-track position the undergraduate focused university I got my BS from.

    1) Would it be appropriate for a pre-PhD to list their dissertation under “Publications” or some other heading?

    2) Since I’m applying to the university I got my BS at, is it okay to include my undergraduate research work, awards, etc., in my CV?

    3) I never solo taught a course, but I was a highly sought after TA who wrote and edited a lot of course materials, from lecture notes, worksheets, websites, and exams, as well as covered lectures when the professor was out of town or sick. Many other TAs in this class did not have such responsibilities. Can I, and should I, indicate this on my CV somehow?

    Any other comments appreciated as well! I’ll check out your other posts as well, I need to still write a cover letter and teaching philosophy statement and I bet they will be just as helpful.

    • 1: You can have a heading labeled “Dissertation” and put its title and a very brief abstract there. It goes under Ed and under any Prof. Appointments.

      2: No

      3: You can include the guest lectures (see other comments on this question from this past week), but for the rest, no. TA work is fundamentally not respected or considered hire-worthy, and advertising yours makes you look more like an amateur than a professional.

  58. A few questions:

    1. Should I include short courses given by the graduate school in special topics (GIS, MS Access, various aspects of teaching)?

    2. Should I list my fieldwork, and the language skills needed to complete it, in a separate entry? Or are these things implied in the title of my finished PhD, which references the particular country in which I did the work?

    3. Would commercial/professional, but non-academic, seasonal jobs in my field be better under “professional appointments”, or something else, maybe “relevant experience”?

    • 1. Some people have, way at the end, but above languages, and “Additional Training” or “Additional Skills” section, and that’s where you can put those.

      2. They’re implied, although Languages is a section that’s always included in social sciences and humanities.

      3. They go under a separate heading, toward the end, called “Other Related Work Experience” or something along those lines.

  59. Thanks so much for your helpful and candid advice! I have one question which I’m surprised no-one has asked: what do you think about a (professional-looking, maybe black and white) photograph on the academic CV? Does it make you more memorable or is it amateurish?

      • Hi Karen,

        My adviser, a giant in his field, and a very professional man, has (more than twice now) asked me to include a picture of myself on my CV [because he says I am a good looking woman.} His CV also has a picture of him. He is 70+. I am wondering if his advice is simply old-fashioned. His letter of recommendation for me is highly supportive, and free of feminine adjectives and descriptions. What should I do?

  60. I have just finished my MA in Drama and have been asked by a university to start throwing my hat in the ring for teaching positions as a sessional. As I begin to restructure my existing CV I have a few questions that have not come up in the above comments.

    a. as a drama in education student (not an actor per se), I have attended training workshops with some of the most notable people in the applied theatre field. Where could/should that go? Right now I have it listed as “Workshop Attended”.
    & along those same lines – I have facilitated numerous workshops as both research and for professional development. I have it currently listed as “Workshops Facilitated”. Would you say that they should go under another heading? or can they stay under the existing heading??

    b. I currently work as an informal educator/education assistant for a well known zoo. While I do teach for grades second through undergrad, I also am the curriculum developer for at least 4 of the programs I implement. Should this go under “Professional Employment”? (but it’s also teaching) You mention in the ‘rules,’ “No description of “duties” under Teaching/Courses Taught, No paragraphs describing books or articles.”
    Do you have any suggestions on how to place/categorize these roles without getting too wordy?

    Thank you so much for this GREAT guideline. It is so helpful. The comments and questions that have come up are just as useful also.

    • You artist types always bring new conundrums!

      Re a) Yes, you can call it workshops attended, or you can call the heading “Additional Training.” Whatever seems right in your world. the workshops facilitated thing is tricky—it sounds a bit like “Service to the Profession” for the academic stuff. But Workshops Facilitated will get the job done–you can keep it.

      b) This does go under the “Other Professional Employment” heading because it’s not university teaching. A line of explanation would be permissible here, but no more.

    • It is hard but not completely impossible. You have to generate syllabi that are top-notch, and appropriate for the venue, and you need to create a method of talking/writing about teaching, and a teaching philosophy (one page) that is substantive and persuasive and that demonstrates a familiarity with real classroom strategies and methods. It can’t be about your emotions—the most common pitfall of all in teaching statements–ie, how much you LOVE to teach, and CARE about students, and are PASSIONATE about your subject, etc., etc. ad nauseum.

  61. I suspect the answer is “don’t act like a grad student”, but what about software/IT skills (stuff like LaTeX, databases, digital image manipulation…)?

    • These would go under “Related Skills” (or Related Training), a section toward the end of the cv, as long as they are relevant to your academic career and research.

  62. What about academic professional positions for someone transitioning into a new field? I held years of significant research (and management) related AP positions before going back to school. Do these go under Professional Positions (even though they aren’t adjunct or TT)?

  63. I’m presently ABD and entering the job market. I have experience as a paid “graduate student researcher” for two years. The GSR position can technically range anywhere from paid coffee-fetcher (ok maybe that’s not kosher, but it happens) to research grunt, to being paid for doing one’s own research. My case is the latter–in fact, the grant was mainly for my own research, but was submitted in my advisor’s and collaborator’s names because grad students can’t apply for that class of grant.

    2 questions:
    Where does the GSR position go on the CV? Research Experience? Or Fellowships/Grants? If I don’t put it in Fellowships/Grants, there will be a two-year apparent gap in funding.

    Second, is there any way to make it apparent that I was not in fact someone else’s research grunt? Or is this simply my advisor’s job ? (I have a fair amount of faith that my advisor will make this clear in a letter of rec, I have the great luck of having a fantastic advisor.)

    • … one more question. The overall grant was about 300k – but obviously my GSR doesn’t account for much of that. Can I leave the dollar amount absent for this listing but include it for other, smaller grants? Smaller grants would include dissertation fieldwork grants that are expressly in my name.

  64. I graduated with my PhD in May and am currently employed full time as an editor at a well-known academic journal. Earlier, I was a graduate research assistant at this journal and therefore listed my editorial experience under “service to profession.” Now, this is my full time position and my app letters will be on journal letterhead–should I make a seperate category just called “employment” or does this count as a “professional appointment” even though it is not a teaching appointment? Thanks for any advice!

  65. Dear Karen
    Thank you for your site, I just discovered it yesterday, and just in time. I am applying for postdoc fellowships and your blog saved me from embarrassing mistakes in my CV.
    I hope you still read this post, so I will ask my question.
    I live in Israel and I have a problem about how to phrase or even explain something:
    I was the “scientific editor” (this is a translation of the Hebrew term) of two translations into Hebrew, one is a translation from an ancient language and the other is a translation of an introduction book in my field.
    My role as an “editor” is to read the translated materials and check that there are no mistakes in the way terms and philosophical ideas are translated from the original to Hebrew. Its a lot of work..
    My question is whether I should add it to my CV? Where and how to explain this job…?
    Thank you!

  66. Dear Karen,
    I am wondering if tuition waivers and stipends go under grants and awards.

    Also, do you recommend that we not add details to “Other Professional Experience” jobs?

    Thanks very much!

    • One more. Is it appropriate to underline or bold a big fellowship that might get lost in the list? I have seen differing opinions.

  67. Dear Karen,

    Thank you for this advice. I work in media studies, performance studies, popular music studies, and the ethnography of communication, so I’m applying for jobs in different communications and cultural studies-type departments. Teaching-oriented jobs in media studies usually involve teaching some sort of production classes. Should I list my film and musical composition/production credits? If so, where?

  68. This post has been a tremendous help and I have been spending lots of time revamping my CV. I’m still wondering about guest lecturing, which has come up a couple times in the comments here. The first commenters seem to think it is padding, while you (Karen) seem to suggest it is okay to include. I’m wondering how to include it if I do. Should guest lecturing at your own institution, whether a part of a course you are TAing or sitting in for someone else’s class (personally, I have examples of both), be considered a separate subtopic under “teaching experience”? Is it too bold to include these under “invited talks”? Thanks!

  69. Thank you for this very helpful post. I have a question regarding your advice to put
    “YEAR (but not month or day) OF EVERY ENTRY THROUGHOUT CV LEFT JUSTIFIED”. I understand the logic of your argument, but I am afraid
    I’d sound like a naive “bean counting wanna-be scientist” if I were to highlight the dates on the left at every entry in my CV. Maybe I have the wrong impression because most of (if not all) the CVs I have seen (including those I have obtained from colleagues and professors in my field) list dates on the right or within the entries themselves. What are your thoughts on this?

    • I have a number fo clients who do as you say, with dates in the entries themselves. I prefer to see this for conferences, and have the pubs with the years to left, but certainly if people in yoru field do it that way, you should emulate.

        • What about for fellowship lists? All the CVs that I have seen of professors and ABDs in the field (History, Area Studies) have the year span on the right, and they don’t write the year on the left. Would it be ok to follow suit?
          Thank you so much for your posts. They are so helpful.

          • Also, if you are making one list for honors and awards and fellowships and grants, do you put the name of the fellowship/award first or the institution first? I have seen both orders in academic cvs.

            For example, if I got a Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship, does that go first, or the university’s name? Thank you for your help!

          • it’s always fine to emulate other models; just make sure they are good ones. Developing the judgment about what makes a good one may take some time. Don’t assume just because someone is tenured that their cv is good.

  70. Thanks, Karen, for a great post.
    Two questions that I haven’t seen addressed in the comments: where would I put teaching certification and P-12 teaching experience? I’m in teacher education, so many positions require certification and/or x number of years teaching. As I currently have it structured, my headings are in the following order: Education, Certifications, Professional Appointments, P-12 Teaching Experience, Publications. Would you keep it this way, or move Certifications and P-12 Teaching to Related Work Experience?

    Also, I took a one-year educational sabbatical while teaching high school; is it necessary to list this when reporting my teaching years? That is, do I say 2002-07, say 2002-07 with a parenthetic note (sabbatical 2004-05), or list the dates as 2002-03 and 2005-07? I don’t know whether the issue would come up in an employment verification, and don’t want to run into trouble. (During the time of my sabbatical, I was on an official leave, not dismissed and rehired.)


  71. Pingback: Listing Publications on Your CV: Where to Put the Iffy Stuff « Publish or Perish

  72. Thank you so much for all of the useful information! This is extremely helpful. I was wondering about how to list an article accepted with revisions, where it seems clear that it will eventually be published with the journal, but listing it as “forthcoming” seems dishonest.

  73. Hi Karen,

    Thanks so much for the valuable info! And let the haters hate.

    A couple quick questions:

    1) Do I list “honorable mention/finalist” status for dissertation and research fellowships? Does it depend on the fellowship? Or is it just sad?

    2) Do I list media coverage about me/non-academic work (for my community outreach and previous life as an actor)? Does it look amateur-ish/egotistical, or does it enhance my overall value?


    • I think this varies by subfield. In my subfield of Anthro, for example, it’s actually an achievement to get an honorable mention for an NSF fellowship, because they are really competitive. I’ve been told it’s OK to put this on your CV, at least until you are further along in your program and have succeeded in securing grants. Maybe not so for less competitive funding sources, and most likely not so impressive and should be dropped by the time you are applying for jobs.

  74. Hi Dr. Karen,

    I was toying with the idea of adding a “Service” section based on a friend’s suggestion. But I don’t want it to seem like I’m padding my cv. I also don’t know if it would seem out of place. Needed your expert opinion!

    I’ve done various activities as a grad student in the dept, such as
    (1) speaker on a grant workshop for junior phd students.
    (2) invited for dinners a few times with job talk candidates. I was asked for my feedback but everyone in the dept was.
    (3) hosted a prospective (visiting) phd student
    (4) organized an informal reading group with a few students and one of the profs.
    (5) wrote a book review for a journal at my university
    (6) I organized a few lectures but as part of a campus student group. The lectures were given by members of my department.

    Are any of these worth mentioning? I do cite the book review in publications.

  75. Thanks very much for this blog. I have a question about how to handle listing transfers from one academic institution to another. For a number of reasons, this occurred during both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

    This wasn’t a problem when my CV existed in the more “resume” kind of format, but since updating it to the academic CV model, I’m not sure what to do when listing the degree first (since I have two institutions from which I received no degree.


    Ph.D. Candidate, Institution (year)

    M.A., Institution (year)

    Institution that I transferred from

    B.A., Institution (year)

    Institution that I transferred from

    Part of me would prefer to leave these off since I only spent one year at each of these places. But 1) I don’t want to look like I’m hiding something, and 2) I’ve been told that one of the institutions is good to list because of its prestige, and the other because it shows a breadth of experience.

    Perhaps they should be left off of the CV but briefly mentioned in the cover letter?

  76. Terrific advice! Thank you so much for the helpful post.

    I have one quick question. I am a Ph.D. Candidate on the job market for the first time. I have a couple of Instructor of Record positions, but I’m afraid that the course titles don’t actually convey the variety of topics covered in them. (I don’t get to choose the course titles because they are set by the university.)

    For example, say I have a course that is officially listed in the university’s catalogue as “American Literature,” but I actually taught it specifically on my area of research, which included American fiction, poetry, and drama from 1900 to the present. Is there any way that it would be acceptable for me to include a short description or at least a short list of authors? If I’m going to leave out the “Teaching and Research Interests” and the title of the course doesn’t really convey my teaching interests, how am I to get across the fact that I can (and have) taught these topics?

    Thank you in advance for your help!

  77. I have won some awards more than once (i.e., in more than one year). Should I list each year as a individual line or should I lump them to avoid repetition?

  78. Hi Karen,

    What is your opinion in regards to incorporating schools one doesn’t have a degree from? If one has spent a couple of years at a program and then transferred to another institution do you recommend that they include this in the main Education part? Omit it? Or put in another section? Same for a semester spent at another school?


    • I recommend not over=filling the Education section with dribs and drabs of study. Basically, put the degrees in and that’s all.

      • Thanks.

        I looked at your other posts, too, but didn’t see any related content regarding whether to put upcoming employment in the CV. I know this is ok for publications, but what if one knows they are going to teach as an adjunct at a new university in the coming spring semester, do you recommend they incorporate this into their cv before then? (assuming the name of the college and the course would help the candidate?)

        • You can put upcoming employment as long as the dates are clearly listed and you have already signed a FINAL written contract (no verbal offers)

  79. Hi Karen,

    I came across your site while searching for guidelines to a CV I must produce for a grant application. I was thrilled to discover this page, however I am not as far along in my academic career as the folks for whom this page is intended. I am applying for a Master’s Program next year and have just finished my Bachelor’s. How could I tweak your guidelines for my purposes, considering that publications, professional appointments, conference activity, etc. are all things I haven’t accomplished yet? Is it a faux pas to mention my Bachelor’s Thesis at this point, or is it allowable considering I just graduated? I would love to hear your thoughts!

    Thank you!


  80. Great post, thank you. Do you have an example somewhere to give a visual impression of what it should look like? Sorry if it’s there and I’ve missed it.

    • I intentionally don’t post an example to prevent too many readers from having identical or cookie-cutter CVs. That would serve no one.

  81. I am completing a PhD in Education, and going on the market in departments of Education, Sociology, and Ethnic Studies. I also have over ten years experience as a teacher and assistant principal in public schools. Does this employment fall under teaching experience, or other employment? As it stands, I have my teaching experiences listed with two subheadings: K-12, and University level. If applying to a school of Ed, it makes significant difference (it seems) that I actually have a decade of practical experience, rather than strictly theoretical understandings.


    Thank you!!

    • Also … I have teaching credentials in two states, and an administrative credential. Do these go under Education? I currently list them under the heading “EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS”.

    • Anything not actually university teaching goes under “Other Employment” or in your case, since k-12 teaching is related to your FIELD, “Related Employment”

  82. Out of curiosity, would assisting with academic advisement be something I could include on my CV? If it means anything, I’m an undergrad. Thanks.

  83. Dear Pr. Karen,

    Given that my Ph. D. was co-supervised by two professors in two different institutions (and in different countries), that I was a grad student in both universities, and that I got my degree(s) from both of them; BUT also considering that I only had to defend my thesis once (with professors of both institutions presents) and my diplomas mention the thesis was co-supervised (one diploma stating the name of the other institution and vice versa): how should I list my Ph. D. in the Education section? One or two entries?

    I wouldn’t want to give the impression that I am padding my Education section, but the name of the discipline and title earned (Ph.D/Doctorate) differ from a country to another, and it’s a real plus, in my discipline, to have been studying in both countries (I would like to highlight that as much as possible).

    Don’t know if we’re many in that situation, but I figured I’d ask in the public comments section, in case someone else need (or have!) info about that.

    Many thanks!

  84. Dear Dr. Karen,
    Thank you for posting this. It’s very valuable for someone starting out such as myself (just graduated with B.Sc. last year). Many sections you listed are still empty for me though! :p
    I was wondering what you think of completely non-academic publications? I freelance for the newspaper and have published quite a bit there. Do those have a place in an academic CV at all? I have had people express surprise I don’t even mention that I write for the papers, while others say I am right to not mention it.
    Thank you,

    • This varies by field and context, but generally you can mention them IF: a) they are clearly segregated in a heading clearly marked “Non-academic publications” or “Other writing” and b) they do not appear to be so numerous that they suggest you spend more time on them than on your scholarly writing. If the time frame is completely distinct then this is no problem.

      • Hi Karen,

        I recently graduated with my Bachelors degree in biology last spring and like Daphne my CV would be a little sparse. I have had a few internship and presented my senior research project at a couple conferences but have never been published. I am thinking of contacting potential graduate school advisers soon and was wondering if it is acceptable to send a resume, which lends itself better to elaborating on the experiences I have, or if it would be beneficial to convert my resume to a CV.

        Thanks for all the great advice!

  85. These are fantastic guidelines. Some things I found I had to adjust for: GRA-ships and TA-ships that don’t involve teaching or research so much as administrative work. I tended to list them under OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE, Administrative and Editorial (since much of my “other” work involves editing professors’ manuscripts or administering small programs). I also currently have a “visiting scholar” appointment at a research institute central to my field, but unpaid, and thus not top-of-the-CV material. I left it off. Any alternative suggestions? I also took off summer travel grants, as one commenter suggested above. It seemed to give the remaining entries more weight. Thanks again!

    • I’d leave on summer travel grants—those count! And the visiting scholar appointment is actually quite significant as well, although it might go under Research Experience, as opposed to appointments. I think you’re overdoing it with the cutting!

  86. Thanks for posting this! It’s comprehensive, and I appreciate your no bs way of describing certain components as unnecessary or “pretentious”. Helped me a lot when drafting my CV.

  87. I have a question about spacing. You’re so clear about putting a space (carriage return) after each heading, but I’m not seeing whether or not to leave spaces between entries under a single heading — unless I’m just overlooking this in the wealth of good information! Advice appreciated. Thanks!

  88. Dear Dr. Karen,
    Thank you for all of this advice. Why do you disapprove of putting a diss abstract on the CV?

    • I think that grad student candidates in general are too fixated on their dissertations and the diss abs. on the cv plays into that tendency. Particularly if you have a healthy list of publications on the cv, the abs. becomes superfluous. But, I know that in some fields it might be expected.

  89. I’ve got a question that pertains to people who defend mid-year. I’m going to be defending at the end of December and starting a post-doc at a prestigious R1 in January. The faculty positions that I’m applying to this year are due in early December — before that post-doc starts.

    In this year’s job applications, I want to highlight the post-doc as well as the interesting class I’ll be teaching there (my other teaching experience is just TA’ing). My question is: do I put these things in the CV or just mention them in the cover letter? I’m hesitant to put them on my CV since they haven’t happened yet. But on the other hand, they’re sort of like an “accepted” paper — which we put prospectively on a CV.

    Thanks so much for this tremendously helpful website!

  90. If you were a TA or RA for a very prominent person in your field, should you list their name in the CV entry for that class or position? Or, is this a big no-no? Thanks!

    • This is actually a good question. In general, if you’ve TAed for someone really famous, then go ahead and put the prof. names for ALL your TA courses in the CV. But if nobody is really famous, then leave them off for all.

  91. Karen, can you advise about whether dates should be listed from earliest to latest, or latest to earliest? I have my CV formatted according to my local rules (excerpt below). (I know it violates some of your rules.) How should the dates be listed in each of these instances to keep the document consistent?

    Participation in Educational Activities
    • Bibliographic instruction for UWG 1101 (First Year Experience): 2 Nov. 2012; 20 Sept. 2012; 5 Sept. 2012
    • Meet-and-greet of new university faculty, Aug. 2008-2010, 2012
    • Commencement ceremonies, Apr. 2012; May, July 2011; May, Aug., Dec. 2009

    Thanks in advance!

      • Yes, the general structure of my CV is newest to oldest for each section, but these recurring dates of service make it problematic. I thought it made sense to group a recurring event (with all its relevant dates) rather than list each separately with its individual date. I’ll follow your suggestion and give the dates chronologically for each element. Thanks very much!

  92. Good afternoon,

    I earned a doctorate in education a few years ago and wanted to transition to a college position. I have been stuck on the CV construction when it comes to publications because I have no publications after I earned my degree. My first question is, is it a waste of time to apply to any college level position with no record of paper publication, or is there a way to demonstrate research potential in another area? Secondly, should my focus be on publishing first for a few years before pursuing any type of college level position? Lastly, how does one start? These are questions I have asked former advisors but I have yet to feel like I have a clear direction. I would appreciate your expertise and your honesty.

    Many thanks.

    • I don’t think it’s ever a waste of time to apply for jobs, but I’d definitely hustle to get pubs out the door asap! Your competitors will have some. Your teaching exp. will count for something, but without publications, it’s hard to really define yourself as a scholar/candidate.

  93. Hi Karen,

    Thank you for the excellent website. I’m still a undergraduate student and I was wondering for the Media Coverage section, if you were interviewed for something relating to your work/expertise but the piece didn’t end up getting published by the interviewer, should I still list it on my CV?

  94. Excellent blog! I am preparing my CV. I have extensive industrial experience , but research experience is limited to only that period of being a graduate student. Can I list my industrial experience under professional experience?

  95. I’ve just discovered this website and it’s completely changed my thinking about planning my career (and I’ve spent many hours re-writing my CV too). Thank you Karen!

    I have a question and I wonder if you could clarify the issue for me? Having just completed my PhD, I’m beginning to carve my dissertation up into articles, and my question relates to the ‘manuscripts in preparation’ section. Would you recommend just listing the working title of manuscripts? And is there an optimal number of such manuscripts (i.e. how many would look like too many?)?

    Thanks very much

  96. Pingback: Friday Coffee Break « Nothing in biology makes sense!

  97. Dear Karen,
    Thank you for your advice – as someone from outside US attempting to apply for a US-based fellowship, it has been very helpful. One question: most of my publications, thesis titles, papers presented, guest lectures, etc. are in Portuguese, not English. Would you recommend including the names in the original Portuguese and an English translation? Or just the translation? (It seems odd to me to only include the translated title of published works, but I’m worried about the CV becoming too long). Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  98. Hi Karen,
    Great post ! I wish I found your website 10 years ago…
    I did two visiting scholar posts in top universities in the country where I research. While the position did not include teaching, I’d like to add it to my CV because few foreigners are given visiting posts and it shows off my professional connections and language skills. Where do you suggest I include it in my CV?
    Thanks for all the hard work you’ve put into this excellent website!

  99. Any advice for how to seamlessly include a change of name into the CV? In this case some articles are published under a different name than is given at the top of the CV.


    • I am having the same issue right now… I bolded my name in the articles, but I’m not sure it makes sense.


  100. Hi Karen,

    Thanks for all the work you’ve put into this post and for keeping up with our questions. I’ve got a minor one. An interview I conducted with a well-known writer has been quoted/cited in a collection of interviews with that writer. My lead-in to the interview is quoted directly. The collection has been published by a major university press. I’ve already listed the original interview on my CV under “Publications/Interviews Conducted”.

    I’m a young academic and can use all the CV material I can get, but I sense that citations and ‘quoted by’ are not significant enough to list, even when there’s ‘name recognition’. Your thoughts, please?

    Vince L

    • this is a good question. I do not believe that you can put the quote/cite in the CV; nobody gets to put how their work is quoted/cited in their CVs!

      Meanwhile, I’m concerned about the heading “Publications/Interviews Conducted.” That’s not a legit heading. Those need to be divided into two. Or, if the interviews have been published, “Interviews” can be a subheading of pubs, like journal articles, book reviews, and the like.

      • Thanks for the reply, Karen! I suppose if more experienced scholars listed every quote/citation of their work, their CVs would be a mile long. And I should have clarified that bit about “Publications/Interviews Conducted.” “Interviews” is indeed a sub-heading of “Publications.” I think I’ll delete “Conducted” so as not to confuse things.

        Best Wishes,
        Vince L

  101. Hi Karen,
    Many thanks for this website. I’m just getting started so my apologies if this has been addressed already (I’m applying this week for a few positions or else I would scour your site before posting): I am ABD and throughout my PhD I have taken on undergraduates and mentored them in the lab as well as introduced them to the relevant literature…can I have a section under Teaching Experience that says ‘undergraduate mentor’…I am mainly applying to PUIs for visiting professorships where I would mainly be teaching and serving on committees for undergraduate research and wanted to demonstrate my experience with this…or do I keep it for the teaching portfolio (which some positions do not ask for). That brings me to a 2nd question – if a position doesn’t ask for a teaching portfolio, but the position is a teaching one, should I send the portfolio any ways, or try my best to incorporate some part of it into my other materials (cover letter, teaching philosophy)?

  102. Pingback: Rules for CV’s– do they exist??? « craig dennis howard

  103. Hi Karen,
    I am an average Masters student applying for PhD scholarships these days.
    I have seen some professors mentioning a heading called Citations to Journal Papers and Citations to Conference Papers in their CV. Though it makes their CV pretty long.
    In my case, I have two conference publications and they have been cited in 5-6 nice journal articles.
    Do you think its wise to mention that in my CV?
    I am a graduate student so I feel it would make my CV look attractive and the PhD admission committee would really think that my research works have been noteworthy so far.
    Please guide me.


  104. Hi Karen,

    Thanks so much for this post and your blog overall.

    One question: Should ‘vitae’ be capitalized in ‘Curriculum vitae’, which appears just under our name at the very top of the page?


  105. Hi Karen,
    Love your website and blog. I thought I’d share some advice I just received from senior scholars: I just attended MLA 2013 and had my credentials reviewed by the department chair of a SLAC and a tenured full professor of an HBCU. Both told me that I needed to put my publications on the first page of the CV.

    This is what is being told to job seekers at this time.


  106. Dear Karen,
    A (hopefully unasked) brief questions about where conference organisation should go; I currently have it listed under the main heading ‘Conference Activity’ and the subheading ‘Conferences Convened,’ but I’m unsure if it should be seperated from panels organised and papers given. Also, should a distinction be made between one-off or annual short events and longer-term series (i.e. with one lecture delivered each week during the term/year)?
    Thanks, for both this post and the blog!

  107. I am trying to figure out how to include my business on my academic CV…I have an academic appointment, but I also run a business. They are related. Where do I include my business on my cv? Thank you!

  108. Dr. Prof,
    I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have found your site!! I am struggling with my cv. There is one job posting in my field where I want to live and I really want it! I appreciate your help. I have a couple of questions. In “teaching experience” where I list courses that I have taught, do I describe/discuss the courses? My field is theatre and costume design in particular (I’m also a Duck) and I’m not sure how to list my work (plays and TV shows): by year of course, but some I did the costume design only, others I did costume design, construction, hair and makeup, and wardrobe crew. Thank you, Jane

  109. Thanks for such a wonderful resource. One question I can’t seem to find the answer to: can a future job be listed on a C.V.? For example, if I’ve signed a contract for a TT job to start in a year, but for that year will be doing a fellowship, may I still now list the TT job, with the future start date? Thanks!

  110. As an early-career academic applying for a position that heavily administrative but still involves teaching, I’m struggling with the advice here to not include bulleted items that lay out, with clear and strong verb, what specifically has been accomplished. A recent high-level Dean search at our school yielded finalists who all included detailed bulleted lists in their CVs indicating accomplishments in the area of fundraising, recruitment of diverse faculty, and so on. Are CVs geared toward administrative positions one area in which the embargo on resume-style bulleted lists might be lifted?

  111. Karen,
    Your blog has guided me better than any other website I have found. However, under you Gold en Rules for a CV I am feeling a little lost. I am apply for an entry level position at a local university (assistant professor) and I am coming out of the classroom (I’ve taught for 9 years). I don’t know how to take my professional experience and place it into the CV. My classroom duties and methodologies are conducive that for of an elementary teacher. So how do I write it so that I demonstrate my knowledge and ability to prepare young adult learners for the field of education?

    • Kendall, thsi is the kind of question that needs working on personally with me, if that’s a (budgetary) option for you. Any time a person has an unusual record, we have to do various tweaks to the basic format to accomodate. karen

  112. This website is invaluable! I have practically scoured every page!

    I am in the midst of writing my CV to begin a career search (I am in the sciences so the majority of my employers ask for CVs). I am currently in the midst of my first year as a PhD, however I will be leaving the program in June. Long story – but after a few months of soul searching I decided that it wasn’t for me. However, I am continuing with the research until I leave and until my advisor finds another student to take my place. I don’t want to hold the research back anymore than I have to, so I gave everyone involved ample to time find replacements and adjust to my leaving.
    I already have a MS degree but I feel that a full year of research abroad should not be overlooked. I was awarded a fellowship for the project as well.

    Anyway how do I/ or should I reveal this in a CV?

  113. Hi Karen,

    Great post! I have a couple of questions I didn’t see covered here:

    1. Should (and if so, where and how should) military service be included in the C.V.?
    2. Should an Associate’s Degree be included in the education section of the C.V.?
    3. Do you have suggestions/preferences for font styles (e.g., Specific fonts like Times New Roman, Garamond, etc. or general types like serif/sanserif)?

    Many thanks!

  114. I’m currently working on my CV and have found this guide very helpful (and am mortified that I have been submitting what I thought was a CV, but instead was a glorified resume). While I have been working as an adjunct during the past few years, I have also been running a (for-profit) university library full-time for the past 5 years, and prior to that, I was a part-time Library Research Assistant at a small liberal arts university for 3 years. Where would I list this information? Would I include my duties (bibliographic instruction, serving as a one woman writing center) or just make mention of them in my cover letter?

  115. Thanks for the post. Quick question regarding abstracts and papers. What is the acceptable or expected practice when listing a presented abstract that is based on a subsequently published paper that has the exact same title, for example? Are both listed? It doesn’t give the impression of “double dipping”? thanks.

  116. Next year, I will be on leave from my tenure-track job, with an external fellowship in another state. Since I will not be employed by/at my tt job, my instinct is to list the fellowship institution as my professional mailing address, and to list the fellowship as the first thing under “Professional Appointments.” Is this right? If so, do I repeat the fellowship under “Grants and Fellowships”? (It would vary only slightly; under “Professional Appointments” I would put “Fellow, X Institution,” and under “Grants and Fellowships” I would put “Fellowship, X Institution.” I’m in the Humanities, by the way. Thanks!

  117. What is the convention for capitalizing iterations of “cum laude”? I’ve seen Magna cum Laude, Magna cum laude, Magna Cum Laude…

  118. Since I graduate with a PhD I have published widely in my field to improve my CV and help me with job, but as I do not have teaching experience I find it very difficult to break into teaching!!! After 2 jobs interviews, they stated that they have chosen, someone with teaching experience….SO I do not know who come first egg or the chicken.

  119. Is there real difference between CV and Resume?
    Some of my publications are not in English, should I give original titles or only English translations?

    Thanks ahead!

    • There is a difference; the resume is a business document, the cv an academic one. however, having said that, some academic job ads ask for a “resume,” by which they actually mean an academic CV. So you have to attend closely to context.

      I always say to translate titles.

  120. Dear Karen,

    I just came across your website for the first time while looking for academic C.V. writing tips and have now spent hours and hours devouring its content. May I say how grateful I am for all the advice you have shared here, and to others, too, for their honest contributions.

    My question is this. I ticked all the right boxes a few years ago: Oxford BA, Ivy League Ph.D. completed within 4 years, 6 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, various research grants won, young white male. World at my feet, right? Wrong! My problem was that I was doing German Studies, a field which has shrunk to the point of oblivion in the UK. I did all I was supposed to, only to find that there are basically no jobs in German. (Don’t believe me? Then look for yourself on jobs.ac.uk any time of the year!) No jobs also equates to career instability, since entire departments have been closing left, right, and center in the UK. The situation is slightly better in the US, but still grim, as I knew from having had to fight to keep our own German department from being closed during my Ph.D. Personal circumstances meant, in any case, though, that I had to stay in the UK.

    So I went through all the soul-searching, the bitterness, the disappointment, the regret, the anger, etc. that I had not got what I “deserved,” but fairly quickly I dusted myself down and got on with life. I became a property developer in 2007 – right at the top of the housing bubble before it burst. Seeking greater job security, I turned to accountancy and worked for PwC for just over a year. That was all I could stand, it was awful.

    Gnawing away at me the whole time was the fact that I am an academic by heart. I belong in academia. I’ve learned this lesson through painful experience. I’ve tried other things, but finally came to realize that I want an academic career above all else.

    So I re-tooled. First I did an MA in International Relations, now I’m finishing my (second) Ph.D. in International Relations. Again I have an evolving publications record and evidence of grant capture. I am now returning to the academic job market at the age of 34.

    However, some people (full professors included) have suggested that my career path displays the hallmarks of one who does not really know where he is headed or what he is doing. A younger candidate fresh out of a first Ph.D. would be far preferable, I am told, despite the fact I am essentially offering “two for one” in terms of expertise available at the same pay grade. My commitment to the profession is interpreted as an inability to progress. My Oxbridge and Ivy League qualifications are being interpreted as an active hindrance in my job search, so much so that I in a recent job application I actually left out all academic information relating to my first MA and Ph.D., including the (now outdated: 2006-2009) publications in the attempt to appear “freshly minted.” That’s futile, I know, because they’d ultimately want to know about the “gap” on my C.V.

    How should I market myself in your view? Should I include everything I’ve done, including all qualifications, publications, property development, and accountancy experience? (The latter two would look odd high up on an academic CV under “Professional Experience.”) Should I go for a “stream-lined” approach that only includes the last four years, as though I were much younger? Or should I do something different entirely? Also, are these circumstances something that needs to be “explained” in a cover letter, or should I not offer any “explanation” until interview stage, should I get that far?

    An odd case study, I know, but your advice would most certainly be welcome.

  121. I would like to have your advice on where to post an REU position (Undergraduate Summer Research Experience). It seems obvious that it would go under research experience but REUs are also a lot like a fellowship, award, or work experience since students are really well funded to be involved in them. Also, if I include it as a fellowship or award do I list the amount it was worth?


  122. I’m hoping to get your advice on whether to even use a CV when applying for a full-time teaching position. I have taught part-time at universities and community colleges over the past nine years. I have only worked in this part-time capacity while working full time jobs-some within academia and one outside. Because the bulk of my work has been non-teaching would it be more appropriate to use a traditional resume when applying to a full-time position? Or should I be using the CV format? And, if CV, where I will be deficient in many areas (i.e.-publications, conferences presentations, etc.) do you have any recommendations (I have plenty of publications, presentations, etc. related to my positions but not directly the field in which I would be applying)? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time!

  123. This is so helpful and so necessary. Thanks!

    One question: I attended a summer language program that is entirely necessary to my research, but not directly related to my degree in any way. A) Is this something that should be listed on my CV? B) If so, should it be under education or perhaps under languages?

    Thanks again for this invaluable post!

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  125. Quick question of clarification.
    My field is Psychology.

    When listing publications, I have always formatted them using APA style – i.e., Authors (date). Title. Journal. etc.

    When you say to have the date left justified for everything, would you put the date in the left, and then repeat it using an APA styled reference for each article, or would you avoid using APA altogether?

    Could you possibly post an example of how you prefer to see one or two lines of publications being listed on a C.V. to clarify?

    Thanks (and I apologize if it has already been asked – I did my best to read through all of the responses – but this has been a very popular posting!)


  126. I have a question- I have a ton of internal university grants and a couple big external ones- should I have two separate headings (External Fellowships, Scholarships, & Awards and University Grants & Prizes), or just one big one. I’m also worried that my NSF and SSRC fellowships are going to get buried: but I feel that bolding the titles is a bit grad student-ish (I’m prepping for the job market). Thoughts?

  127. I love your website and am so glad that I found it before I go on the market this fall! I have a feeling that I’ll be investing in some of your review services when the time is right.

    In addition to presenting at large annual meetings that will be easily recognizable to people reading my CV, I have given papers at several specialized conferences. These entries on my CV can get rather long once I include the title of my paper, the title of the conference, the name of the specialized center/society organizing it, and the date. Do you think it is permissible to choose either the title of the conference or the name of the group that organized it in order to make the entry more streamlined?

    Thanks for the great advice that you give!

    • Yes.

      Also, be aware that i get booked up for fall very early so if you know you want to work with me, don’t delay.

  128. Hi Karen, I was recently invited to be a keynote speaker for a large conference which I had to decline due to time constraints. I am tempted to mention that I was accepted as a keynote speaker for this conference on my C.V. since it indicates a certain recognition, but at the same time I don’t want to sound obnoxious or like I am just putting “padding”. Any suggestions on how I should tackle this? Thanks!

    • Sounds like a bad idea to include it; you’d be raising a red flag that you can’t handle the expected workload and/or don’t have your priorities in sync with their expectations.

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  130. Any advice for a high school teacher—whose opportunities for research and publication may have been light or nonexistent—who wants to make a CV for college-level positions?

  131. I’m currently revising my cv (I’m an ABD) based on this outline, a few queries:

    1) I won a major doctoral award and have been told (by academics) it must appear on the first page as prominently as possible. How do you do this in your model?
    2) Where you do you put short courses, and time as a visiting researcher?
    3) I presented at a small conference where everyone who presented was funded for travel and accommodation (it was in South Africa, I live in Canada, so quite significant cost) and then later presentations were funded in an edited volume. Do I mention the funding? (I don’t right now as I’m not sure how to)

  132. Do you (and where) put post-PhD academic employment such as cataloging material in special collections or as an administrator of sorts for a center on campus?

  133. What do you do with unfunded grants? I’m submitting my CV for my external reviewers and I’m inclined to leave them off, but my institution gives credit for them. Since I’m in the Art/Humanities where applying for grants is NOT the norm, even trying for them seems important, but I still hate having “failures” on my CV. And what about when your grant is declared meritorious, but goes unfunded because the university ran out of money? It’s technically a win, but it still doesn’t result in money. Right now I have them in a section called “Awards, Grants, and Honors” – I wonder if that’s where they belong.

    • ‘ve never heard of putting unfunded grants onto a CV. The one where you won the grant but got no money CAN go on the CV however.

  134. Thanks for this very helpful post. I have a couple of questions: I have one competitive fellowship award. Do I still create a heading for “Awards and Fellowships” in the plural, and then list a single item? Same for publications – I have one book translation/introduction, one peer-reviewed article, and two book reviews. Three separate headings? Thank you!

  135. When you left justify dates do you simply put all the other relevant conference info in APA format (minus date) on the right?

    Also, this is probably a bit of outlier question but I once conducted a series of guest lectures for a professor who was on a short term sick leave. Should and how would I include this?

  136. While I find most of the info included here very useful, it is hard to follow. Can you post an actual formatted CV sample? After the article, the formatting rules and all the replies, I feel a visual guide would be helpful.

  137. Hi, Karen!

    I love your site – it is incredibly informative, though I tend to fall down the rabbit hole reading all of the comments.

    I am a second year PhD student in education (curriculum and educational technology, to be exact), and I recently started the transition from a resume to a CV now that I have presentations, publications, etc. I have followed all of your rules, but I am having difficulty with one: no verbiage?! Before I found you, I mimicked many of the CVs of my professors and chosen candidates from hiring committees. Almost all of them had narratives under most of the positions. So now I am torn. Thoughts?

  138. Hi Karen,

    Thank you for this comprehensive guide to the academic CV. I did my Ph.D. on the process of literary creation, and my career foci are second language acquisition as well as literary creation.

    Here is my dilemma: given the relevancy of fiction in my research, would you advise me to put my published fiction under “Other Publications” as a subheading or under “Non-Academic Work”?

    Thank you,

  139. As a recent PhD, I am in the process of updating my c.v. using your advice, thank you. I do disagree with a few things you say on a cursory review, believing that these documents today are not what they used to be. I have Keywords/Research Fields at the top of my c.v. Also, I believe course numbers may be important and not as meaningless as you suggest since they show the level at which you were selected to teach. I don’t think undergraduate teaching is all lumped together but courses in the major at the 300-400 levels are more important than others when it comes to revealing what level of expertise you were chosen to teach at. This is often a political struggle, too, whereby instructors are kept at lower levels until they are ‘worthy’ of teaching upperclass courses, not necessarily fair and just my opinion, but there is competition, at times, fierce. Finally, many of us today are theorist-practitioners so we will have business resume elements as part of an academic c.v. rather than send a separate document, often added at the end of the academic section. This should not be a taboo except for narrow positions and/or departments that don’t want faculty that practice their theories.

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  141. Thank you, Dr. Karen, for this very helpful post.

    I have worked in a non-English speaking academia for the past few years (since a year after my Ph.D.), and naturally most of my work in this period is not in English. In listing my publications/talks, should I transliterate the titles and give an English translation in []s or should I just give the English translation and then (in XYZ language)? I have to say, a long title in transliteration looks weird.

    Also, I have only one of each kind of publication. Do you think I should still use subheadings with just one item under each, or should I just put everything together with the type of publication in parentheses after each title?

    And finally, are “encyclopedia entries” and “translations” okay subheadings for publications? These are translations of scholarly works from English to XYZ language.

    Thank you very much in advance for your advice.

  142. For those who use LaTeX instead of word processors, latextemplates.com has a template called “Compact Academic CV” which follows these rules. How do you feel about embedded hyperlinks in the CV? All of my publications are index PubMed — what about linking to the publications’ index entries for easy access to the pubs? I have been doing this in NIH biosketches because we’re required to put pubmed central ID’s now in the pub list.

  143. Great post! I’ve recommended this to tons of grads.

    A couple of small questions: if a book is re-issued in paperback, how exactly do you indicate that? Also, if / when your book is reviewed in journals, should that be on the cv?

    Similarly, if an article is reprinted, does that merit a separate entry or do you just put the rpt. date next to the original date?

    Dissertations directed goes under teaching, I assume…how much if any info do you supply about the dissertations, or the placement of students who have completed the diss?

  144. Hello, very nice suggestions. I have one question, I am preparing my CV for an academic position and I am wondering where I should mention (or not) my Certificate in Project Management, something I did before I started focusing on an academic career. It is not really a degree and it is not (at least not directly) related to the academic area of the position I am applying. I would appreciate any suggestions! Thanks.

  145. Thank you very much for the useful, caring article, and for keeping up with the comments over the past year. My question may be beyond the scope of what you want to cover, but I am a long-time senior administrator who has also kept up teaching, and I have just finished my doctorate. Any CV suggestions for unorthodox / non-traditional / hybrid professional pathways?

  146. When you talk about including your personal address and institutional address, what would you recommend to an adjunct that works at multiple institutions?

  147. Hi! Thanks for the useful post. One question: is it a good idea to put hiperlinks to the full version of papers/other publications? I personally find it very handy, offering access to further info without cluttering the text and sort of technologically up-to-date……

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  150. I have a quick question about formatting conventions for ABD students. I plan to defend in the spring semester of 2014. How should I indicate my status in the ‘Education’ section of my CV? Should I just list it as:

    2014 Ph.D., University, Discipline
    Dissertation: Title Defense expected: March 1, 2014

    Or should I follow some other convention to highlight that I haven’t yet defended? Maybe put parentheses around the year?

    • Or would it be better to list it as:

      present Ph.D. candidate, University, Discipline
      Dissertation: Title Defense expected: March 1, 2014


  151. Do you have any wisdom on how to indicate on a CV a transfer mid-PhD with your advisor? I was invited to transfer to another university with my advisor after I attained ABD status (and a good deal of teaching experience and prestigious awards) at my first institution. I’m unsure how my CV will read if I only list my PhD candidacy from my second institution and just the MA from my first.

  152. Hello, and thank you for the useful information! I have a question about conference presentations. Sorry for my ignorance, but I’m wondering what the exact definition of a “peer-reviewed presentation” is. Is this just a presentation for which you had to submit an abstract and be selected for presentation? (I.e., as opposed to a presentation where you were invited to speak, or a lecture series where there was no panel reviewing the abstract submissions.) Many thanks!

  153. For the past five years, I’ve spent seven days each summer scoring Advanced Placement exams, an experience that has helped me to think more clearly about how I assign and grade tests and essays. Is it acceptable to give this a line under “Teaching Experience”, or is that padding?

  154. Hi, I see that this is an old thread, but I’m using it to build my CV and I had a question. I’m pretty fresh out of grad school. My first teaching position (and one I still hold) is teaching writing labs. The class is divided into lecture and lab. The lecture instructor is the instructor of record, but I hold my own class once a week, design the lessons, grade papers, hold discussions and activities, etc. It is not considered an assistantship or TA-ship. How should I designate this?

    I hold other part-time teaching positions in the area in which I am instructor of record, but I teach these labs at a more esteemed university. I don’t want to leave them out, but I don’t want to appear as though I’m trying to pass myself off as the IoR, either.

  155. Would you recommend placing examination topics in the CV (under education) for an A.B.D. applicant? My thought is that it shows my research interests/teaching competency without seeming like fluff or padding.

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  157. Hi Karen,

    Thank you for the excellent article! Reader comments and feedback have also been very useful.

    I am a recent MS graduate preparing to apply to PhD. programs and had a couple of questions regarding my CV.

    1) I was awarded a professional fellowship through a non-profit. The work is related to my academic research interests. Do you recommend listing this fellowship? Would I still list under “Fellowships” and should I list the stipend $$ amount?
    2) Previous comments suggest that in this context (grad school application materials)it’s ok to list guest lectures. Would these be listed under “Teaching Experience”with TA work?
    3) Similarly, in this context is it ok to list my undergraduate research experience, internships, and state sponsored merit scholarships (the scholarships were received more than 10 years ago).

    Many thanks!

  158. I’m applying to graduate school. Many of my fellow applicants are putting what anyone would consider complete and total fluff on their CVs; “Attended such-n-such conference”, “Microsoft Word, stuff like like. Do I put that crap on my CV since I competing with all of the other applicants who put it on theirs or will admissions committees appreciate the fact that I leave it off? Is there a completely different CV standard for graduate school applications?

  159. Someone just recommended this piece to me, and I’ve found it quite helpful as I attempt to move beyond the one-page CV that I used in my first two years of graduate school. Thanks for your work on this stuff!

    I have one fairly specific/unusual question: Before I entered graduate school, I published a monograph clearly situated in my field (history). For reasons you have indicated, I am interested in highlighting this in a specific sub-category for “books.” The catch is that the book, while rigorous and scholarly (I know, I’m biased), was not peer-reviewed, and was published by a legit but small independent press. Does that automatically relegate it to “Other Publications,” despite being a full-length monograph?

    • This is tricky and without seeing your overall CV and reading about teh book, i can’t answer it. I recommend you consider doing a Quick CV Review with me to get this resolved.

  160. Dear Karen,
    Your blog is extremely helpful. thank you for sharing your experience.
    I am preparing my CV to apply for assistant professor position in Canada (Immunology). I have two questions:

    1-In the Fellowship section I would like to also mention the ones that I applied for even if I failed because I think it reflects experience in grant writing. Is this OK ? how would you differentiate successful from failed applications. Also it looks like I mostly failed but everybody does…

    2- I did my education in France. the first 3 years of my PhD was funded by a government fellowship that I got through a contest (I put it in fellowship).
    For the 4th year I went through another annual contest from my University and got one of the 3 positions called Teaching and Research Attache that covered my salary, allowing me pursuing my PhD in the lab, in return of 150 hours of teaching at the university (80% of a teacher’s teaching charge): Should it go in fellowship,Professional appointments, or University service ?
    thank you very much in advance

      • Sorry another question. Regarding short talks you give at conference because your abstract has been selected, does it go to invited talk or conference activity ? this way to divide talk is unusual to me. So do you also mention posters in conference activity ?

  161. Pardon me if the question which I am going to raise has already been answered as I am not able to go through from all Q/A. I usually do/offer consultancy services on professional projects (public and private both) besides my university teaching service (my primary job) as well. So my question is where to put those ‘consultancy services projects’?

  162. And there are two more things to ask. Where to put date of birth and nationality/citizenship? Are they not desired contents of Academic CV?

  163. Thank you so much for this post! It is unbelievably useful. I have a little question, though: in my field, having experience working on study abroad programs is highly valued, so I was wondering where in the CV should leading study abroad programs go?

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  165. Dear Karen,

    I just reformatted my (very UK) CV according to your guidelines and, amazingly, my CV is now not only shorter but more crisp. Thank you.

    But one (potential) oddity arises: I won a prestigious teaching award 3 times, from the same foundation, whilst at the same institution. I’ve left-justified the year as you suggest (the years being 2006, 2005, 2003), but I wonder whether you recommend consolidating these into 1 entry or leaving them as you suggest? I’m not worried about ‘padding’ or any other substantive peculiarity; I simply wonder whether it is preferable for Award XYZ to occur 3 times for each year I received it, or better to write something like, “Award XYZ (received 3 times: 2006, 2005, 2003)”.

    Any other readers have this (happily, good variety of) problem?

    And Karen, I’d also like to add: I shared my new CV with several of my UK colleagues, and they were pleased with the layout…I think your site (and your services) would have a lot of traction over in England and perhaps more so in Scotland, where mentoring is particularly dismal in humanities (I’m in Classics).

    All best,
    and warm thanks,

    • this is a good question. (and thanks for all your various thoughts and contributions to the blog this week!) I think I’d be inclined to try and figure out how to condense them into a single entry. But again, this is the kind of thing I parse carefully in individualized work with clients, and always in the end judge by “feel”–ie, how does it look. I might look at the single-entry version and decide it looks weird in a US context… But probably it will be fine as you describe.

      I’m glad the UK folks like it! I have a lot of English clients…so far nobody from Scotland that I know of, though!

  166. I am in oceanography, a very collaborative field, and have been a part of many projects that are presented at conferences but I was not the presenting author. Right now, my CV has the conference section divided into two parts: where I was the presenting author, and a section where I am a non-presenting author. Is that appropriate or considered padding?

    • Ben, I would leave those out, because in our fields of Earth Sciences (I’m in atmospheric science), it is given that the projects will be collaborative, therefore real credit matters only as a co-author in a paper. I’m co-author on so many posters just because the presenter wanted to use my data or used my methodology or I was working in the same field site at the same time with the presenter–even though my work may not have been really related. Only being the presenter (i.e. first author on the poster) is of some indication that you did the work or was involved enough to be presenting it at the conference. I hope this helps.

  167. I am ABD WITH 12 years of university teaching experience, However I am not published. will this effect my chances and do you have a template I can use or samples I can spin from

  168. Thank you so much Dr. Karen! I only wish I had found you sooner when I was going through grad school.

    Where should Board of Trustees/Directors experience go?

  169. With Research experience should I include projects which I am involved with in my job? In a way it seems repetitive because then I would be listing the work associated with a specific project twice–once in publications and once in research experience. On the other hand, doing research on a project is a different task then preparing a publication on the findings from that project.

    • I think you should. I’ve always done that (even before I started revising my CV with the advice here). Early on, it was the only way to make my CV span a few pages. Now I do it to reflect the breadth of experiences I have. I came back to school after a few years of working in research, and the research experience I have has been my currency. Unfortunately, not much of it turned into publication b/c I worked at a survey center where we collected the data but didn’t write the papers ourselves.

      Now that I’m post-PhD, I still use it, but I’m more selected. I list research that I was in charge of, that I designed or ran myself, or that were major parts of my job, and I definitely include them if they were something that didn’t lead to a publication. The further along I get, the shorter I try to make this section b/c I don’t want it to overwhelm the publications (which it already does).

      I side note, that I think has been said in the discussion already is that how you format your CV really depends on where you’re applying. Dr. Karen’s advice is for tenure track academic jobs. The CV design advice I’ve gotten from those in the non-academic research sector is different. For example, including a “goals/mission” statement is OK. Putting more emphasis on the research and grant experience (literally moving it up in the order and saying more about it) and saying less about teaching, for example.

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  171. This post is wonderful thank you! I’m just beginning to look into publishing and attending conferences. One such conference has asked for a CV to be submitted along with an abstract. As someone with no real academic history, aside from tutoring first years during Honours and Masters (my current degree), how would you suggest I set out my CV when the only two real papers I have are my honours research paper (unpublished) and my masters which is still being written.

  172. Haven’t seen these type mentioned:
    (1) editing a “commentary” section in a journal (eg. 25-30 pp, 5 contributors)
    (2) writing a commentary essay for a section in a journal (5 pp.)
    Both not peer reviewed.
    Do these go under “Other Publications?” It seems more important than a website, since it’s in a journal, but it’s not referred and not an entire ‘edited volume.’ Thanks!

      • thanks!
        What would be the proper way to indicate that you’re the editor of something in that “other publications” heading?
        Name, X. (ed.) Title. Journal. X(x), x-x. ….?

        • On a similar note, my field has a journal called Survey Practice (http://surveypractice.org/index.php/SurveyPractice). They call it an e-journal, but it’s really something between a trade publication, a blog, and a real journal…

          – Longer and can be more academic than a trade publication
          – Longer than a blog post (I guess)
          – Not peer-reviewed, but edited by field leaders.

          I’ve always struggle with where to pub my one publication in this outlet. It means a lot in my field, but not a lot in others. I don’t feel good about putting it with “peer reviewed”, but don’t feel good about relegating it to “Other” (the writing process was more like writing a peer-reviewed paper, with submission, edits from editor, revision, etc., but more importantly people in my field have respect for it…so I don’t want to hide it among my gov’t reports, etc.).

          Any thoughts where this should go?

  173. Great site, thank-you!

    I’ve taught English and French overseas and at language schools at universities. Does this qualify as “Teaching Experience”?

    • There are actually a lot, since there are many fonts that look very similar. It takes a trained eye to tell the difference between Arial, Helvetica, and Tahoma (when they’re not next to each other), or between Times New Roman, Courier (not Courier New, mind you), and… let’s say Herald.

      Those are the two looks for acceptable fonts, however. If a font fails to blend into one of those groups, it’s probably inappropriate.

      You have to ask yourself why you’re asking this question. Are you *trying* to find an “interesting” font? I would say, don’t.

    • The personal heading is not used for American cvs. It is used in Europe, but not here.

      I love Arial narrow but that’s just me. I’m not sure it’s beloved by all.

  174. I’ve read this blog post a year ago, and still find it useful today when updating my CV. I have one question. I agree that course numbers look incredibly ugly, but as an interdisciplinary scholar, I’ve chosen to keep them to emphasize the departments for which I’ve taught. While some may think the course title should make the department self-evident, the courses themselves have an interdisciplinary angle so the titles really could, and sometimes do, belong in more than one discipline. At the same time, I tailor my CV based on where I’m applying, so that if it is a History job, I make sure they can easily see the number of courses I’ve already taught in History. Do you have recommendations for how to emphasize the departments without numbers? Would it be appropriate to organize courses taught by department?

    • some people do that, esp. those with strong interdisciplinary teaching records. they use department or field subheadings under teaching to show breadth. I generally recommend that, rather than numbers, since I maintain that numbers just don’t always “translate” really well.

  175. Any opinion on whether to use hanging indents for publications (as if they were references in an article) or whether to left-justify every line? I didn’t see it discussed here yet.

    This is a GREAT thread (and original post). I appreciate the conviction and clarity of the advice. I’m looking forward to updating my CV for once 🙂

    • PS – After looking at your CV and a couple others, I’ve formatted my publications and presentations with date first (left-justified), followed by the resent of the info (aligned at the first tab), creating a sort of hanging indent (similar visual effect). Definitely makes years easier to find and progress over years clearer.

  176. I am moving to a new city and will be applying for academic (lecturer and adjunct) jobs after several years working as an editor at a trade publication and owning a small business. It seems somewhat silly to list all my publications from my time at the magazine, since they are completely unrelated to academic work. However, they do show that I have quite a bit of professional writing experience. What’s your advice? If it’s at all relevant, I do have a decent amount of college-level teaching experience.

  177. Thank you for sharing this post, Dr. Karen. This is extremely useful.

    Would you suggest including job talks and teaching in the CV, if so where? And if you think of applying to two different jobs in one department is it ok to send slightly different cvs tailored for each position? Thank you!

    • There is a lengthy discussion of this question in the comment thread somewhere, but no you must not put job talks on a CV.

      • Hi Karen,

        Actually, no “lengthy discussion,” just a few inquiries and a “verdict: absolutely not.” Could you take some space to explain why?

        I’ve consulted with a trusted member of my committee and another member of my former department, and they both feel strongly the other way, i.e., that one should include job talks as invited talks. Their logic is that these are instances when one is invited to a campus to give a talk and have beaten out, in many cases, 300 other possible candidates in the pool in order to receive the invite. They think this shows one’s competitiveness, not diminishes it.

        I would love to hear the counterargument.


        • I put this question up on FB and it generated lengthy and impassioned reaction, overwhelmingly on the side of: absolutely not. I’d say with that weight of public opinion against it, it’s best avoided. Remember that your advisors are not reviewing your job applications. It’s folks “out there” and they are likely to hold the view that this is deeply inappropriate.

  178. Dr. Karen, thank you for this excellent post! I have been struggling to find a great guideline for creating a new CV. I am currently in the process of applying for full-time, tenure-track, teaching-only positions at community colleges. I did read the comments above in which Dr. Karen and others briefly touch on the subject of how to arrange your CV if you are applying to community colleges. I’m actually currently employed in research in my field as well as simultaneously employed as an adjunct in the local community college system. From what I read above, I am thinking I should list my teaching experience first, then my research experience?

    Can anyone think of any other changes that would make a CV “more perfect” for a comm. college app?

  179. Hello, Karen,

    Your blog is extremely useful! Thank you so much!

    I wonder if I should include honorary positions, like Honorary Research Associate in my CV, and if so, under which heading it should go. Your advice will be very valuable.

    Thank you.

  180. Thank you for your blog. It is so clear and helpful!
    I am a recently retired professor of education who has worked in universities in the US and in four other countries. I have been asked to submit my CV to institutions in international settings in order to be considered as a consultant, evaluator, or part-time visiting professor.
    I will appreciate your advice on targeting my CV for this purpose.

  181. Any ideas about how to present in a CV one’s substantial participation in ‘scientific committees’ of conferences? These are temporarily convened groups whose purpose is usually to select papers and projects for conferences on architecture and design. I suppose the activity is similar to that of a jury or a peer review committee. (I’m an editor preparing a CV for a client.) To complicate the issue, the person is also acts as chair or co-chair of the same conference, although that work is separate from the committee work.

  182. Hi Karen.
    My boss’s list of publications is over 15 pages long, how can I include them in her CV without making her CV long and boring? Would you suggest only listing the last 5 year’s worth, or some kind of a table or explanatory paragraph stating the number of papers published in each year? Cheers, Ingrid

  183. Do you recommend that a scholar in the humanities include archival work on the CV?

    I’m a graduate student, and I won a big travel grant that enabled me to do research at a few archives in Europe. The grant itself is of course mentioned under Awards/Honors, but I’m debating whether the CV should also indicate somewhere that I conducted research at X, Y, and Z archives (one of them referred to me in an e-mail as “Guest Researcher,” which sounds nice but maybe doesn’t actually mean anything).

    I don’t like the idea of an explanatory note where I list the award. My inkling is either not to include that information at all (because isn’t archival work expected of you if your topic calls for it?) or to add an “Archival Work” subsection under “Research Experience” (because maybe my hands-on experience at those overseas archives is worth mentioning?).

    Thanks for an incredibly useful website, by the way.

  184. Hi,

    First the good thing: I did mine as I would do it pretty much in the non-academic world, and it’s quite close. Now the questions:

    1) How to deal with a prolonged period of unemployment?

    2) Practicality of avoiding dates as a student when the required application won’t let you proceed without filling them in.

    3) More of a comment: academia does not seem able to deal with a non-traditional student (as indicated by use of a term defining one by what one is not).


  185. Hello Karen,

    This page is very helpful! One question – I work as a non-tenure track faculty in a soft money institution. So, I am entirely grant funded through several grants, though I am not always PI on those grants. Some of them are programmatic grants on which I am the lead evaluator (so I design and conduct the research to evaluate the program, but I am not PI). Often times I will have written the evaluation portion of the grant proposal, but not the whole grant. How should I (or should I?) list those on my CV? I’d like to show that I have grant writing experience and research management experience, but I’m not sure how to show that since I am not PI. Any advice?

  186. Hi Karen,

    Have you ever seen people break up the awards/honors/grants/fellowships section based on major and minor awards? I have a handful of major awards (full tuition, stipend, national competition) but many more “smaller” awards ($1-7k grants and scholarships). I’d like to call attention to the major awards or at least don’t want them to get “lost” in the full chronological list. Thoughts?

    Thank you.

  187. Pingback: CV information | English 573, American Moderns

  188. Dear Dr. Karen,
    I love your cite, especially the CV information. Quick question regarding CVs: my professional society (American Musicological Society) has a blog. Would contributions to this blog go under publications or, say, in “Community Involvement” under a subheading I call “written contributions,” where I list concert program notes I’ve written.

  189. Ok, I am prepared to be trashed on this one… Any chance that next to, or below, the MA and/or Ph.D. line in the Education section I could write down my (4.0) GPA? Pretty please?

  190. Where would you recommend listing best article awards granted by peer-reviewed journals? Should this be listed under ‘publications’ (with the awarded article) or under ‘awards’? If the latter, should the article title be included? Thank you for your time!

  191. I am applying for PhD studies with a full scholarship abroad. My problem is, that I have been enrolled for 2 years in another country as a PhD student (without position or scholarship) but haven’t done much more than literature review in my project until now —> now I desire to change the topic and university. I will obviously not put any info about this enrollment on my CV but during these years I visited some lectures and classes in Linguistics with my 2nd supervisor. Where can I put this? How should I name this kind of an activity? As “advanced studies in Linguistics – non degree”? I would appreciate your help!

  192. Hi Karen,

    I would like to ask you a question.

    I have a Ph.d. in Anthropology but I am applying for a non-academic job within the University. It is an executive/administrative/managerial position. They said to send them either a c.v. or a resume.

    A c.v. and a resume are two different kinds of bird; however, the position requires solid research, teaching, publishing and advising experience…

    What would you suggest to submit?

    Thank you: Sara

  193. I refer to this extremely useful post again and again. Question: I have a new postdoc but I don’t yet have an email address/office to go with it. Okay to use the office and email address from my grad school department for now?

  194. Hi, Dr. K. I published a book chapter last year, and this year, the editors informed me that the entire book won a fairly prestigious award. Should I include this on my CV? If so, where? How?

  195. Hi Karen,
    Wow – I feel so fortunate to have stumbled across your website and blog! I am preparing to write my FIRST CV. But here’s the thing, I’m retired after a 32 year professional career in IT. I am currently enrolled in a PhD program and expect to graduate in June 2016. My goal upon graduation is to teach graduate students at a university (anywhere really). Several of my professors have suggested that it would be helpful for me to teach 1 or 2 undergraduate courses prior to graduation to have some teaching experience to add to my CV. The problem is, it seems that to get a job teaching college students, I need to have experience already listed on my CV. Do you have any advice on how to structure my CV given my background and goals? Thank you for any and all advice!


  196. Dear Karen, your website is such a fantastic resource! I visit it all the time. Thank you SO much for posting so many helpful suggestions!!

    I have a question about which institutional affiliation I should use on my CV. Since we are living in a time with many people working as adjuncts at multiple locations, I suspect that other people might have a similar question to mine. Here’s the situation:

    I am currently an adjunct at two different places. The first place is a very large, private university with a good reputation (I assume!). I just graduated from this university, and I am adjuncting in a different program than the one from which I graduated last month. I’ve been an adjunct there for a few years.

    The second place is a teeny-tiny liberal arts college that has a great reputation for teaching, but does not have a graduate program. I’m adjuncting at two different departments there; I’ve been working there for one year and am on their schedule for this coming year.

    Which institutional affiliation/address should I use right at the top of my CV, where I list my contact information? Obviously, on my CV I am listing my appointments with both of the institutions, but I don’t know if one institution looks better than the other, when it comes to applying for TT jobs.

    My initial thought was that because I graduated from the large university, my primary affiliation should be with the tiny college instead, because it shows that I can land jobs at places other than the place from which I graduated. However, I suspect that the large university w/a better research reputation might actually be more impressive than the teeny-tiny college that mostly focuses on teaching.

    I would appreciate your advice! Thanks so much!

    • I’m having the same issue as an adjunct working part-time for multiple universities and colleges. It would be good to know what the answer to this is. There is another post on this above.

  197. In my field (Bioethics), it is quite common — and expected — that scholars write for both academic journals and more public media (newspapers, edited professional/scholarly blogs, etc.). And I have. My question is how to cite the URLs without it looking too messy. The URLs are sometimes long, for one thing, and can take up more than a line on the CV. Is it OK to just create a hyperlink with the title (which is what I do on my website), or use the entire URL? URL in 12 point?

  198. Hi Karen,

    I would like to use the Media section to include a list of the favorable reviews of my academic book. What do you think of this idea? Should I still call it “Media,” or is there a better heading? And should this section still go after Service, so far from the section on publications?

    Thanks so much.

  199. Hi Karen,
    Is managing/mentoring undergrads as research assistants something that belongs on a CV? Their efforts contribute to my own research project, but they also require a lot of training and mentoring. If it does go on the CV, what is the best section? Research Experience, where I describe my own research? Mentoring? A section just for this sort of thing?
    Thank you!

    • I have the same question. Did you ever get an answer?

      I’m applying to liberal arts colleges that have expressed interest in someone who can provide research opportunities for undergraduates so I feel like this is important information to include but I’m not sure where to put it.

  200. You website is so helpful–thank you. I work at a large private university and have an annual review every year for which I must submit an updated CV. I think it would be helpful to have some guidelines for this type of CV, since it seems a little different. For example, I believe I do need to include course numbers, because the evaluating committee will understand them. It also seems that I might need to emphasize campus committee work and community service a bit more than is mentioned in your posts. Any thoughts on CVs for performance reviews?

    • you should always follow the instructions for your internal review document to a “T”! These internal CVs always follow distinctive rules that depart from the rules described here.

  201. I’m wondering where you would include, if at all, MOOCS taken or mediated, digital workshops, etc? Are these worth including in a separate professional development category?

    • I am wondering the same thing. What about other kinds of professional development workshops? Will these simply look like padding for a new PhD entering the market?

  202. I’m in a performing-arts-education field and about to be ABD. I have almost two decades of public school teaching in the subject area (most postings list a minimum requirement of 5-7 years of K-12 experience in my field) but I don’t know where to list this on my CV. Is it professional experience? teaching experience?

    • I have a similar question. In university Education departments, this is common for faculty to list where in K12 they’ve taught on their CV, but I’m not certain if it should be added to the Teaching section in other fields or not. It does show breadth of teaching capabilities, but is it applicable to a TT job in say Social Sciences?

  203. Pingback: applying for ph.d. programs – my own tips and tricks | bona fide clyde

  204. Great information!
    Question: If my minor was in theology and it is not relevant to my prospective clinical program, then do I still have to put it? Also, how much will studying theology hurt my chances?

  205. Thank you for all of your resources!

    A quick question: My school (Humanities and Social Sciences)presents yearly awards to faculty for teaching, research, and service. I won the service award this past academic year. Where would I put this on my CV? It doesn’t seem quite right to put it under “Awards”…. Thanks.

  206. Hi, Karen. If we have taught both face-to-face and online sections of the same course, should we indicate this? If so, how?

    • yes; if you have a number of online courses, make that a whole subheading or category. If this is the only one, then just specify in paren next to the course title.

  207. Thanks for the great article! I’m working towards my PhD at the moment and am not sure what to put for the date accompanying my PhD entry – do I enter the anticipated date? If so, how best to convey that it is merely an estimate?

  208. Dear Dr. Karen,
    This question is directed more at our annual evaluation report, rather than the CV, because it would be superfluous on the CV. This year I have been fortunate enough to be invited to submit three book chapters and 1 referred journal article in international venues, but I have had to turn them all down because I am desperately late in completing my book that I’ll use for promotion to Full. I wonder if it is OK to list the invited publications but then put (declined) after them so they know that I did not take them on. The idea being that I am known internationally–the key factor in promotion to Full in my university. It seems extraneous but it does show my involvement in the field. Your thoughts? Thank you!

  209. For older graduate students about to receive a phd and go on the job market who had a career in something else before getting a phd, do we list on the CV under professional experiences those pre-phd experiences even if not related to the discipline of the phd?


  210. Question:

    Is “Manuscripts in Preparation” another way of saying “Works in Progress”? Or does this mean manuscripts that have been submitted and accepted but are in the editing process before being published? I am confused here.

  211. Hi, Thank you so much for this website, I’ve found it so incredibly helpful! I wanted to ask for your advice. I’m a postdoc and going on the job market (again!). This year, I served as a reader on a dissertation committee, since I was told it would be a good thing to have 3 years out of grad school. But now I’m not sure where best to put it on my CV. I would really appreciate your advice. Thank you!

  212. Hi Karen,

    My questions are regarding teaching experience. Your post says to list the years and terms taught to the right of the courses; however, there are some courses that I’ve taught many times while at my university (more than ten times)and others I’ve taught only once or twice. It feels that to list the terms and years would be cumbersome. But at the same time, I want to ensure some sort of symmetry in the way I represent my experience on the CV.

    Also, While I was an adjunct and a TA during my Masters, most of my teaching experience was in composition. However, during my Ph.D. and after, most of it is in literature. So while I believe I should include the comp classes for my MA and adjunct positions, in order to avoid too much repetition, should I just leave them out of my Ph.D. and current teaching experience?

    Thanks (both for your answers and for creating this site and doing the job you do–it would have been nice to have it as a grad student, and if/when I get a TT job, I will definitely be sharing what I’ve learned with my own grad students and sending them to this site as well!)

  213. Hi, thanks for all this great info. I am a first year AP and re-worked on my cv after reading your post and it is much better now.

    I have to say, however, that I looked at your cv dated June 2011, and I find it doesn’t really follows all of the advise listed in this post. For example you suggest to have the year of an award on the left but they are all on the right on your cv.

    Moreover I find your cv relatively visually unappealing. I don’t like how the education section is centered, and I think that underlining text belongs to the era of typewriters – you should use italics instead.

    • hahaha!!! you’re right!!! I didn’t update that thing in any substantial way since a couple of years prior to leaving academy; i lost interest. But that was me, about my own academic career—I remain keenly interested in all of you and YOUR careers!

  214. Hi Karen,

    thanks for this – a brief question of – I hope – general interest: would it be acceptable to include in the list of courses taught a list of upcoming courses? (maybe writing “scheduled to teach”?) If yes, should I put them on top of the list of courses or in a separate section of the CV? I am doing two new courses next spring that I would like the SC to be aware of. Thanks! Frank

      • Hi Karen,

        Thanks so much for this invaluable post! One quick question on a related topic – I am beginning a one year VAP this fall, but will also be back on the job market. Once the semester is underway, can I include the courses I’ll be teaching this fall under “courses taught” or should they remain under “courses prepared to teach” until the semester is completed? My only other experience is as a TA, so I’d like to include any independent teaching experience that I can. Thanks!

  215. Hi Karen.

    When, if ever, can I start removing some of the awards, service, and even conference papers I delivered during graduate school?

    Many thanks for this post, I’ve used it again and again.

  216. Dear Karen, what medication are you on exactly? Are you having some form of mid-life crisis? Please do academia a favor, delete this ridiculous site and seek some form of professional help.

  217. Thanks for these wonderful guidelines. I received a dissertation writing fellowship that was taken up in residence at another university while I was still a doctoral student at my own institution. Would I put this under Professional Appointments or Fellowships or both? Thank you!

    • Hi Dr. Karen, thanks for the wonderful advice. Your book as been extremely helpful as a first-timer on the job market. I have the same question that a previous commenter raised– I have a (paid) dissertation fellowship at a prestigious university and my offer letter specifies that my formal appointment will be as a “visiting scholar.” Should this go under academic appointments or fellowships? I don’t want to be misleading in any way by listing it under appointments, but I also don’t want to sell myself short by not highlighting the position and the university in the best way possible. Right now I’ve included it under academic appointments as

      Visiting Scholar, Department
      Fellowship Name”

      Thanks for any clarification you’re able to offer.

      • yes, I am in the same boat as Nneka,I have this question about my 2 Fulbright fellowships. They were research fellowships, but I was paid and it was my sole work during those years. Do they go under fellowships or research? I listed them under research and then again under fellowships and you told me to pick one…I don’t know which one is better. Leaving them in research fills in the the time gap.

  218. Hi, and thank you for your excellent work on the CV guidelines.

    Quick question: I am an undergraduate currently applying to grad school. I was asked to give a guest lecture in the Department of Philosophy (not my department). I don’t want to come off as though I am padding my CV. But I feel to be asked to talk to to students about Kant is something worthy to be put on my CV. What do you think?

    Thank you

  219. For manuscripts under review, I do see that you suggest listing the journal where it has been submitted. Is the same true for an edited volume that is reviewing a submitted article? Should all the bibliographic information be listed (editors, title, publisher)? Or perhaps only the title?

  220. When applying for a tenure track Assistant Professor position in the English departmen at a university, where on the CV,should I mention my work on publishers’ focus groups reviewing proposed digital teaching tools?

  221. Karen, I am helping someone revise his CV. He was recently invited 2x to lecture at a prestigious university. He did not actually present either lecture. Currently on the CV, you cannot tell if he presented it or not. (I assumed he had presented the lectures when I read the CV.) The title of the lecture and the specific dates are listed. These are his only two invited lectures. Also, does it make any difference whether he turned down the invitations initially, or whether he made a commitment and then had to withdraw?

  222. Hi – thanks so much for this helpful post! I think you may have mentioned this, but would you ever include dissertation committee members on a cv, under the the education section and listing of the dissertation title? Thanks for your help!

  223. Dear Karen,

    I am wondering how to best convey to a potential employer the value and prestige of one’s scholarships and awards. Describing them as prestigious is empty, and listing dollar amounts doesn’t strike me as professional either. I’ve been fortunate to have several of them, but I am not sure if American faculty are familiar with Canadian granting agencies, such as the SSHRC, and thus the question: how do I communicate the worth of such awards?

  224. Hi,

    What a helpful resource. One thing you didn’t cover in the post or in the comments as as I could see was how to describe posts when coming from overseas to the US.

    I work in the UK in a post that would be roughly equivalent to a tenured associate professor. I’m looking at similar level posts in the US and Canada but I’m not sure what committees will expect to see on my CV. The term Professor is typically reserved in the UK those at the very top of the tree. Most universities here still use a hierarchy that goes Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Professor. Should I give my actual title, followed by the US equivalent? Just translate to the US equivalent? Or give the actual title only and hope the search committee know how to translate? Our Lecturer level is very different from a US lecturer so this feels quite important.

    • Hi Jeff:
      Because I have been in a similar situation, I would be curious to know what rank/post in UK you are in in, that you say would be “equivalent to tenured associate? Just trying to get a friendly sense as to whether there is pretty much informal consensus on such translations

      Many thanks, btw, this is not a interrogatory question but more a “educating myself” question.

  225. I found your tips very helpful. However, to tweak my current CV it takes me forever to implement the changes. It will be much appreciated if you can provide an example CV in latex to begin with.


    • Building your own CV is a core requirement of the academic career. I don’t provide examples because everybody should be doing this for themselves.

  226. Very helpful and insightful post. I know that you emphasize that impactful publications will give you leverage on the job market. I was wondering if it would be better to include graduate student publications or to omit them entirely? (That is of course assuming you have more impactful publications to include). Say you have two peer-review publications that are in well known journals and two that are in journals aimed at graduate students. I was wondering if when sending out CVs for jobs it is better to omit these graduate level publications or not? If you should, then at what point should you omit them? I would guess that at some point when you are applying for a tenure track job those reviewing your CV aren’t going to be interested in a publication you had in an unknown graduate level journal six years ago, though I could be wrong. Apologies if this has been answered somewhere else.

  227. Hi Karen, in what section (employment or with other TA jobs?) would you put a year spent as a “Visiting Fellow”?
    After a Masters degree, I was hired by a US university to teach French for a year, and my title there was “visiting fellow”.
    I should add that this appointment is NOT related to what I do in research (Geography).

    Thank you for your website, it’s very useful as I’m applying for postdocs in the US (I’m from France). By the way, translating French academic positions into their US equivalent is kind of a nightmare!

  228. Hi Karen,

    Thanks for all the very helpful advice. I am polishing my CV for PhD applications (in the field of Education) and I wondered if you had specific advice for CVs at this early stage of my career. Would you still recommend the same hierarchy of content? For example, I don’t have any appointments, so should the first section list relevant professional experience such as work as a data analyst and research assistant? I have only one co-authored chapter under review, so should this be grouped with my refereed conference presentations? I do have a few honors and awards related to funding for my undergraduate and Masters programs, so should this come after Education? Any advice specific to a CV for applying to doctoral programs would be very much appreciated!

  229. Karen, should the CV note the dates of one’s rank and whether one is tenured (e.g.: Tenured, 2014; Associate Professor, 2013-Present; Assistant Professor, 2008-2013)? TIA.

  230. Very interesting and helpful. I’m in a somewhat unique position. Hoping to make a career transition from part-time (adjunct) academic to full time academic. However, as a “clinical professor” or “professor of practice” – typically non-tenure track. Non-academic work history (mine is extensive) matters. Where do you suggest I organize my non-academic work history?

  231. Hi Karen, thank you for your posts –you’re so awesome!
    I have several semesters of adjunct-ing in a community college prior to lecturing in an R1. Can I leave these community college teachings out from my teaching experience?

    • well… yes but i’m not sure you should. i don’t know your entire record, but usually it’s not wise to cut out anything when you’re a beginning job seeker.

  232. I had a discussion with a colleague about the inclusion of undergraduate publications on an academic CV (in physics), and his opinion was that my publications are now part of the body of scientific knowledge, and my CV should be a record of that.

    After all, if there were ever a problem with my early publications (on which I am the first and corresponding author), I would need to take responsibility for them. Omitting them from my CV could be seen as distancing myself from the work, which I would not want to do. What do you think about this angle?

    • Very few people have publications from undergrad. If you are one of the few who do, and they are legit publications in your current field, then you should certainly include. Other undergrad content, like scholarships, awards, and so on, are not included on a Ph.D. level CV.

  233. I just finished my PhD and will be on the job market relatively soon for a TT position. My research/grants/publishing background is quite strong, however I have absolutely no formal teaching experience (during grad school was always funded by grants). Under Teaching Experience I have guest lectures listed and mentoring done with undergrad and grad students via independent research study, because otherwise I would have nothing. However there seems for the most part to be consensus that guest lectures do not “count.” Until I can teach a course somewhere, how should I address this in my CV, short of removing the section entirely?

  234. I have a few questions that I don’t believe have been addressed in the post or the comments. I am ABD and only applying to dissertation fellowships at this time.
    1) What about graduate school awards won while a master’s student, but that was 13 years ago? Should I delete them and change the header to “selected awards and honors”?
    2) I am deleting papers presented during my master’s degree because they are old and changing the header to “selected papers presented.” Would you agree to this course of action?
    3) Museum installations? Where do these go? I have two and both were related to my master’s degree work.
    4) I was a TA for a class; however, a close friend of the professor died during the course (which was only a three-week winter course) so I taught the whole thing after that happened and did all of the grading. I am guessing I just suck it up and leave it in the TA section, right? It does feel a little pretentious to put that in “instructor of record” because I was not the instructor of record.
    5) OK, I know that you said no sports. However, I was a pro athlete and my PhD research is in that sport. Most of my access for research just couldn’t be attained without the connections from when I was a pro, especially my coach who everyone in the sport (it seems) owes favors to and who is my gatekeeper. Also, I have certifications in the science of that sport from the governing body in the US and I was on the board of directors for a state branch of the US governing body. Right now I have a section near the end of my CV, between “service to the profession” and “languages and skills,” titled “professional [sport] experience” where all of these things are located. Is this ok? It seems important but maybe I am deluding myself.

  235. I loved this! As a current Undergrad applying to Ph.D programs, looking at my resume before I looked at your advice made me look sloppy and I’m surprised I was awarded so many internships. Obviously, some of these subcategories don’t apply to me (Yet), but now I know that my CV will be looked at with distinction because it’s not sloppy. Again, Thank you so much!

  236. Thank you for your most useful CV guidelines! Regarding the heading grants/fellowships, would non-academic grants be included here? I’ve been awarded many substantial grants for community outreach programs that I managed as part of related (non-academic) work experience.

  237. I’m updating my CV and have questions about formatting the reference section. Two of my references retired this year and another is on sabbatical. The latter is also dept chair, so three questions:
    I’m assuming I should put “(Retired)” after job title of those who retired, correct?
    What about the person on sabbatical. Should I include “(On sabbatical)” after this person’s job title?
    Should dept chair’s job title be listed as “Professor of x”, “Chair”, “Department Chair”, “Professor of x and Department Chair” of what?
    Thank you.

    P.S. Still finding your CV rules useful, even though my CV has already gotten me a couple of jobs. I’m still catching minor inconsistencies and ways to make it clearer. Also, after being on a couple of search committees, I now understand that the CV is truly a genre unto itself and you’d better master it if you ever hope to get a job.

      • I also have a question regarding references… I’ve been asked for 3 references for a faculty fellow position that I’m applying for, but in my current institution (I’m ABD) I only have my supervisor and 2nd supervisor who really know me (our department is extremely segregated and unfriendly). Should I put my masters supervisor (although this was over 4 years ago) or a colleague (who is only post-doc position), or a lecturer in my field from a different university who I am fairly friendly with (I would obviously need to check with him first that he didn’t mind)?

        Apart from this position (which has specifically asked for 3 references), how many references should normally go on the cv?


  238. Dear Karen, thank you very much for your blog, it helps me to better understand the US “way of thinking” in academy hiring processes.
    As an European attempting to have a tenure in the US, I wrote many of my papers in other languages (Spanish, Italian). Should I translate the titles to English? Should I state in some way the original language in which they were published??

    • You should follow the convention in your field, but i my field of East Asian Languages, it was usually considered good to translate titles into English, on CVs. I don’t think you need to explain the original language. Most educated people will be able to figure that out by looking.

  239. Is it appropriate to include a Professional Development section? I’ve done a great deal of prof development at the community college where I adjunct. I know my cc and other local cc’s value it a great deal, but what about other colleges and universities. Should I include it and where should it appear? I am applying to cc’s as well (thank you for opening my eyes to the necessity of doing so); where would a professional development section go on a CV for a community college. Thanks.

  240. I have just finished my PhD and am currently a contracted adjunct at a community college. Should I list this as my current institutional affiliation? Second, should this go under professional appointments or under teaching experience?

  241. For conference presentations, under Panels Organized, do I list the name of the panel that I organized, or the name of the paper that I presented on that panel? Or both? Since I always present a paper on the panels that I organize, I was wasn’t sure… Thank you, Karen, for your website, it is invaluable! I wish your book had been available when I took my research methods class..

  242. Thank you for this great resource! One question: should there be spaces between publications? It looks a bit messy having no space, and a full line space takes up too much space, but I HATE using Word’s ‘Spacing after’ feature. The less formatting the better, right?

  243. I’m trying to keep my CV up to date as I move pubs through and I’m wondering how/when I should be classifying work in progress. I see that separate “In Prep” and “Submitted” sections are recommended. At what stage should I start calling something “in press”, and should I bother changing things in the “Submitted” category to state “in revision” or “revising” when I get it back from the J. and am revising it. Is it ever appropriate to put submission/revision dates in the CV itself?

    Thanks in advance.

  244. The departments and college I got my degrees from keep changing name. The ‘department’ I received my bachelors from is now in its 4th name change and has since been degraded from ‘college’ to ‘school’. Do I put on my CV the name of the department when I graduated or what it is now? (which is a little misleading)

    I also worked as faculty assoc. under the same department (which was a different names).. which can make it more confusing or possibly better?

    Any advice?


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    • Scientists put those pretty prominently in a “Patents” heading that usually comes just after the research sections (ie, Publications and Grants)

  246. If one is moderating a panel at a conference, where is the best place to list that, if any? Since there is a separate respondent, I’m assuming this is not quite “discussant” level–or?

    Thank you.

    • If you were assigned this duty by the conference organizers and have no other role in the panel, then it typically goes under Service. But it can be a separate subheading under Conferences as well. If you moderated because you organized, then no need to list the moderating separately; merely list the panel under the Conference subheading “Panels Organized.” It’s definitely distinct from discussant.

      • I have a similar question – I was awarded a student bursary to participate in a one-day workshop/roundtable at a prestigious university in the UK, based on a key-note lecture from a highly regarded scholar in my field (she gave 3 lectures each evening for 3 days; the workshop was on the 2nd day, during the daytime). The bursary covered all my expenses for the 3 days and participation in the workshop (which was open only to invited scholars). There were only 5 student bursaries awarded. Should I just put this as ‘Discussant’ or list it as something else?

  247. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I have agonized over my CV over the past 5 years, changing it fundamentally many times, receiving all kinds of advice from various fields and countries, searching the internet, having it completely changed by someone in business etc. You have finally answered all my questions and I feel confident at last.

  248. Hi and thank you so much for the blog post and all the detailed answers. I want to emphasize how helpful this is for Europeans that are coming/have come to the US!

    I have two questions: I’m a foreign Fulbright fellow currently enrolled in a PhD program here in the US, and in addition to that I received a tuition and fee waiver and a supplemental stipend from the University. Should I mention this somehow in my CV, or just the Fulbright?

    Also, as an undergrad I participated in two study abroad programs, one of them at a top 10 US university (arguably the no. 1 in my field), way more important than my European alma mater. What’s the protocol for mentioning this?

    Thank you!

  249. Dear Karen,
    I have a question regarding the “professional experience (or appointments)” section. What is your advice on listing non-academic, professional experiences such as consulting, R&D in industry, that sort of thing?
    Would you include them… ? Or should these things rather be separate from “academic” appointments?

  250. Hi Karen,

    I work full-time, adjunct two classes per semester part-time, and am trying to make the jump to a full-time academic job. I am only applying where I would be welcome, in that I don’t have a PhD yet. I am applying to Masters-only job listings exclusively. My CV, such as it is, includes my work history and is essentially an extension of my resume. The discipline is Hospitality Management, so the work history is arguably very important.

    I’ve taken several of your suggestions between posts and comments, and I like the direction that the document is going. Having said all that, is this pointless? Should I just adjunct and stay in the working world until I have the terminal degree? Thoughts much appreciated.


  251. Dear Karen,

    I have just had a look at your short CV and you have not followed your own advice! For example, your dates seem to be all on the right, and you even include start dates!

    Even your short CV is much fuller than mine, but following your presentation rules mine looks nicer 😀

    Best, Elaine

    • yes, my CV dates from before I formalized a lot of these rules! But i have no need to redo it, since I’m no longer active in traditional academic circles. So it’s a relic of another time and place.

  252. Pingback: Building a Better CV | Breaking Grad (School)

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  254. Hello Karen,

    I am updating my CV and have a question regarding conference presentations. I recently co-authored but did not co-present a conference Keynote Address. My name appears in the conference proceedings but I was not the speaker. What is an acceptable way to indicate this?

    Thank you,

  255. Thank you, Karen!
    I am in a very interdisciplinary field (Humanities), and have heard contradictory advice on two CV-related topics:

    1) ideal length (make it easy to overview, cut to 3 pages vs the longer the better)
    2) tailoring (delete publications and presentations that make you sound too all over the place, leave fewer but relevant for the particular job vs show how much you’ve done)

    What is your take on those?

    And a third one on awards: if I leave out everything from college, there won’t be enough left to want me to put it as high up as you suggest. Graduate fellowships etc, one significant award but not good enough for a first impression overall. What’s the best course to take, move it after publications and teaching?

  256. Hello Karen,

    I have a question dealing with the section “personal” on the CV. I was born in the USA but I grew up in Europe, where I completed my education. I came back to USA and I am working as lecturer of foreign languages. Should I specify my place of birth in the CV, and the fact that I am an American citizen (= I don’t need a working permit)? If so, where?

    Thank you!

  257. Hi Karen, I have a question about the Media Coverage section. Is there a specific format for listing interviews you have done about your work (Specifically print and radio interviews)? I’m not sure if it should follow the same formula as publications or if it is totally different. Thanks!

  258. Thank you for providing a detailed plan for to structure a CV.

    I am revising a CV for a distinguished professor of literature. How do I cite the following?:
    reprints (into hardcover and paperback)
    translations into other languages

  259. Hi Karen,

    I understand not including undergraduate scholarships and awards on a CV, but does this extend to induction into academic honor societies as well? Thanks!

  260. Thank you for this great post, and an excellent blog. I’m grateful to have found you just yesterday. Are the guidelines any different for the creative disciplines? Or do you have a recommendation for whose advice to seek for that (like you did for community college)?

  261. any thoughts on how to list acceptance into a summer institute? I think above you mention something about having a heading of “Other Professional Experience,” but i want to somehow mark that the application was competitive/selective (esp since the institute is fully funded).

  262. Thank you for this post! I have a question about the Nothing From Undergrad guideline. I went to a not-impressive undergraduate institution because they gave me a full, comprehensive scholarship. I like keeping this scholarship under Honors and Awards because if someone snooty about institutional prestige reads my CV, they might notice the award and understand why I went there.

    Do you think in this case that leaving an undergraduate award is justified? Or, now four years out of undergrad, should I drop this chip off my shoulder?

  263. I’m a PhD student and have a question about the honors/awards listing of my CV.

    My list currently contains 7 items:
    – 1 Faculty funding for my doctoral studies (very competitive)
    – 2 awards for “best presentations” in conferences
    – 1 travel grant
    – 3 scholarship for research over summer / during my undergrad (1 very competitive, 2 not that competitive)

    Should I list all of these things or does it look like padding with relatively minor stuff such as awards for presentations and the like?

    • I’ll be interested to hear what Karen has to say about this, but there are a couple of ways I’ve seen this done:

      1. Reverse chronological order for all of the entries, with a listing like:

      Graduate Research Assistant, John Doe, Professor of XXX, Dept of YYY, ZZZ University, Date range. OR Graduate Fellowship, Dept of YYY, ZZZ University, Date range.

      2. Divide the category between “Grants and Fellowships” and “Awards” and list the conference presentation awards in the latter.

      By the way, the “best presentation” award could be meaningful or not, depending on whether the conference was local, regional, or national/international. If they are national/international conferences, then I would list the Awards ahead of the grants and fellowships, but the opposite order, if these are just local/small regional conferences.

      Also, whether your combine or divide these awards into one category stems partly from what want your reader will see first in the list. If the most recent event is a “best” award for a local graduate student conference, then you probably don’t want that leading this category. If you divide the “Grants and Honors” category into the subcats of grants/fellowships and awards, then you can bury the local award a bit, and also signal that you know that how it’s meaningful — it shows that you did a very good job in a field where there was little competition. I hope that this helps, but again, others might have different input.

      • Ive seen awards for conference presentations added in (indented) in the conference section right under the listing of that presentation. i think that works effectively too.

  264. I straddle both the academic and creative performance aspects of my discipline. How can I best integrate my performance experience in my CV, considering some universities are looking for candidates who can fit in both sides?

  265. I have published a monograph, and it has been reviewed. On CVs, I often see people list journals where their books have been reviewed under the listing of the book. Is this appropriate? How should it be done?

    As a reader of CVs, I think it’s useful to see where a book has been reviewed (it helps to add some credibility to claims of interdisciplinarity, for instance). Also, it’s useful to see if a major outlet, such as TLS, or a major journal, field-wide journal has picked up the book for review, since it suggests something about how others view the reach of the book or edited collection. Still, these entries often look cluttered on a CV, and it’s easy enough to find out where a book has been reviewed, for instance through a search in academic search premier, so perhaps this reads like extraneous information.

    I would appreciate any thoughts on including a listing of where a book has been reviewed, and how to do it so that it doesn’t look cluttered.

  266. Pingback: On CVs (2): CV tips on the internet | French History Network Blog

  267. Hi,

    I’m wondering why we cannot explain the content or the delivery of the courses taught. Sometimes the title does not provide enough relevant information. For example maybe the course was project based or was part of curriculum revision or was a flipped class. All of these could relate to the job you are applying for. And there are a lot of examples out there with parafraph long course descriptions

    • It’s really just excessive info, as I said, and not part of an effective CV. There are abundant examples out there of every sort of awful and self-sabotaging CV practice so the fact that you see others do it doesn’t indicate it should be done.

  268. Hello Karen,

    Invaluable information for preparing an academic CV. However, I do have a quick question regarding starting dates of EDUCATION. I completed my masters in 2006, then I took two years teaching position. I started PhD program in 2008 and completed in 2013. If I don’t mentioned starting dates of my degrees, it is misleading that I took 7 years to complete my PhD instead of 5 years. I am thinking it is giving some kind off negative impression to the CV reader. Please let me know If I can do in any other way. I appreciate your time.

    Thanks, sri