In my previous blog post I made mention of the fact that you stand a good chance of making progress in your school application when you submit an academic CV instead of a job/professional CV. I will take you through what you need to know in writing an academic CV.
Academic CVs are basically a summary of your experience which should highlight your research or teaching experiences, publications, certificates, fellowships or grants, awards, licenses, associations or other relevant information.Your CV must describe your achievements and competencies. This shows you are the best candidate for the program or research position.
You must make sure you know what you want to include in your CV, taking into consideration, the sections, structure and tone.
So what makes a good Academic CV?
- Contact information
For every CV, you should include details about how you can be contacted. This starts your CV. These include your name, phone number, email, house address and sometimes you can add your social media handles.
- Profile/Summary statement
In the next session, you state a brief summary of who you are and your motivation to be enrolled in the program or open position. You can either give highlights about your candidacy or write a short sentence.
The next step is to write about your educational background highlighting your undergraduate or graduate universities/institutions you have attended. This depends on your kind of application. Make sure that when you list the type of degree, you add the university, date, location and though not compulsory, the award you had for your degree. (First Class, Second Class upper etc) If you wrote a thesis or dissertation you should add that too, stating the topic, year and supervisor. List your education in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent.
- Employment experience
Please note that, in an academic CV, your employment experience should prioritize experiences related to academia. It can be teaching or research. It is advisable to divide this section into two parts. Thus, ‘Teaching experience’ and ‘Administrative experience’. Highlight the position you had or still have if current, the date and a brief summary of your responsibilities.
This section is not compulsory if it does not apply to you. If you have written some publications such as articles, books, blogs, journals, reviews etc, put down this information. Include the title, date of publication and possibly numbers.
- Fellowship or Grants
In the case where you are applying for a scholarship or assistantship position, list fellowships you have attended. State the organisation, type of fellowship and date. If you have also received a grant for studies or research before, include that. Sometimes you can add the amount of money which was awarded for the grant.
- Professional associations/affiliations
Another section you might want to add is your professional associations if you belong to one or more. List the professional organisation and possibly a possession you hold on the board.
This section is not compulsory. You can choose to list your skills or add your interests or hobbies. It does not guarantee you getting that admission or scholarship. It only helps your recruiters to know you better as your CV tells a story about you. Include skills or interests that are relevant. Some people also add a foreign language which can be a plus.
It is important to add your references in your CV. Some institutions ask for a number of referees. Ensure the people you list can talk very well about you to boost your candidacy of getting the admission or scholarship.
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