Everything you need to know about the academic CV.

There's the traditional resume, the European curriculum vitae (CV for short), the federal resume, and the academic CV, which is also commonly referred to as the academic resume. Confused yet?

Not to worry! We recently sat down with TC Paulson, one of TopResume's senior resume writers, to learn about the differences between these all-important job-search tools. TC also walked us through the various elements and requirements of an academic resume and explained how TopResume can help you write a successful academic CV to land the interview.

TopResume: Let's start with the basics. What are the main differences between a resume and a CV?

TC Paulson: Resumes and CVs are more alike than you may think. Both documents contain sections to document your skills, professional work history, education, and certifications. A professional summary instead of an objective statement is usually featured at the beginning to summarize your value proposition to an employer. While there are some differences between these job-application tools — for instance, CVs sometimes have a longer page length and may include details you wouldn't find on a resume — both are crafted to feature your qualifications and experience as they relate to a specific career or job goal.

In the U.S., South America, Australia, and most of Canada, this important personal-branding tool is called a resume. In Europe, Africa, Asia, New Zealand, and some parts of Canada, it is referred to as a curriculum vitae (CV) or European CV.

Regardless of what you call it, both job-application documents should have a clean, easy-to-read layout and be written with a clear job target in mind.

TR: What is an academic CV? How do I know if I need one?

TP: If you are seeking a position in the medical, dental, academic, scientific, or research field anywhere in the world, chances are you need an academic curriculum vitae (CV). An academic CV — also commonly referred to as an academic resume — takes on a slightly different format from the traditional professional resume and CV expected by employers in the U.S., Europe, and other parts of the world.

An academic resume is a credential-driven document that focuses on showcasing your contributions to a particular field of study or practice. As a result, if you decide to work with TopResume, your professional writer will place particular emphasis on your relevant education, licenses and certifications, training, publications, research accomplishments, and presentations throughout your academic CV. Unlike a resume or a curriculum vitae, an academic CV typically does not include a skills summary or qualifications profile since these types of career highlights will be presumed.

As you might imagine, academic resumes are comprehensive documents that do not abide by your typical CV- or resume-page-length rules. For example, if you are a researcher with 20+ years of experience, your academic resume could be up to 15 pages long. A large portion of your academic CV may be dedicated to listing examples of the publications you've written, the presentations you've given, and the patents you've been granted for your inventions.

TR: What items should be included in an academic resume?

TP: An academic CV should include some of the core items you'd find on a standard resume or curriculum vitae: professional work history, education, certifications, licenses, training, languages in which you're fluent or competent, and relevant technical skills you possess. However, there are many pieces of information an employer expects to find in an academic resume that are not included in a standard resume or CV. These critical elements include, but are not limited to: a list of dissertations to accompany your education section; residencies or fellowships you've completed; and research accomplishments, such as presentations you've given or publications you've written or been featured in. You should also highlight patents, grants, and industry-related awards you've received as well as any editorial boards, community service projects, and relevant professional associations of which you've been a member or officer. Finally, your academic CV should detail specific research skills you've honed throughout your career.

TR: What if I don't have information for all of those components for an academic CV?

TP: If you are in academia but you don't perform scientific laboratory research — for example, if you are a history professor — you should still use an academic CV as your primary career tool. By strategically balancing your academic contributions and activities with your subject-area and pedagogical expertise, you can ensure that college and university hiring committees will recognize your full value as an instructor.

If you are in science and research but don't teach at a university, your ability as a hands-on investigative contributor to publications, industry developments, case studies, clinical trials, or other credentials should be highlighted. Conveying your contributions to patents, presentations, and grants will display your worth to organizations that compete for funds in research and development.

In all areas of medicine — be it dermatology, emergency medicine, or surgery — an academic resume should be used to feature your expertise and ability to support best-practice patient care and clinical excellence. Focus on showcasing your clinical experience alongside any scholarly contributions, as well as residencies, medical-specialty expertise, and professional presentations at medical conferences.

If you're unsure how to arrange the information you have to work with to demonstrate your value to a potential employer, let TopResume write your academic CV for you.

TR: Is it really necessary to hire a professional service to write my academic resume?

TP: You can choose to write your academic CV on your own, but a professional writing service can ensure that your document is properly formatted, contains all the essential components, and tells your career story in the best way possible. With TopResume, you will be paired with a professional writer who is familiar with the elements of a successful academic CV for your field. Our proprietary treatments, rigorous industry research, and technical testing of documents will help give you the confidence of knowing you have our collective expertise backing your application. Your academic CV is a vital part of your job search and can be the difference between finding your dream job and continuing on the hunt. Why not leave it to an expert?

TR: Is there anything else I should know before deciding to use a professional writing service?

TC: When your academic CV is being initially reviewed by a recruiter or hiring manager, your hard skills, quantifiable data, and general soft skills will be taken into account. If you want your writer to present you in a way that is not only accurate but also rich, you must be willing to participate in the process.

My best advice: Take the time upfront to provide your academic-CV writer with the necessary material to develop an interview-winning document. If you can provide your TopResume writer with comprehensive information, quantifiable data, and specific achievements, then it will enable them to craft the best possible academic resume that will help you land the job of your dreams.

Don't leave your job search up to chance. Hire TopResume to write your academic CV today!

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