A presentation of credentials for a research/teaching position in a university, a research institute, or a company with R&D requirements. The CV summarizes your career aspirations, educational background, research and employment experience, academic accomplishments, achievements, and interests.
A CV is not a résumé. A résumé (two pages maximum) is prepared for employers outside the academic and research environment. To prepare a CV for graduate school or a professional program, please read the CV/résumé overview in the Further Ed section.
Internationally, employers may refer to CVs and résumé interchangeably, which may cause some confusion. However, academic employers are always asking for a CV, not a résumé.
You are strongly encouraged to tailor your CV for each job. Place sections in the order of importance to correspond to the academic posting. For instance, research-focused positions will order research experience, publications, projects, and presentations before teaching. But a teaching-focused position will order teaching experience first.
We strongly recommend that you include bullet points for your experience sections: research, teaching, industry, service, and additional experience.
Each bullet point should strongly communicate your qualifications and accomplishments that are relevant to the position. Bullet points are a persuasive tool that gives a more detailed picture of what you did in those roles, allows you to expand upon the accomplishments of your experiences, and conveys personality.
Your supervisor may not have bullet points in their CV because they have a tenured job and only need to list their academic achievements.
You can find out how to write effective bullet points in Writing Effective Bullet Points for a Résumé. While the advice pertains to résumés, the advice can be applied to CVs as well.
The advice in this section applies to academic jobs in general, but there may be unique particularities in how your disciplinary field organizes and structures a CV. Check with your supervisor or mentors to see if you have prioritized the most relevant information for your field.
The header includes your name, address, email, phone number, personal website (if applicable), LinkedIn Profile (optional), and any other relevant links (like GitHub). Your name should be the largest font in the document. Ensure that all links have URLs (do not assume that they will be reading digitally and click on the links).
In point form, list your research and/or teaching interests and areas of expertise from general/broad spectrum to more specific areas.
For positions that involve research and teaching, include both categories. If the position is only teaching or only research you may only include the one category. However, including one category is up to your discretion because research interests can inform your teaching or your ability to teach certain topics, and a research-focused role may involve teaching later on or require some form of supervision.
This section provides a concise overview of your qualifications for the position, showing the employer how you will offer a competitive advantage in a convenient, direct format. Include four to six points outlining your relevant strengths and the work you have done beginning with the most relevant to the job. All points in your Summary of Qualifications should be targeted to your potential employer, elaborated on throughout your CV, and be accurate.
Include your degrees, from current/most recent to least recent. Under each degree, you can include additional info such as:
This additional info can add further context to your degrees that can also support you in tailoring your application.
Include only academic appointments in this section. These can include postdoctoral positions and professorships. If you have relevant industry experience, we recommend placing that experience in its own separate category.
In reverse chronological order, list your research positions that you have held, the research project, and (optional) a bulleted list that highlight your major accomplishments/skills in that position (see Writing Effective Bullet Points for a Résumé). These positions include but are not limited to: Doctoral Research, MA Research, Research Assistantships, Visiting Scholar, and Research Member.
In correct bibliographic format, create separate sections with headings denoting the kinds of publications you have and the ones currently under review. The order of subheadings:
List conferences, creating subheadings for Conference Presentations and Poster Presentations (if applicable). You may also include a subheading for panels that you have organized, but you are encouraged to create a separate heading for Panels Organized once you have more than one panel organized.
Include the most recent teaching experience, including the name of the course and when you taught it. Do not include the course code. If you want to emphasize that you have taught an upper year or graduate course, indicate in brackets beside the course or indicate in the bullet points. If your teaching experience is online, indicate that in brackets beside the name of the course.
Separate teaching experiences into categories according to roles: Instructor, Teaching Assistant, Lab Assistant, Guest Lecturer.
You can remove Teaching Assistant experience as you gain Instructor experience. But for junior scholars, it is strongly recommended that you keep Teaching Assistant positions because they show more evidence of your teaching.
It is also recommended for junior scholars to add bullet points to your courses that detail the tasks and accomplishments you achieved in those experiences.
In this section, you can include projects that are relevant to the position(s) you are applying for. These can include:
List your awards and scholarships. If you have a lot of awards or would like to highlight major awards like (like SSHRC/NSERC), you can create two subheadings: 1) Major Awards; 2) Other Awards.
Include any service positions that you have held. These include but are not limited to:
Ask your supervisor or mentor how to organize your service, and look at other CVs within your field to see how service is organized.
Include current memberships and significant appointments with dates.
The Professional development section should detail the kinds of workshops, certificates, and relevant professionalization courses you have taken. Make a list detailing:
List of technical skills that you have, grouped into categories such as:
How you group your technical skills is completely up to you and what you believe would be best understood by the hiring committee
Listing your activities and interests can create a human connection between you and the committee. It also may be an indication of how well you will adapt to the culture of the department.
Some positions will request you to list your references. But for the positions that do not require you to do so, leave out your references. This is especially important for more public CVs that you use on your website.
You may include other categories such as Industry Experience or Additional Experience to note any experiences outside of academia that you feel is relevant to the position you are applying for. These can include industry-related work but also volunteer roles you have done.
Depending on your field, you may also need to include specific sections that are relevant to your field such as Computer Proficiency or Scientific Instrumentation. Check with your supervisor, department chair, or mentor to determine which sections to include.