How to Write a Resume for Higher Education


The most common form of resume used in higher education is a curriculum vitae (course of life), also called a CV, or simply vita (life). CVs were once used primarily for academic teaching posts, but higher education positions now require the detail and breadth of a CV as opposed to the brevity of a traditional resume. Even the most basic academic resume can be three to five pages long.

Things You'll Need

  • High-quality resume paper
  • Word-processing software
  • Printer


  • Use high-quality bond paper, preferably in a neutral tone such as white, off-white or beige. A bold color can be distracting and look unprofessional.

  • Choose a standard-size professional font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in 12-point size.

  • Leave one-inch margins on all sides.


  • Begin with a general heading that gives your name and all contact information.

  • Since education is perhaps the most important credential for a job in higher education, begin with an "Education" section. Under this heading, include all degrees you've earned, institutions you've attended and the dates of attendance, your grade point averages and any honors you've received.

  • Highlight your professional experience. If you are applying for an academic teaching/research post, then begin your next section with "Teaching Experience" or "Research." If your application is for an administrative position at a college or university, then proceed to a general section, "Professional Experience," and include any relevant positions you have held. Include the title of the position, dates of employment, name of your supervisor and a description of duties. Start with your most recent position and work backward.

  • If you are applying for a research post, you may include a section on grants awarded and publications. Administrative applicants might include a section on special certifications, software proficiencies or other related experience.

  • End your curriculum vitae with a list of three to five references with titles and full contact information.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some higher education postings, usually for teaching and research, specifically ask for CVs, while others ask for resumes. Unless the posting specifies a "one-page resume," colleges and universities accept (and expect) the longer CV for nearly all positions.
  • Unlike a traditional resume, a CV will run several pages long, so include detail in your sections.

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