Academia is an intensively competitive field. To get an interview you must have a deep, well-polished curriculum vitae that showcases your education, experience, and publications. For every opening in academia you will be competing against a large number of well-qualified individuals. It is up to you to craft a CV that illustrates your unique qualifications for the job.
Your academic education should be the first thing listed on your resume. Include both undergraduate and graduate work, plus your grade point average and any honors you received while attending. This section allows whoever is looking at your resume to determine your academic pedigree. Did you get your degree from an Ivy League school or an unheard-of state school? There is little you can do to change the school you attended, but you can use your grades and honors to show you mastered the material.
Your experience is the next section on an academic CV. List the experiences you had while you were getting your education as well as afterward. This section shows you were able to utilize your education in the real world. Additionally, it can also be used to emphasize your unique perspective. For example, if there are two candidates, one who volunteered with Legal Aid, a non-profit that provides legal counseling to those who can't afford a lawyer, and a candidate who volunteered at a rape crisis center during the school year and then spent her summers clerking for the United Nations tribunal in Tanzania, the latter candidate will more than likely have a more diverse viewpoint. The good news about the experience section is that it is never too late to add unique experiences that can make your academic CV stand out from the crowd.
The last section of an academic CV contains the candidate's list of publications and presentations. The famous cliché in academia is to publish or perish, so it is important that you show a prospective employer that you already have a solid list of published books or articles and that you are well-known in your field. The area is much like the experience section in that it is always possible to improve and increase your publishing credits. It takes hard work and a lot of hours to guide an article through the publishing process, but the longer your list of quality publications, the stronger your academic CV will appear.
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