Virtual Career Center

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Job Search: CV to Resume

Begin to view your academic career in terms of skills and experiences.





Academic positions and research positions in government and industry For every other position outside of academia or research science


Flexible No more than 1-2 pages


A full list of your academic and professional history and accomplishments. Also focus on where you have been. A summary of your experience and skills that is most pertinent to the position you are applying. Also, focus on where you are going.


Education, training, publications - a full list of essential honors and grants Skills and experiences related to the position you seek


Activities unrelated to academia Titles of courses taught, list of publications and/or presentations


 Include Do not include


Style does not matter that much; content is much more important Style and content are both important. Bad style is very costly.

Points to consider as you develop your resume:

  • Resumes need to be adapted to each specific job to which you are applying.
  • Writing a bad resume is easy. Writing a good resume is hard. Be aware that it will take time and many drafts. If you are targeting many different career paths simultaneously, be aware that it is important to have several different resumes that accent different skills and experiences as needed.
  • Keep the resume simple and concise which communicates professionalism and clarity.
  • Make it easy for the eye to scan- using capital letters, bold print, underlining, and spacing sparingly and for your strongest credentials.
  • Describe your accomplishments in a quantitative manner. State how many students were in a class that you had taught or graduate students mentored.
  • Use action verbs in an active past or present tense when describing experience. Instead of stating, "was responsible for operation, maintenance, student training of users for x-ray fluorescence spectrometer, 1992-1995," say "maintained and operated x-ray fluorescence spectrometer; trained and certified 44 students over 3 years."
  • Proofread several times and have others review as well.
  • Use white or cream inexpensive Bond Quality Paper (the watermarked paper that is slightly heavier in weight) if you can.
  • Present information in order of importance to highlight the skills and experience pertinent to the position in which you are applying.
  • In general avoid "Job Objective" statements. Summary or Highlights of Qualifications section is becoming more popular to clarify experience, credentials and skills.
  • Omit personal information such as age, marital status, race or ethnicity. Although, it may be wise to include a reference of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status if your nationality is ambiguous.
  • References or the phrase "References available upon request" are usually omitted. It is important to determine a list of your references- preferably a mix of academic and non-academic individuals. Be sure to contact your potential references for permission and to prepare them with the skills and traits needed in this type of work. For the job interview, it is important to have a prepared list of references with contact information, in case employers ask.
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Page Updated 08/07/2014