Create your CV

Feedback icon
Expert Feedback

Get an expert's suggestions on how to make your CV perfect. Price: $20 [Learn more].


Gather Information

Contact information

Your full name, e-mail address, telephone number, address. (Optional, if you have them: academic website, academic or professional social media accounts.)


List all of your degrees, including undergraduate degrees. Include any certificate or specializations. If you are still in school, include your current institution, the degree you are working towards, and your estimated graduation date. For each institution, list the name of your dissertation or thesis. Include a link if there is an online version.

Professional employment

List any jobs that you have had that relate to your academic career, including location and date. Some jobs that might be relevant include teaching positions, internships, research work, and (in some cases) academic office experience. Retail work or other jobs outside of the professional/academic sector are not relevant and should not be listed.

Research experience

This section will usually be divided by the products of the research: published articles/books/chapters, conference presentations, and grants.


Give a full citation for each paper, chapter, or book. Include an active link to the publication if possible.

Conference presentations and posters

Give a full citation for each presentation, including the conference name, date, and location. Include a link to any slides or proceedings.


Give the full title of the grant, the funder name, the amount of the grant, and the date of the grant.

Note: Some academics (especially in the sciences) prefer to list specific research projects that they have worked on that have a title. This title is often derived from an IRB protocol or a grant name and results in many different research products. If this situation applies to you, your Research Experience section might look like this template:

Project title (year-year): Brief description of the aims and scope of the project.
Associated Grant Name (Funder name): $Amount of grant
With [supervisor, PI, and collaborators]
[full citation of a journal article]
[full citation of a conference presentation]
[citation for a data set]

Teaching experience

Collect class information by your role: instructor, teaching assistant, grader, etc. Include the full class name and department, the term it was taught (use the format “Fall 2014” instead of a university-specific term number or acronym).

Honors and awards

If you received any awards or other honors, list them here with the name of the award, the year of the award, and (if applicable) the work, class, or activity that the award was given for. You can also include fellowships and scholarships in this section.

Professional service

This is the section that you will use to show that you are a good member of the community at your workplace. Include any committees that you served on, professional organizations that you are a member of, relevant volunteer work that you have undertaken, and other important activities that relate to your academic and professional life.

Other Information

At the end of your CV, you can include any additional information that may be relevant for a position that you are applying for. Additional sections are specific to the individual, but some ideas may include: Languages spoken, special training received, references (if the job application calls for them), invited talks (if you are a public speaker and have been invited specifically to speak at a conference, training session, etc.), popular publications, journalism or media.

Organize and Format

In this step, you will work on organizing your CV into an outline with formatted headings. Use a font that is easy to read and acceptable for a professional setting. Times New Roman, Cambria, Georgia, or Arial are good choices.

Use headings to your advantage! Divide your CV into the categories listed above and make the headings stand out. Use your word processor’s style feature to add headings that clearly tell readers what each section is for. Be consistent with your headings – do not change the styles as you go through the document.

You should include details on your CV in reverse-chronological order, starting with the most recent activities. For example, if you have published three articles in 2010, 2012, and 2014, you should list them in this order:

The same goes for your education. List your Ph.D. first, then your Masters, then your Bachelors degrees.

Include links to items where possible. This includes journal articles published online, your online thesis or dissertation, conference presentations posted to SlideShare or another outlet, recordings of talks that you’ve given, and portfolio sites. Embed the link in your text to make it look cleaner; do not simply copy and paste the link so you have a long, messy-looking URL on your CV.

Think about your audience. Who is most likely to read your CV – is this for potential employers or for colleagues? What would these groups want to know most about you? The sections are listed in a standard order above, but if you want to highlight your teaching experience then you should put that above the research products. If you have very little employment related to your academic career, then put that section further down the list.


Once you have your CV outlined, focus now on the writing aspect. There is not a lot of prose on a CV, so when it appears, you need to make it count.

Be specific

When possible, include specific outcomes and numbers/statistics in your descriptions. This might include the total amount of money from a grant or the number of students supervised on a research project.

Include specific names of grants, fellowships, awards, and scholarships.

Bad example: Received an award for best paper at a conference in 2010
Better example: Best Student Paper Award, Student Affairs Writing Center Conference, 2010
Best example: Recipient of Best Student Paper Award for “Writing Strategies for the Curriculum Vitae” at the Student Affairs Writing Center Conference, 2010

Bad example: Scholarship for 2011-2012.
Better example: Received a scholarship in the amount of $14,000 for 2011-2012.
Best example: Recipient of the Academic Achievement in the Humanities scholarship, 2011-2012, $14,000

Writing strategies

There are two common writing strategies that can help your CV be coherent overall. These two strategies are gapping and parallelism. Gapping refers to using incomplete sentences in order to be concise, for example:

"Composition Instructor (2010-2014). Planned course activities. Graded all assignments. Held regular conferences with students."

Parallelism is keeping the structure of your phrases and sentences consistent. If you use the gapping technique, make sure you start your phrases with the same kind of word. In the example above, all of the descriptive phrases start with a verb (planned, graded, held).

An example of not following parallelism is below:

“Composition Instructor (2010-2014). Course activity planner. Graded assignments. Regularly held conferences with students.”

As you can see, the phrases all start with different kinds of words: course is a noun, graded is a verb, and regularly is an adverb.

(Reference: Purdue OWL: Writing the Curriculum Vitae )

Get Feedback

Submit your CV here for review by a professional academic writer for writing style, consistency, and organization. You will receive actionable feedback on how to improve your CV and what to focus on.
Price: $20


Questions? Email us at:

Read about the Stanford HCI guarantee.