Writing an academic CV

There are numerous sources in the form of the internet, books, agencies and personal acquaintances that will point you in the direction of the ’perfect CV’. However, there is no such thing as every academic will have different strengths in the form of employment experiences, research, education, , skills, personality, qualities, values, teaching, publications, interests and delivering talks at  a number of conferences, meetings and seminars.

Therefore the CV needs to be individualistic, targeted and subject to flexibility depending on the jobs sought. There is a good range of CV examples on the Vitae website

At the University of Wolverhampton, we have developed two CVs based around the examples on the Vitae site and themes of competencies and academia. They are not meant to be the definitive articles but merely a starting point for new researchers, post doctorates and lecturers who are in the initial stages of their academic career paths.

The only recommendation is that you evolve the CVs to match the job criteria and perhaps change and prioritise the order of headings that the vacancy merits.

It is important to maximise the array of sources and contacts that are available to you in your job hunting practice. This can range from a speculative CV and Covering letter, using your academic network to registering with one of the most commonly used job site such as jobs.ac.uk

There is a very good chance at this point that you have already chosen your employment sector; if that is the case you should consider joining the professional bodies representing that area. Visiting their web pages and attending their seminars, meetings and information days will give you labour market intelligence at the earliest opportunity.

The starting point of your job search could be a consultation appointment with our careers service and then keeping a keen eye on The University of Wolverhampton’s job portal

Here onwards spread out your search further to the local universities’ sites such as Aston University, University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, University College Birmingham, Coventry University, Keele University, Newman University, Staffordshire University, University of Warwick and The University of Worcester. There are also large and reputable local colleges of higher education that may be worth considering as a starting point in academia.

If your only interest in academia is research then you can target the research laden Russell group of universities

For all other universities, there is an excellent map locating all institutions of higher education within the UK on the following site:

UK interactive map of universities and HE institutions 

The most widely used job sites for academics in the UK include:

  • Jobs.ac.uk  - International job board for careers in academic, research, science and related professions.
  • Guardian Jobs -  Search for the latest graduate jobs to view and apply for with Guardian Jobs, sign up for latest job alerts.
  • Times Higher Education Jobs - Search education jobs by job type or academic discipline.
  • The Economist Jobs Board - Jobs from the economist website covering academia and research positions.
  • Prospects - Graduate jobs, graduate schemes, internships and work experience opportunities from graduate employers.
  • FindAPostDoc - Database of Postdoctoral Job Opportunities.
  • Nature Jobs - Dedicated science jobs board advertising international science jobs.
  • Science Careers - Jobs board from The American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Academic Positions - European career network for Academics, Researchers and Scientists.
  • Research Gate- Jobs from the Research Gate career network.
  • New Scientist - Science & technology jobs, courses and careers advice from New Scientist.

International job search

You may want to go international and consider universities abroad; the following sites are a good starting point in joining the international academic network:

Research Councils