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Professor CV: Example, Template & Writing Guide [20+ Tips]

Professor CV: Example, Template & Writing Guide [20+ Tips]

Writing a professor CV feels like you’re writing out the bibliography for your dissertation? Relax, we’ll sit you through it and help you get the best professor jobs.

Getting a job in academia is rough—

 

Only 3 percent of Ph.D. holders become professors. Once there, seeking research funding feels like taking part in Shark Tank.

 

Most academics brush over their CV to add recent publications. But not you—

 

Whether you’re applying to be an adjunct professor, seeking research funding, or want to land the coveted tenure track position, your professor CV needs a drastic makeover.

 

This guide will show you:

  • A professor CV example better than 9 out of 10 other CVs.
  • How to write a curriculum vitae for professor positions step by step.
  • A complete professor CV template you can use to make your CV.
  • How to structure your professor CV to show off your most relevant achievements.

 

Want to save time and have your academic CV ready in a flash? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

example of four page academic cv with sidebar

Academic CV sample made with our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Transitioning out of academia to an industry of your choosing? Switch over to: Professor Resume

 

Need academic resume examples or other resume advice? Check out our other guides:

 

Professor CV Example

 

Mary Butler

mary.buttler@gmail.com

773-643-4759

 

Personal Profile

 

Lecturer and researcher with 10+ years of experience teaching courses in both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Supervised 25 BA theses, 10 MA theses, and 3 Ph.D. dissertations. Edited and co-authored 2 monographs on contemporary trends in political thought. Published over 10 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

 

Education

 

2010 Ph.D. in Political Science

The Department of Political Science

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Graduated summa cum laude

Thesis title: “The Disruption of Multiculturalism in Populist Times: A Statistical Analysis”

Thesis supervisor: Professor Robert Isaac

 

2005 M.A. in Political Science

The Department of Political Science

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Graduated summa cum laude

Thesis title: “Restricting Voting Rights: Disenfranchisement as a Political Instrument”

Thesis supervisor: Professor Johnathan Carter

2002 B.A. in Political Science

The Department of Political Science

Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

 

Professional Appointments

 

Assistant Professor of Political Science

University of Iowa, 20142019

Taught a total of 20 undergraduate and 7 postgraduate courses, mainly focused on research methods in political science, as well as comparative politics. Supervised 10 MA theses. Head of the political economy research group.

 

Visiting Professor at the Department of Social Science

Humboldt University, 20122014

Taught a total of 5 undergraduate and 5 postgraduate courses, mainly focused on quantitative analysis in social science, as well as comparative political research. Supervised 5 MA theses.

 

Publications

 

“The Tipping Point of Governmentality: Economic Development”, (Johns Hopkins University Press), forthcoming 2019.

 

“The End of Statistical Analysis in the Populist Movement? Three New Approaches,” Journal of Political Science, vol. 37, no. 3 (May 2018): 400–422. 

 

“Collective Action and Dispersed Insecurity,” American Political Science Review, vol. 3, no. 5 (December 2017): 255–287.

 

“Cognitive Bias, Spatial Models, and the Problem of Minority Rule”, British

Journal of Political Science, vol. 1, no. 34 (April 2016): 170–205.

 

“Democratic Deliberations and How Populist Leaders Rule: A Quantitative Analysis,” World Politics, vol. 58, no. 4 (January 2015): 55–89.

 

"Dependent Development: A Quantitative Variant," International Studies Quarterly, vol. 27, no. 3 (September 2014): 271–293.

 

“Political Mobilization in the Global South: Economic Adversity in Perilous Times,” Electoral Studies, vol. 1, no. 20 (January 2013): 371–98.

 

Awards and Honors

 

Fellow, Society for Political Methodology, 2019.

 

Sage Paper Award for the best paper in the field of comparative politics, 2018.

 

Robert Dahl Fellow, American Academy of Political and Social Science, 2018.

 

University of Iowa Political Science Faculty Advising Award, 2015.

 

Awarded KW Deutsch Visiting Professorship, WZB Berlin, 2012-2014

 

Visiting Research Fellow, WZB Center for Dynamics of Social Inequalities, 2013.

 

Grants and Fellowships

 

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant: “Political Incentives for Voting Law Reform” ($330,000), 2015-2019.

 

National Science Foundation Grant: “Public Expenditures and the Use of Voter Registration Lists” ($110,000), 2014-2015.

 

The Russell Sage Foundation Grant: “Research on Trust and Ethnicity in American Politics”, 2013.

 

National Science Foundation Grant: “Political Communication and Accountability in the Deep South”, 2011.

 

Conferences

 

“Political Incentives: Theorizing Sympathetic Economies and Nationalism,” Political Science Association Sixth Biennial Conference, New York, New York, January 2019. 

 

“Why Does the Left Not Believe in Postmodern Societies?”, Fourteenth National Conference on Political Economy, Society for Economic Developments, Baltimore, Maryland, September 2018. 

 

“In the Name of Public Expenditures”, 2018 Buell Colloquium, Columbia University, New York, July 2018. 

 

“Why Voter Registration Matters,” Urban Movements Association Fifth Biennial Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, January 2018. 

 

“Two Models of Analysis for Populist Sentiment”, The American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois. October 2017. 

 

“Cognitive Bias and Dissident Populism”, Brookings Institute, Washington, D.C. September 2017.

 

“So Much for Globalization”, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. August 2017.

 

“Why the Canadian Model Differs and What We Can Learn From It”, International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canda, October 2016.

 

“Between Models and Facts: A New Take on the Far Right”, London School of Economics, London, England, January 2015.

 

“Building a Quantitative Bridge to Nowhere”, The International Peace Institute, Oslo, Norway, February 2013.

 

“Why Political Communication Dies in Development”, WZB Center for Political Development, Berlin, Germany, January 2013.

 

“Another Day, Another Quantitative Method”, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany, October 2012.

 

Teaching Experience

 

Undergraduate level courses covering statistical analysis: Introduction to Statistics, Experimental Methods

 

Graduate level courses covering statistical analysis: Advanced Quantitative Methods, Introduction to Formal Models of Politics

 

Graduate and undergraduate courses on American politics: Financing American Elections, Political Participation, Quantifying Populism: Sentiments and Attitudes

 

Research Experience

 

Full-time Researcher, University of Iowa, 2015–2019

Managed and organized a research project on political incentives for voting law reform

 

Associate Researcher, WZB, 2012–2013

Co-managed a project with Felix Hoffenheim comparing models of economic development between the United States and Germany

 

Research Assistant, University of Chicago, 2007–2010

Helped launch a project on populist attitudes throughout Central and Eastern Europe

 

Additional Activities

 

Editorial Board, Journal of the American Political Science Association, 2017–present.

 

Social Science Research Council - Comparative Methods in Populist Attitudes, 2016–present.

 

IREX Selection Committee for Exchanges with Germany, 2014–2016.

 

Founding Member, Contemporary American Political Economy Research Seminar, Humboldt University, 2013.

 

Affiliated Researcher, IPA, 2012.

 

Languages and Skills

 

English — native

German — bilingual

Spanish — fully proficient

 

Statistical software: SPSS, Deducer, R, Stata

 

References

 

Robert Isaac

Professor 

Department of Political Science 

University of Chicago

(312) 863-9054 

risaac@uoc.edu

 

Johnathan Carter

Professor 

Department of Political Science 

University of Kansas

(312) 222-3876 

jcarter@uoc.edu

 

Erica F. Acker

Associate Professor 

Department of Political Science 

University of California-Irvine

(949) 846-6082 

erica.acker@ucla.edu

 

Brian S. Yuen

Associate Professor 

Department of Economics

University of Kansas

(785) 444-0506

bsyuen@ku.edu

 

Now you’ll see a step-by-step breakdown of how to write a professor CV like the sample above:

 

1. Choose the Best Professor CV Template

 

Let’s start from scratch:

 

Your professor CV is not a resume. The purpose of a professor CV is to blow away selection committees by detailing your academic career and achievements. 

 

Resumes are reserved for jobs outside academia.

 

So—what do you include in your professor CV?

 

A good professor CV template should include the following sections, from top to bottom:

 

  1. Contact Information
  2. Research Objective or Personal Profile
  3. Education
  4. Professional Appointments
  5. Publications
  6. Awards and Honors
  7. Grants and Fellowships
  8. Conferences
  9. Teaching Experience
  10. Research Experience
  11. Additional Activities
  12. Languages and Skills
  13. References

 

Now—when you sat down to find the best professor CV template, you saw hundreds of different professor CV examples with sections in a different order. Why use this one?

 

It ranks the sections based on competitiveness and prestige, and shows how good of a candidate you are off the bat.

 

But—

 

Let’s say the adjunct professor CV you currently have doesn’t list awards or grants because you don’t have them. What do you do?

 

Skip the sections where it is not applicable. But do follow this order as best you can. There are cases where sections will change. 

 

If you are writing a curriculum vitae for a college professor position with ample lecturing duties, do put your teaching experience higher up. 

 

But if you are a college professor, it makes more sense to have your regular academic contract experience first because it is more difficult to achieve than doing research.

Pro Tip: Not sure whether you should go with a PDF or Word CV? Choose PDF. It converts better and looks sleek.

Okay, so you have a checklist for what sections should be included. Let’s now see how to structure each section and write the best content to highlight your achievements and skills.

 

1. Contact Information

 

Doesn’t seem hard, right? Make sure the header of your professor curriculum vitae includes your full contact information.

 

The contact information section should have the following:

 

When should you include your LinkedIn profile in your professor CV? Depends on the field you’re in. For more technical fields, it’s strongly recommended to add it to your professor curriculum vitae. For humanities, it’s not common so feel free to leave it off.

 

Keep in mind the selection committee will research your online presence so you’ll have to make sure it’s cleaned up. Don’t let educational institutions exclude you on the basis of your political affiliations or unprofessional behavior. 

 

Need some help? Use our guide as a reference: How to Check Your Online Presence Before Recruiters Look You Up

 

2. Research Objective or Personal Profile

 

Which should you choose for your professor curriculum vitae?

 

Again, it depends on the position you’re applying to.

 

A research objective is a brief introduction of the candidate who seeks a more research-oriented position. So if you want a research grant, go with a research objective. Here’s a solid example:

 

Sample Professor CV Research Objective

 

Researcher with 10+ years of experience, fellow and grant recipient of 10+ prestigious awards, seeking to leverage these experiences into a three-year research project regarding the current wave of populist political movements in Central and Eastern Europe.

 

You’ve caught the attention of the committee reviewing your curriculum vitae. They’re hooked and want to know more about your previous research projects.

 

But—you’re looking to move out of your adjunct or lecturer position for a more permanent contract. Go with a personal profile. It best captures your achievements and academic background.

 

That was the goal of our candidate. She wanted to continue her tenure track at another institution. Let’s see how she did:

 

Sample Professor CV Personal Profile

 

Lecturer and researcher with 10+ years of experience teaching courses in both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Supervised 25 BA theses, 10 MA theses, and 3 Ph.D. dissertations. Edited and co-authored 2 monographs on contemporary trends in political thought. Published over 10 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

 

Pretty great, right?

 

What makes this personal profile shine?

 

It shows her achievements and proves her academic prowess with super specific examples.

 

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

 

You’re off to a great start. 

 

What’s the next step

 

3. Education

 

Your institutional affiliations matter. Even more so when you’re looking for a permanent academic post.

 

Don’t skimp out on your professor CV education section. Make it pop.

 

Start by listing the golden achievement—your doctorate degree. Use the chronological resume layout and list all your postsecondary degrees in reverse. 

 

Include:

  • Year of completion or expected completion (no starting dates)
  • Degree type
  • Your major and minors, if applicable
  • Your department and institution
  • Your honors
  • Dissertation/Thesis Title and Advisor

Pro Tip: Don’t be pretentious by spelling out “Doctor of Philosophy”. Use or omit the full stops in “Ph.D.” but remember to be consistent throughout your entire professor CV.

Here’s how our candidate listed her education in her professor curriculum vitae:

 

Education on a Professor CV

 

2010 Ph.D. in Political Science

The Department of Political Science

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Graduated summa cum laude

Thesis title: “The Disruption of Multiculturalism in Populist Times: A Statistical Analysis”

Thesis supervisor: Professor Robert Isaac

 

For experienced academics, make sure not to list all study abroad or certificate programs in this section. It’s best to have them in the Grants Fellowship section or in Additional Activities. 

 

In your professor CV education section, only list programs where you received a degree.

 

Great, let’s move on.

 

4. Professional Appointments

 

If you’re one of the few academics who had a formal position, make sure you list it right below the education section of your CV.

 

Why?

 

The more institutional affiliations, the better in academia. It’s important to show the selection committee members you’ve cooperated with many institutions in the past. This way, they aren’t taking a blind leap of faith.

 

In the professional appointments section of your professor CV, include the following: 

  • Your position
  • Your institution
  • Dates worked
  • Brief description of your responsibilities

 

If you want to make your professor CV look more professional, avoid using bullet points. Why? Bullet points are typical for resume job descriptions. And you already know your professor CV is not a resume. 

 

Look at how our candidate listed her previous CV professional appointments: 

 

Sample Professor CV Professional Appointments Section

 

Assistant Professor of Political Science

University of Iowa, 2014-2019

Taught a total of 20 undergraduate and 7 postgraduate courses, mainly focused on research methods in political science, as well as comparative politics. Supervised 10 MA theses. Head of the political economy research group.

 

Notice this is a contracted academic position—not a lecturer, adjunct, or postdoc. It’s a section by itself because only a select few are able to obtain contracted positions in academia.

 

In this section of your professor CV, make sure not to list part-time lecturing positions or teaching assistant roles. Most Ph.D. or postdoctoral fellows did some teaching in the past.

 

And— 

 

Skip this section if your positions weren’t contracted, because the next section is much more important for you…

 

5. Publications

 

What’s the one phrase every academic wishes to hear?

 

“Your peer-reviewed paper has been accepted without any edits.”

 

You know how important it is for an academic to have peer-reviewed publications. List them first in a dedicated CV publications section. Then move on to other publications.

 

Divide your peer-reviewed publications into further subcategories in the following order:

  • Books
  • Book chapters
  • Peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Contributions to edited volumes equivalent to peer-reviewed journals

Pro Tip: Bibliography style matters. Choose one (MLA, APA or Chicago) and stick to it throughout your professor CV. Gain extra brownie points by looking at the website of the institution you’re applying to and use their preferred citation style.

 

6. Awards and Honors

 

Academics don’t like to boast. They’re in the self-loathing and critiquing business.

 

Well—

 

Your professor CV is actually your time to show off a bit. Otherwise, it just won’t work.

 

Here’s how to list awards & honors on a curriculum vitae for professor positions:

  • Start by listing your latest award or honor. 
  • Continue in reverse chronological order. 
  • List the name of the award, the year you received it, and the institution who granted it.

Pro Tip: Should you write how much money you received? The jury is still out. Most professor CV examples you’ll come across in arts and humanities don’t list the dollar amount. Business or STEM field professor curriculum vitae examples do list it.

If you list the amounts, just make sure you keep it consistent.

 

7. Grants and Fellowships

 

Too much of academia is about gatekeeping.

 

So—if your research is innovative enough to attract funding and doors are open to you, then you’re an invaluable academic.

 

Showcase these achievements in this section. List them in chronologically descending order like your awards and honors. Make sure to list the years and the funding institution’s name. Also, list the project name you were working on.

 

 8. Conferences

 

You know not all academic conferences are created equal.

 

Neither is your conference participation.

 

The conferences you attended with no presentation and those where you were the plenary speaker are the opposite ends of the spectrum of events organized in academia.

 

That’s why in your professor CV you have to divide your conference participation into three subsections: 

  • Invited talks—invited by other institutions to present your research
  • Campus talks—regular talks at your institution’s campus
  • Conference participation—presented papers, discussed your (or others) book, or attending a well-known conference institutionalized each year (i.e. European Consortium of Political Research)

 

But— 

 

Don’t cram your professor CV with all the conferences you ever attended as a graduate student or during your postdoctoral studies. Make sure to focus on the ones where you were the guest speaker.

 

9. Teaching Experience

 

“Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

 

The old proverbial saying doesn’t apply for academics perfecting their professor curriculum vitae.

 

Most openings in academia are for lecturing positions these days. It’s an area where aspiring academics are able to get their foot in the door and climb their way to a tenure track position.

 

But—

 

Your teaching experience isn’t the same as the “Professional Appointments” section above.

 

Here, you should list all the teaching experience you have. This includes the courses you’ve taught as a teaching assistant and guest lecturer.

 

As a rule of thumb, list the full name of courses you’ve taught only if it’s less than 10. 

 

If you’re a more experienced scholar and you want to highlight other portions of your professor CV, then list the courses you taught and leave out the year and institution. In this case, focus more on the level of the courses you taught.

 

Check out how our candidate listed her teaching experience because her professor CV is so packed with other accomplishments.

 

Sample Professor CV Teaching Experience Section

 

Undergraduate level courses covering statistical analysis:

  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Experimental Methods

 

Graduate level courses covering statistical analysis:

  • Advanced Quantitative Methods
  • Introduction to Formal Models of Politics

 

Graduate and undergraduate courses on American politics:

  • Financing American Elections
  • Political Participation
  • Quantifying Populism: Sentiments and Attitudes

 

Looking to transition out of research and only teach? You’ll have to perfect your resume. See our teacher resume example: Teacher Resume: Sample & Complete Guide [20+ Examples].

 

10. Research Experience

 

You know the age-old academic joke—

 

“I’m thinking of leaving academia so I can focus on my true passion—research.”

 

Well—

 

As a professor, you must have had quite a few academic research posts so far. Lucky you. 

 

Because they are very important for an outstanding professor CV, make sure to highlight them in a dedicated CV section.

 

Use the same format as in other parts of your curriculum vitae—the reverse chronological order. List your job titles, institute, and years worked.

 

For more experienced academics—only list the following:

  • Full-time Researcher
  • Research Associate
  • Research Assistant

 

For inexperienced academics—list as many research projects you were affiliated in as possible. If you were involved in a book project or co-edited a special issue for a peer-reviewed journal, include it here.

 

11. Additional Activities

 

Additional activities are like footnotes—

 

It’s relevant information but doesn’t seem to fit in any other section.

 

A professor CV can benefit from a section with additional activities—on condition you make it worth reading.

 

Take a look at some examples of professor CV additional activities the academic committees will appreciate:

Pro Tip: For those who have a longer professor CV (over 8 pages), don’t list these activities unless they are cutting edge to your field.

12. Languages and Skills

 

Simple enough, right? Not so fast. 

 

It’s about having the proper language skills—read an academic text, teach a course, or present at a conference in a foreign language.

 

Plus, in your professor CV you have to indicate your proficiency level. Without it, nobody will take you seriously.

 

Here are the typical proficiency levels used for CV language skills:

  • Native/bilingual
  • Fully proficient
  • Advanced
  • Intermediate
  • Can read with a dictionary

 

As for other skills to list on a professor CV—

 

Watch out. 

 

List other competencies as long as they’re relevant to your technical or scientific field, prospective research post, interests, or funding program. 

 

Example? Our candidate uses statistical software to do her research. It’s a skill she must put on her professor CV to show she is technically able to deliver sound research results.

 

Thinking about listing soft skills on your CV? Don’t do it. In academia it’s perceived unprofessional.

 

13. References

 

The last section of your professor CV is here. It’s the perfect end note to leave your committee with.

 

References show who in the academic community vouches for your work. The bigger the names, the bigger their impact.

 

In your professor CV, have your references listed vertically. Include:

  • Full name and title
  • Traditional mail address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address

 

You know academia is a tight-knit community so choose your references wisely. Mix them up if you are applying to an educational institution one of your references is affiliated with. Also, give a short explanation of your academic relationship with the reference (i.e. supervisor, colleague, co-editor, co-researcher).

 

And we’re done! You know the best professor CV template to use.

 

If you need a refresher on how to list references on your professor CV, see our guide: Resume References: When and How to List References on a Resume.

 

Let’s now turn the page and focus on some general tips on how to format your professor curriculum vitae for success.

 

2. How to Format a Professor CV? 

 

Think about the years you’ve spent in academia.

 

Four-year undergraduate program—check. Three-year graduate program—check. Six years completing your Ph.D.—check.

 

And four years as a postdoctoral fellow—check.

 

You have great publications. You received numerous awards. You won prestigious and coveted grants. You lectured at some great universities and worked on cutting-edge projects.

 

You’re the whole package. 

 

The problem:

 

You wrapped the package up in old newspapers held together with duct tape.

 

That’s what they’ll think of your professor CV if the document formatting is messy. 

 

And you really don’t want to lose out on your dream position because of Comic Sans or wrong margins.

 

Fear not.

 

Here’s how to format your professor CV for success:

 

1. Use one inch margins for all four sides of your professor CV

 

Think of how your professor CV will look once it’s printed and the committee has it in its hands. One inch margins and white paper will make your document look professional.

 

Need to know more about choosing and setting the right margins for your CV? Check out our guide: Best Resume Margins: Does Size Really Matter?

 

2. Use consistent font throughout the entire CV document

 

Use one font type and size throughout your professor CV. Start with 16pt font for your name. Go for 14pt in section headings and bold them. Use 11pt or 12pt with the rest.

 

Keep the font clean and legible—Arial and Times New Roman are the standards.

 

Don’t italicize any words except for the citation style you use for your publication section.

 

Need help choosing a great font for all your application documents? Check out our guide: What is the Best Font for a Resume

 

3. Double space before all CV headings and one space after them

 

A professor CV has way more text than standard resumes. This requires you to work with white space. Use it to guide readers to the most relevant parts of your CV. Why? Big blocks of text with little white space will discourage them from reading. You don’t want this.

 

4. Make your CV as long as it needs to be

 

There is no page-count limit to a professor CV. Don’t worry if you need more space to show the timeline of your academic career. But be sure you aren’t putting in irrelevant information to make it look longer.

 

Not sure how long your CV should be? Use our guide as if its a 101 course on CV length: How Long Should a Resume Be?

 

5. Convert your professor CV to PDF

 

Academics aren’t in the technology field. Don’t make the selection committee find the best version of software to view your professor curriculum vitae. They won’t do it.

 

So, to stay on the safe side, save your professor CV in the PDF file format. PDFs are hassle-free: they don’t change the formatting and can be viewed on all different devices. 

 

Need to double check your sources on this? No problem, check this guide: Best Resume File Type: PDF or Word Document Format?

 

Key Takeaway

 

When writing a professor CV make sure to:

  • Start with an education section listing your Ph.D. degree and work your way down—all in the reverse-chronological order.
  • Show what your academic career is all about with a brief abstract. In the case of a professor CV, choose a research objective or personal profile to hook your selection committee from the start.
  • Divide your CV intro clear sections highlighting your different academic experiences.
  • Ditch the bullet points. They’re reserved for resumes..
  • Make your CV clear, legible, and elegant by following the recommended professor CV format. 

This is how you make a tenure-winning CV for professor positions.

 

Good luck!

Are you writing a Professor CV for the first time? Or perhaps you’re a seasoned pro eager to help the rookies out? We’d love to hear from you, leave your comment below!

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Dominika Kowalska
Dominika is a job expert with a focus on career development and onbarding processes. At Zety, she writes guides helping readers create winning resumes and manage the various difficulties of the job hunt.

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