How to Write a Resume Based on Academic Employment: The Curriculum Vita

by Fred Pinnegar, Resume Coach and Professional Writer

When applying for a teaching or administrative position at a college or university, you may be asked to send a curriculum vita. This is a specialized resume with special categories for academic skills and experiences. The content and language of the job posting will provide important information about what information you should include in the resume. Discuss your qualifications in order of importance.


1. Identification. Provide complete information at the top to identify yourself. Include name, address, phone number, and e-mail, as well as a fax number, if you have one. Symmetrically balance the information and make your name stand out by using a slightly larger font than you use for the other major headings.

Example 1, standard centered heading

3010 South 14th Street
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49009
(613) 333-7348

Example 2, heading information balanced across top of page

John Doe
1212 Westwood Drive Phone: (213) 235-7865
Springfield, Iowa 95634
Phone: (213) 235-7865
Fax: (213) 235-6549

Example 3, heading for student with two addresses

John Doe
School Address (until 4/10)
1212 Westwood Drive Phone: (213) 235-7865
Springfield, Iowa 95634
Phone: (367) 387-9753
Permanent Address
5612 Riva Drive
Carmichael, CA 95853
Phone: (156) 286-7958

Example 4, side heading

John Doe

1212 Westwood Drive
Springfield, Iowa 95634
Phone: (367) 387-9753

2. Objective. Use an objective section to identify and define the position you seek. Echo the language of the job advertisement or posting.

Identify the position by job title, level, and specialization.


Assistant Professor in Computer Science
Associate Professor in German
Full Professorship in Anthropology
Lectureship in Composition
Associate Dean in College of Humanities

Identify the position by level or time commitment.


Part-time teaching position in mechanical engineering
Tenure-track position in American literature

3. Education. Your education or degree is a central qualification for an academic position. Make it the first section after the objective. Provide information on all degrees you have earned. Identify the degree and major field, where you earned the degree, and when it was awarded. Give the title of your thesis or dissertation if you wrote one.

Doctor of Philosophy, 2009: University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Major Field: 19th-Century American Literature

Master of Arts: Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Major: English Literature (2005)

Bachelor of Arts: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
Major: English (2002)

"Women, Marriage, and Sexuality in the Work of Herman Melville: A Cultural/Gender Study."  The dissertation is a revisionist critique of Melville's attitudes toward women, marriage, and sexuality that localizes his works within the 19th-century American cultural turmoil in gender relations. Dissertation director: Edgar A Dryden

4. Areas of teaching/research experience and interest


American literature in all periods and genres and by all authors, but especially:

Nineteenth Century
American Romanticism
Colonial and Early National Literature
Gender/Cultural Studies
Folklore/Oral Narrative/Myth
Business and Technical Writing
Literature and Medicine

5. Teaching Experience. Organize your teaching experience by listing the professional titles you have held. Provide the name and location of the schools where you have taught and the dates of employment. Then, itemize courses taught, and other responsibilities, skills, duties, and achievements particularly relevant to the job objective or specifications in the job advertisement.

Oklahoma State University, 2009 (current). Instructor

Honors 200: Intensive Writing, Honors
English 316: Technical Writing
English 252: Intensive Writing for English Majors

Fairfield Community College, 2006, 2007, 2008. Instructor

English 101: Freshman Composition
Humanities 101: Introduction to Humanities
English 250: Introduction to Literature
English 272: Children's Literature

Western Michigan University; 2004-2006 Instructor

English 105: Freshman Composition, Honors section
English 107: Good Books, Fantasy Literature
English 107: Good Books, Western Literature, 1350-1800, Honors
English 110: Literary Interpretation
English 322: Major American Writers (American Literature Survey)
English 305: Practical Writing, Continuing Education

5. Administrative Experience. If you are applying for an administrative position, put your administrative experience before the teaching section. Organize the information by listing the professional titles you have held. Provide the name and location of the schools where you had administrative experience, and provide dates. Itemize responsibilities, skills, duties, and achievements particularly relevant to the job objective or specifications in the job posting.


6. Activities. This section may include extracurricular activities during college or it can include current activities that demonstrate your leadership, sociability, and energy level outside of the workplace. Emphasize those activities that are most relevant to the position you seek.


7. Honors. Itemize awards and achievements, including competitive scholarships given based on ability rather than need.


8. Language. List languages you know in addition to English (or the dominant language of the country in which you reside). Indicate your degree of proficiency (good, fair, excellent, near-native) in reading, writing, and speaking.


Spanish: excellent reading and good speaking ability
French: fair reading ability

9. Publications. List titles of articles, book chapters, or books you have published. For articles, include the name of the journal in which the article appeared, as well as the volume number, date, and inclusive pages. For books, provide the publisher's name, the place of publication, and the date. If you were one of several authors, list all of them in the order in which they appear on the title page. If your publications list is lengthy, you may need to make it a separate attachment.


Olson, P. M., Carter, K. & Pinnegar, S. (2009).  “Evaluation as a shared enterprise.” In J. J. Denton and D. G. Armstrong (eds.) Shaping Policy in Teacher Education through Program Evaluation (pp. 61-72). College Station, TX: Instructional Research Laboratory Monograph Series.

Pinnegar, S. & Carter, K. (2008). “Comparing Theories from Textbooks and Practicing Teachers.” Journal of Teacher Education, vol. 41, 20-27.

Articles in press:
Pinnegar, S. (in press). “Expert Novice Differences in Curricular Understanding: A Naturally Occurring Contrast Case.” Journal of Teacher Education.

10. Conference Presentations. List title of paper, conference venue, and date.

Pinnegar, S. (2007). The Role of Questions in Teachers' Knowledge of Students. A paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Boston.

Pinnegar, S. & Holm, G. (2007). Learning in Style: An Analysis of Seventeen. A paper presented at the Western Michigan College of Education Research Convocation. Kalamazoo, MI.

"Melville's Representation of Fractured Marital Relations," presented at the Siena College Conference on Melville and Whitman, October 25, 2009, Albany, New York.

"Negative Homoeroticism and Sexual Politics in "Billy Budd." Presented at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Conference, October 11, 2009, Salt Lake City, Utah.

"Captain Calloway and Attacks against Hispanic Villages in East Central New Mexico during the Winter of 1868-69." Presented at the Center for Great Plains Studies Symposium, April 13, 2009, Lincoln, Nebraska.

“ ‘Nothing was well hung in the Shandy family’: The Groin Wounds of Tristram and Uncle Toby in Sterne's Tristram Shandy." Presented at Ferris State University's Second Annual Conference for Humanities, Science and Technology, April 7, 2009, Big Rapids, Michigan.

"Women and the Failure of Sutpen's Patriarchal Dynasty in Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!" Presented at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Meeting, Las Cruces, New Mexico, October 21, 2008.

"Writing Papers for Professional Publications and Conferences." Presented at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the American Burn Association in New Orleans, March 19, 2005.

"The Use of Peer Groups in a Business Writing Course." Presented at the Midwest Regional Meeting, American Business Communication Association (ABCA), St. Charles, Illinois, April 15, 2005

10. Professional associations or groups. List relevant associations and the length of your membership.


Modern Language Association (2008-present)
Society for Technical Communication (2005-2007)