5 pro tips to boost your further education CV
Unlike standard CVs, academic and further education CVs have their own nuances that can make them much more complex and detailed, which, in turn, can make them more challenging to craft and get right. If your further education CV is not quite hitting the mark, then follow these five pro tips that help give your academic CV the boost that it deserves, and secure those job interviews.
Simplify your format
While a further education CV should be longer than a standard CV, try to keep the page count to a maximum of five pages. Then, try to simplify the format so that it is both easy and engaging to read.
You can help to simplify the format with the correct use of headings and making sure to use separate sections for each aspect of your CV, rather than jumping back and forth. Maintain separate sections for published research, your PhD extract, your experience and your skills. Using sections such as these can help the recruiter to quickly find the information they are looking for and makes it possible to skim read your CV.
Use a logical structure
Split your academic CV into clearly headed sections for simple navigation, such as a personal statement at the top, work experience, education and publications – this will make the job of reading the document, much easier for employers. You should also look to list all activities in reverse-chronological order - this is especially important when listing your education, research experience and publications. Your most recent work should be at the top of the CV so that your CV looks as relevant and as up to date as possible.
In regards to the structure for your publications, it will be helpful to use an appendix when listing these to help the flow of your CV and keep the reader engaged in your application. It can be challenging to keep your CV logical when achievements can happen simultaneously, but keeping to a strict and consistent structure will help readers to understand your work and impact clearly.
Write a punchy CV personal statement
Just like any CV, your FE CV needs to draw the reader in when it is opened. Whether you are applying for research funding, a study program or a permanent lecturer contract, your CV needs to sell you and your achievements. The purpose of your academic CV is to show why you are an asset, and much of this comes from a punchy profile that sets out your CV as you mean to go on.
Keep your profile short, sharp and sweet, giving a brief summary of your background and your most notable achievements that can demonstrate exactly why you should be chosen. If your further education CV is for a research application, then add your research objective to your personal profile too.
Expand on your education
In a further education CV, the bulk of the text should sit in the academic section of your CV structure. This is the most important section in regards to what the recruiter is looking for and should be the section with the most detail.
Begin your education section with your most recent degree. Remember to include all of the critical information such as your dissertation title, degree type and honours as well as the year of completion, department and institution. To keep your CV tidy, feel free to use abbreviations such as PhD and MSc as those reading your CV will understand what they mean. However, for more obscure abbreviations, make sure to write these out in full.
Prove impact in your roles
When discussing the roles you have undertaken, remember to back your career history up with tangible details to prove your impact. Facts and figures are an excellent way to demonstrate your achievements and the value that you can add to an organisation. For example, you may have improved exam results by 20%, or raised £10k of funding.
It can help to read your CV back to yourself, putting yourself in the position of the recruiter – and ask, does your CV show what you can do and your proven results? If yes, your CV has impact – If no, you will need to improve it before sending out.
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.