As a PhD Candidate, I've written several successful recommendation letters for students who I've taught in my classes. Is it worthwhile to include this information on a CV, say under "Service"? I've never seen this included before on a CV, but I was hoping there might be a way for me to highlight my contributions to teaching outside of the classroom.

  • As a candidate for what, exactly? What is the short term purpose of the CV?
    – Buffy
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 22:46
  • 1
    @Buffy A "PhD candidate" is just a PhD student, typically after they have passed qualifying exams/prelims (though in some cases people use the term to just mean a student working towards a PhD at any point).
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 23:09
  • I wondered if, in this case, it meant someone looking to enter a doctoral program. That would make a bit of a difference.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 23:23
  • Hi @Buffy I'm a PhD Candidate in how Bryan Krause mentioned: I'm ABD. This would be a CV for academic teaching positions.
    – Parrever
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 23:42
  • OK. I think his answer is good advice.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 0:00

2 Answers 2


I have not seen this and wouldn't recommend it, I would not consider writing recommendation letters to be under academic "service."

If you specifically mentored particular students then it makes sense to note that mentorship, but if they were just people who took your class then writing them recommendations is just part of your teaching responsibility, it doesn't mean anything for your qualifications if your students were successful when you wrote them recommendations, those are your students' accomplishments rather than yours.

  • 1
    +1 for the pointing out that this is implicitly on your CV under the relevant teaching and mentorship sections.
    – Thomas
    Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 21:48

No, you should not list letters of recommendation that you have written on your CV.

It is true that this activity requires time. When you become faculty member, you will write even more letters for students and again you will not list them on your CV. You will also (eventually) write letters of recommendation for graduate students seeking to become faculty, and for faculty peers at other universities seeking tenure or promotions. None of these activities will ever appear on your CV.

Peer review activity that does appear on your CV includes journal, conference, and proposal refereeing activity that you conduct. Of course, you never indicate specifically which works you have refereed.

One more thing: student privacy laws (at least in the US) probably would prevent you from listing student recommendation letters that you have written on your CV, even if it was otherwise a good idea.

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