I'm looking at some academic CVs by PhDs and professors. The focus seems to be long list of talks, conferences, publications and teaching experiences. I have none of these things. Whhat I have now of any substance is (i) 3 preprints of my research work so far that I have put on arxiv, and (ii) my 2 industry internships and 1 lab experience (iii) my grades and relevant classes.

I have received very few scholarships since I did not really need any financial assistance and did not apply. So there isn't really much content. I'm considering doing a bullet point list to provide detailed description for each of internships and research projects but none of the professional academic CVs I have seen have done this. Would this be a good idea? What else can I put on CV as a PhD applicants.

  • 1
    StackExchange answers if you have a significant amount of well-regarded ones; contests if you have taken prizes in some (this includes problem sections of journals); undergrad seminar talks if you've given any; software if you have developed any (may not be field-specific, but if programming is useful in the field, your skills will speak for you). Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 1:16
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    Answer here: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/137289/… Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 2:39

1 Answer 1


Math professor here, based in the USA. I have read dozens of CVs for my graduating seniors applying for math PhD programs. They usually contain:

  1. Name, contact info
  2. University name, expected degree (e.g., BS vs BA), month that degree is expected, GPA in major, overall GPA
  3. Honors if there are any
  4. Research experience, which can be the papers on arXiv.
  5. Academic experience, which can be a quick list of the relevant courses, directed studies with faculty, or even papers you wrote for a course that you'd be willing to share.
  6. Work experience
  7. Experience as a teaching assistant
  8. Campus involvement, e.g., organizations, sports teams
  9. Skills including programming, language, etc.

For an undergraduate applying to grad school, it's more permissible to have a couple of bullet points summarizing topics in (4)-(6) above, e.g., one item for (5) might be:

Time Series Analysis of Real-estate data. Advisor: David White

  • Built time series models to analyze trend, seasonal patterns, and relationship to inflation and GDP, for home prices from Zillow.
  • Selected best model and computed one-year forecast.
  • Analyzed data using R and wrote a 12-page paper summarizing findings.

Overall, there is no real reason to pad your CV. It's fine if it's just one or two pages. Having three arXiv preprints is great. You could also include a section for Work in Progress, with titles of papers you are currently writing.

  • I'd even recommend keeping it to 1 page as an objective at this career stage!
    – user176372
    Commented Apr 21 at 16:09

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