In my CV I want to know whether the following ordering of the categories is suitable. I thought of giving prominence to research work because I am applying for a PhD.

  1. Personal Details (name,address,e-mail)
  2. Career objective
  3. Education
  4. Publications
  5. Conference presentation
  6. Research Interest
  7. Skills
  8. Work Experience
  9. Co-curricular activities
  10. Extra curricular activities
  11. References

Is the placing of Research Interest okay? Should I move it up? Where should I keep it?

As Career Objective should I write in general what I plan to do i my career once I finish my PhD or should it include the particular area that I am trying to research as my PhD. Say the specific field in applied mathematics. For example: Should it be,

  1. Applying for admission into X university’s Doctor of Y program. or

  2. Career objective : Become a leading researcher in the area of Z and contribute to the betterment of society

  • How do you make a selection for Talks and Presentations? Assume you keep many presentations in many fields. Should you include all there, or just a small sample? Jan 22, 2017 at 17:39

2 Answers 2

  • Firstly, the Career Objective section is a thing of past and should not be present in a CV or resume. Not only it is old-fashioned, it actually makes one change their CV or resume every time one applies to different organization and position. It is much better to place relevant position-focused information in a cover letter, which should be adjusted to a particular position anyway.

  • Secondly, do not put personal details, like mailing and physical address, on CV or resume. An e-mail address and, maybe, a phone number is more than enough. You don't expect potential employers to send you postal mail, do you? Plus, the physical address would jeopardize the security of one's identity.

  • Thirdly, the section Research Interests should be higher in the list - I would say, even prior to the section Education (or, at least, right after it).

  • Fourthly, I suggest you to create two versions of your CV (the following is not applicable to resume) - one with references, for organizations that require them as part of initial application, and another without ones, for those that require them later or using different communication channel (say, Interfolio).

  • Fifthly, go ahead and search Internet for examples of academic cover letters (there are plenty of them - stick with the ones from reputable universities). Hope this helps. Good luck!

P.S. I would reword section titles, as follows: Conference Presentations => Talks & Presentations; Research Interest => Research Interests; Co-curricular Activities => not sure it makes sense to extract them in a separate section - why not list them below relevant educational info; Extra-curricular Activities => Extracurricular Activities.

  • @clarkson: You are welcome. Jun 5, 2016 at 8:35
  • Plus, the physical address would jeopardize the security of one's identity. — How so?
    – JeffE
    Jun 5, 2016 at 13:08
  • 1
    Every academic CV I've ever seen has a postal address.
    – user37208
    Jun 5, 2016 at 16:29
  • 1
    @LéoLéopoldHertz준영 Including a phone number possesses somewhat lesser risk (from an identity security / theft perspective). If you're willing to have your own personal work phone number, that would be preferred. Otherwise, just omit it - typically, modern professional communication is [should be] asynchronous, anyway (professional etiquette), so an e-mail address should be enough. You can always reveal your personal or work phone numbers in a follow-up e-mail communication, once you get to know / establish the trust with the person. Jan 22, 2017 at 18:21
  • 1
    @LéoLéopoldHertz준영 Revealing personal phone number in an e-mail signature is not that risky, because you most likely communicate via e-mail with people you trust (or, at least, know). Having the same info in a public CV is a totally different story, since anyone can read it and use that info as they wish. Having said that, ultimately, you should act, based on your sense of or tolerance for risk (of identity security / theft). Hope this helps. Jan 22, 2017 at 20:50

Your proposed order looks fine to me as a default. If you think you really shine in one category it is okay to move things up or down based on that.

I am assuming most of your experience has been academia. Someone who spent a lot of time working outside of academia would want to prioritize that experience instead.

Research interest placement is fine subject to my above comments about what your want to emphasize.

Your second career objective sounds much better: "Become a leading researcher in the area of Z and contribute to the betterment of society"

  • 1
    Thanks for the reply. My experience is mainly academia. How about if I move research interest to 3 rd place, after career objective.
    – clarkson
    Jun 5, 2016 at 6:50

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