This is the position I am currently in: I finished a Master's a couple of months ago and I plan to start a PhD in a year's time. In the meantime I have applied for jobs and got a very decent and fixed-term one as a research assistant (so, perfect).

Before I start working I will have had to submit at least one PhD application which asks for a CV. My question is: should I mention this job at all in my CV (clearly stating that I haven't started yet), or just omit it?

This question is slightly similar to this, except that for a job instead of an internship, and the answers were quite mixed.

The way I see it, listing it would mean that (i) a good institution has accepted me to work in a good post, and (ii) unless things go very wrong, I will have gained valuable experience before I start the PhD. The possible drawbacks of listing it are (i) it's not really experience I have in the moment, so I can't be favourably judged on something I don't have, (ii) potentially not looking humble enough.

  • 7
    an application is not the place to be humble. Nov 11, 2016 at 11:44
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    Assuming you actually officially have the job, definitely, without a doubt, list it. Put the appropriate start date for the job, and the university will take it for what it's worth.
    – Jeff
    Dec 11, 2016 at 21:06

2 Answers 2


If you have formally accepted the position, you can use the word "starting" with your start date to indicate it. Either way, you will probably be asked about what you're actually doing while you're applying for a program, but adding it on there ensures that, at the very least, if you forget to update your CV or accidentally provide an older CV for some reason, your bases are covered and the viewer is able to see that what was a prospective job is now likely your current job.


Underwater Basket Weaver, Foo Inc., Oahu, HI

Starting July 2124

Don't add in stuff you do not 100% own.

  • Thank you, this is exactly what I ended up doing! And completely agree with your last sentence :) (hence my question, actually)
    – M.G.
    Jan 11, 2017 at 11:12

You could compromise by not stating it in your CV since you have not started the job yet, but mention it in other places of your application. There will either a motivation letter or an email sending the application itself, in which you could mention it.

However, it is relevant that this new job is mentioned somewhere since it may impact in logistic decisions of when to start your PhD. A group/program might need/require someone to start within a time frame. Having a knowledge of time constraints from the student might weigh on their decisions.

  • Thanks for your comment, I agree. The fact is that the first assessment is only based on a CV and written work, so I can't think of any other place where to put it. Moreover, there is no overlap between the fixed-term job ending and the PhD starting
    – M.G.
    Nov 11, 2016 at 16:09
  • Then mention it on the CV, as you said, clearly stating that it is something that you will start in X and finish in Y. Nov 12, 2016 at 21:19

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