The Academic Curriculum Vitae (CV): Personal Information

The first section that will appear in your academic CV will be the Personal Information section. The goal of this section is to make it easy for the interviewers to contact you. My CV only lists 2 pieces of information in this section: address and citizenship.

The address that you list here will be your professional address assuming that you have an affiliation with an institution of some kind (e.g. university, hospital, or research institute). You should list the department, the institution, building, room, city, postal code, and country. If a colleague was going to mail or ship you some samples, where would you have them sent? This is the address to use. If you are between jobs then list your permanent address here.

Below your address you need to indicate how employers can contact you by phone or email. Think carefully about what phone number(s) to include. Many scientists have a cell phone and use that as their contact number. If you are going to list your cell phone number as a contact number be sure that: a) your voice mail message is professional and b) that you answer your cell phone in a professional manner. Other options for phone numbers include a home land line (if you still have one) or a laboratory phone number (if your lab mates can be counted on to be professional when answering the phone and reliably pass along messages).

In terms of your email address, use an institutional email address or one from a free provider such as Google (e.g. gmail). Be sure that your email address is professional; will probably not send the message that you want to convey.

I now include my citizenship on my CV as many academic job ads and grant applications in Canada state that being a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident is preferred. Including this information on my CV directly addresses this question.

I have sat on a few academic hiring committees and have seen some mistakes made by candidates in this section. When applying for academic jobs in Canada DO NOT include the following information:

1) Marital status and/or number of children. This information has no business being on a professional academic CV.

2) Age. This is no one’s business and is not relevant for the position that you are applying for.

3) A photo of yourself.

Academic CVs for Canadian jobs that contain the above pieces of information act as a red flag. It tells me that the candidate is not familiar with the professional norms in Canada and has not taken the trouble to adjust their job application accordingly.

In my next blog post I’ll talk about the employment history and education and training sections of an academic CV.

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