How To Convert an Academic CV for Industry Positions

Originally published January 3, 2022 | Link to original article:

Professionals in academic roles who want to transition to a different field usually have to convert their CVs into resumes. Regardless of your academic experience, knowing how to how to convert your academic CV for industry positions can help you effectively make this transition. Learning the required steps to convert your academic CV into a resume can therefore be a valuable piece of information. In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between an academic CV and a resume, explain how to convert the former into the latter and provide tips on doing so.

Similarities between an academic CV and a resume

Some of the most important similarities between an academic CV and a resume are:

  • They both serve the same purpose. Both the academic CV and resume have the same purpose, which is to showcase the applicant’s skills and to determine the recruiter to invite them to an interview.
  • They both share the same type of information. Academic CVs and resumes both display an overview of the applicant’s relevant accomplishments, skills and professional experience.
  • They are both edited for a specific position. Applicants who use academic CVs and resumes both adjust their educational milestones, competencies and achievements to highlight the most relevant ones for the role they’re applying for.

Differences between an academic CV and a resume

Some of the most important differences between an academic CV and a resume are:

  • CVs are usually longer. Most resumes are one to two pages long, with the candidate usually selecting the most relevant information and displaying it in a concise manner. Academic CVs typically include all relevant achievements, such as publications, awards, research grants and presentations, and usually have no page limit.
  • They usually focus on different aspects. Most resumes for industry positions focus on the candidate’s acquired skills that are relevant to the position they’re applying for. Academic CVs usually focus instead on the candidate’s academic achievements and other related aspects, like research and teaching accomplishments.
  • They usually have different introductions. Most resumes either start with an objective section that outlines the candidate’s main goals, or a summary of their professional achievements up to that point. Academic CVs usually start with either a section on areas of research or one on areas of teaching, depending on the candidate’s specialty.

How to convert an academic CV for industry positions

Consider following these steps when converting your academic CV to apply for industry positions:

1. Identify the skills you need to apply in a particular industry

The first step of transitioning your academic CV into an industry resume is determining which of your current skills are transferable toward a specific industry. You can do so by researching multiple job descriptions in the industry you wish to work in and identifying the fundamental skills for a specific role. You can then determine which of these skills you currently have and add them to your resume’s “Skills” section.

2. Select a few work experiences that are relevant to the industry where you want to work

Given the fact that the resume is usually only one or two pages long, you can reduce the length of your CV’s experience section by only selecting your most recent few jobs or the ones that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Similar to the skills section, you can determine which ones are most relevant by analyzing job descriptions in the industry you want to work in. If you’re building a resume for a specific role, you can improve your chances of success by highlighting the skills and work experience that are most relevant to that role.

3. Analyze a typical resume format and add your information to it

Once you determine which skills and work experiences are most relevant for your resume, you can start adding information to it from your academic CV. A typical resume structure includes:

  • Education: Unlike academic CVs, which usually focus on education, you can only add the names of the academic institutions you’ve graduated from, starting with college, and the year of graduation for each. Also, while academic CVs typically start with the education section, they’re usually located after the skills and experience sections in resumes.
  • Experience: Once you determine which previous professional experiences to include, you can list them in reverse-chronological order and mention your job title, the hiring institutions, the time interval in which you worked there, your main responsibilities and your most important achievements.
  • Skills: As mentioned earlier, you can determine which are your most relevant skills for a specific industry and list them in a dedicated section.
  • Other sections: If you have relevant publications, presentations, awards, professional affiliations, certifications, licenses or patents you can include them in a special section of your resume.

4. Review your resume and adjust it to include action verbs

Once the resume is complete, you can adjust its wording to potentially be more effective. One of the most effective ways of doing so is by going over the experience section and using action verbs to describe your accomplishments. Action verbs provide instant information to the recruiter, potentially determining them to spend more time analyzing your resume.

Tips for converting an academic CV for industry positions

Consider following these tips when converting your academic CV into a resume:

  • Use keywords. Companies sometimes scan resumes using applicant tracking systems. You can improve the chances of the software selecting yours by researching the hiring company and job ad to identify some keywords that you can then include in your resume.
  • Use an easy-to-read format. Recruiters generally have large numbers of resumes that they have to analyze and they can’t spend too much time visually scanning them. You can improve your resume’s appeal and readability by using a common font with an 11-12 size, leaving ample white space on all sides and using elements like bold print, capital letters, spacing and underlining to emphasize some of the most important points.
  • Use numbers to quantify your achievements. When highlighting your career achievements, the most effective way of doing so is usually by including objective metrics.
  • Make sure all words are accessible to a non-academic audience. Some job titles or work experiences may include specific academic jargon. When making your resume, it’s usually important to adjust your language and use common words and expressions.
By Indeed Editorial Team
Indeed Editorial Team