The difference between a resume and an academic CV

Are you looking for a job as a part-time professor or adjunct faculty member?

For your best chance of getting a teaching job in higher education, you want to have a specifically formatted curriculum vitae, or CV as it is commonly called. In the United States, there is a very clear distinction between a resume and curriculum vitae. In many countries, the document used to find any job is called curriculum vitae, with the document tailored to the type of job. As a part-time professor, you will need both a CV and a resume. The resume will be used when you are seeking a position in your professional field and the CV will be used specifically for academic positions.

When presenting your qualifications to deans and department chairs of universities, a well structured CV may mean the difference between receiving an interview and having your credentials dismissed. The curriculum vitae also shows that you know what is expected in higher education.

The chart below gives you a quick view at the differences between a typical resume and a CV.


Although the CV may appear a bit intimidating, it allows you to present both your knowledge and your experience. I suggest that you start creating your CV now. The process of developing your CV may help you see gaps or what you need to highlight. For example, if you do not have direct teaching experience, maybe you led workshops at your job; or if you have not published, you might want to write some articles for a professional journal or an online magazine. Keep in mind, you do not need a five-page CV in order to get your first part-time teaching job. You can start searching for your first part-time position with your current experience. Adjuncts are not expected to have the same amount of teaching experience, research, and publications as tenure-track or core faculty. However, as a part-time faculty member, you are expected to have a good grasp of academia as well as the knowledge of your professional field.

For more information on creating a curriculum vitae, read the ebook Become a Part-time Professor.

What’s your experience applying for jobs as a part-time professor?

Leave your comments below.



Five common myths about being a part-time professor

myths stampAs you enter the field of adjunct faculty, you will hear both positive and negative things about how part-time faculty are treated and respected. In this article, I will debunk the five most common myths.

Myth 1 — You have to have a PhD to teach in a college or university.
Although the traditional four-year university primarily that hires people have doctoral degrees to reach upper division and graduate level courses, a masters degree is often all that is required for lower division or community college courses. Trade schools may only require a bachelors degree and experience and notable accomplishments are also taken into account when evaluating credentials for teaching in higher education.

Myth 2 — You must publish
As a part-time professor there is no need for you to publish. If you have written a book or articles, that’s great; but generally the publish or perish paradigm is referring to a very specific type of publishing. Peer reviewed articles and university press publications are the valued publications. Publish or perish is more applicable to tenure-track and tenured faculty as it relates to review and promotion. Bottom line, you don’t have to publish to be a part-time faculty member.

Myth 3 — Adjunct faculty aren’t respected
If you have heard this myth, you are probably talking to an adjunct who had thwarted dreams of parlaying their part-time gig into a full-time tenured professorship, and who does not have a profession aside from teaching part-time. Most students don’t know the difference between an adjunct faculty member and a tenured or core professor. If you are introducing yourself at a professional conference and mention that you teach part-time at a university people will be impressed. You will definitely be viewed with respect as an adjunct professor.

Myth 4– Most adjuncts want a full-time job
Most adjunct faculty either have full-time jobs, are retired, or are self-employed and don’t want a full-time job. According to a report by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), titled Who Are the Part-time Faculty, only 38 percent of the part-time faculty would like to teach full-time. Most of those are recent graduates with little other work experience.

Myth 5 — Adjuncts are overworked and underpaid
This is a matter of perception. I think the majority of people in most professions would say that they are overworked and underpaid. If you are teaching at a university part-time strictly for the pay, you may feel it isn’t worth the effort. If you are driving an hour each way to teach a one-hour class three times a week, it is probably not the best way to supplement your income. However, if you teach close to home or teach online, the intangible rewards and supplemental pay may be just perfect for your needs.

If you are interested in teaching part-time in a college or university, CLICK HERE to get a free copy of the book Become a Part-time Professor.