How to Proofread and Edit an Academic CV

If you’ve worked with professional CVs before, you may feel prepared to proofread and edit an academic CV. But there are some important differences between professional and academic CVs that you should know about.

In this blog post, we give a brief guide to the content and structure of an academic CV and set out some key things you need to look out for as a proofreader.

What Goes into an Academic CV?

A typical academic CV includes the following:

  • Name and contact details
  • Personal statement
  • Education history in reverse chronological order
  • Previous academic appointments and teaching experience
  • Publications, including forthcoming ones and ones currently under review
  • Funding (e.g. grants, fellowships, scholarships)
  • Conference presentations and talks given
  • Any other relevant information (e.g. professional memberships)
  • Details of academic referees

As such, academic CVs tend to be significantly longer than professional CVs.

Proofreading and Editing an Academic CV

So, what does proofreading and editing an academic CV involve? First and foremost, it’s a document like any other. You’ll be expected to follow the client’s brief, ensure that the text is error-free, and keep things consistent throughout. If it’s formatted incorrectly (e.g., unreadable fonts or a messy, cluttered layout), you may also need to leave a comment giving advice for appropriate formatting.

But you will also want to ask:

Is all the information included relevant?

Academic CVs, by definition, contain a lot more information than your average professional CV. They also tend to be less universally understood than professional CVs. Many people are unsure what to include. As such, they may provide a fair amount of irrelevant information. It’s up to you as an editor to identify any information that’s superfluous or inappropriate for the context.

Is the CV properly geared toward the position being applied for?

All CVs should be adapted for the position that the customer is applying for. But because academic CVs are often less familiar, there may be more work to do in this regard. This means not only ensuring that all the information is relevant but also checking that the CV is structured appropriately. The most relevant experience to the role should be listed first, for example.

Becoming a Professional Proofreader and Editor

If you found this information helpful, freelance proofreading and/or editing could be the career for you. And if you’re interested in pursuing a career in this field, we recommend Becoming A Proofreader and Becoming An Editor. These comprehensive courses tell you everything you need to know about spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, references, different types of documents, and the real-world processes of modern proofreading and editing. Claim your free trial today!

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