Building Your CV and Resume While in Graduate School

By Sarah Hildebrand

Building Your CV and Resume While in Graduate School

Photo by C Dustin on Unsplash

Upon completion of a master’s or doctoral program, you will have developed a strong content knowledge in your field, as well as gained a variety of transferable skills. But how else can you prepare yourself for the job market? Regardless of whether you would like to pursue a tenure-track faculty position or a career in industry, there are many steps you can take to begin building your CV or resume while in graduate school that can help your job documents stand out later.

Building Your CV


Search committees for tenure-track faculty positions will expect you to have published at least one peer-reviewed article. However, there are other forms of publications that can also help build your CV. Some committees will value public scholarship, such as articles for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and other discipline-specific professional platforms, or even opinion pieces for The New York Times and other reputable news sources.


Search committees will want to see that you have at least some teaching experience. Depending on the types of positions you’re interested in, you may want to think about ways to diversify your teaching experience by, for example, teaching different courses or at different types of institutions.

Apply for Grants & Fellowships

Securing external and/or internal funding is how you can prove that your research matters, as well as that you are capable of communicating it clearly. For STEM students especially, it shows that you will be able to bring in grant money to your future institution to subsidize your research.

Present at Conferences

Presenting at conferences shows that you are in conversation with other scholars in your field and that you have had practice as a public speaker. This is a way to get feedback on your work, while also building a name for yourself in your field.

Give Talks On- and Off-Campus

Besides presenting at conferences, you can also give lectures both on-campus in front of your department or wider institution and off-campus at other institutions, libraries, or professional or cultural organizations. This again shows that you are an adept public speaker and that people are interested in your research.

Building Your Resume

Get an Internship

Getting an internship or any other type of part- or full-time position while in graduate school is the best way to build your resume. Companies will want to see that you have work experience in addition to your academic training. Getting an internship also has the added bonus of helping you network your way into the field.

Complete Trainings, Workshops, or Certification Programs

Completing a certification program can help demonstrate that you do, in fact, have the skill you say you have and that you have achieved a certain level of mastery. If you do not yet have work experience using a different language or technical skill, being able to list trainings or workshops on your resume is a great way to show that you are invested in the learning process.

Building Both Your CV & Resume


Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in academia or industry, volunteering will always strengthen your job documents. Search committees for faculty positions will want to see that you have provided service to the profession by serving on committees, providing mentorship, or volunteering with your discipline’s professional organization. Hiring managers for industry jobs may be interested in any community service you have performed. Community service is also a great way to prove you have experience in certain skills, even if you haven’t utilized them yet in a paid position.