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Robert Vega, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900

Converting Your CV to Resume

“When employers sift through a giant stack of applications, we look for excuses to end the relationship quickly. Don't give us one” (Miller). [1] As an academic, you most likely have been slotting all your achievements and experiences into a CV that has probably grown to at least five pages long. If you never got around to writing a CV, then for you, writing a resume will actually be easier than turning a CV into a resume. This is a laborious process, but one that is absolutely necessary.

How are CVs and resumes different?

The most visible difference is the length. Educational employers like to read, so 5-7 pages is normal for a CV. But nearly all other types of employers expect a document that is 1-2 pages, 2 pages being the absolute maximum length. This cannot be stressed enough. A postacademic who gives a potential employer a resume that is longer than two pages in length will handicap themselves immediately. If you think it will help you get a job, a creative or longer resume can be uploaded onto LinkedIn (like a portfolio).

Why is a longer resume so undesirable?

Two reasons: non-academic employers aren’t going to take the time to read through a multi-page document. They are likely to spend 15 seconds looking over your resume on the first pass, trying to weed out half the applicants. Secondly, they expect you to tailor your resume to the position, only giving them the information that is directly relevant, not a summary of everything you have done. In other words, “It’s not about you. It’s about the job."[2] Think of a resume as a tightly focused argument about why you are qualified for this job.

So, the top 3 most vital questions to ask yourself about your resume are:
  • Are the 3 most important facts about me on the first page?
  • Are they directly relevant to the position?
  • Are they clear?

Avoiding the First Cut

Identify your strengths for them. Don’t make potential employers look for the connections between your experience and the position—do the work for them. Keep in mind that jobs don’t go to the most qualified applicants, they go to the best applicants, those who make the hiring manager’s job as easy as possible.

Pro tip: To phrase your strengths in language that will resonate with the employer, use industry keywords. To identify these if you don’t already know them, get a 101-level textbook about the field and get the keywords, or copy them directly from the job ad.

Organize logically and hierarchically. Again, don’t make the hurried person scanning your resume strain to figure out how to make sense of its internal elements. Use section headings that are relevant and not novel or idiosyncratic. 

Use “gapping” language. Use sentence fragments, bullet points, lead with verbs. No complete sentences. No first-person pronouns. The idea is to make it as easy as possible to skim.

Use consistent fonts, style, layout. Remember principles of parallel construction and basic design—more important elements should be placed above less important ones, similar elements should be formatted identically, etc. For fonts, Calibri, Cambria, or Geneva are all good, but be sure that you use 10-point or larger. 

No obvious errors. Grammar and spelling count. Get at least two pairs of eyes on your resume just to check for mechanical correctness, no matter how impeccable your writing skills or how many times you’ve revised it.

Specific Sections for Resumes

Name, address, email, phone, LinkedIn profile URL, perhaps Twitter handle if your tweets are professional

Only make it the first section if relevant, otherwise put it at the end
Institution, Degree, Field, Date
Expected date if ABD
Reverse chronological order of institutions; no need to list all if not relevant
Include relevant professional training: seminars, pedagogical workshops, computer training, continuing education, certifications, licenses, etc.

Pro tip: Identify some areas of knowledge you’d like to build up and seek out education about them, particularly educational paths that will produce some kind of credential: a portfolio, a certification, etc.

Professional experience
IMPORTANT—build up as much as possible
Non-academic experiences are important, will likely be more highly regarded by resume readers than your “Service” section by CV readers
Experience to highlight (no matter how lowly or how long ago)
-    Administrative or managerial experience
-    Collaboration, especially outside of academia
-    Writing for a range of audiences
-    Project management
-    Sales
Internships, volunteer experience
Community service
Focus on skills and outcomes

Additional Information
Include only if relevant
List hobbies and interests
Choose carefully, match to the culture of the organization

CV sections to include only if relevant

Include only if applying for educational or training position
Do not organize according to classes taught
Use 3-5 bullet points highlighting relevant achievements

Scholarly Work
Only include a few highlights if applying for a writing or research job
Use general terms for research and publications
Focus on skills used in creating the final product, including research methods; topic may be irrelevant
Include recent blogs, social media

CV to Resume Sample

Here is a sample CV to resume conversion. In this situation a PhD candidate in English wants to convert her CV into a resume for the National Curriculum Specialist position described below.


National Curriculum Specialist
Marketing | Austin, TX
The National Curriculum Specialist assists with pre-sales curriculum presentations, product demonstrations, sales training and enablement for the nationwide sales force.

  • Serves as one of the primary presenters for sales briefings.
  • Assists with development of sales tools and internal sales training as needed.
  • Serves as a resource to assist account executives and associates with preparations for their own sales presentations.
  • Curriculum Specialists will work primarily in their geographic quadrant of the company, but will support other areas as needed.


  • Must be a self-starter and possess the ability to develop in-depth product knowledge and the communication/interpersonal skills to interface within the organization and all levels of school personnel.
  • Skill in the use of presentation hardware and software.
  • Work independently with a minimum of supervision


  • Bachelor’s degree in education or related field is required. Master’s degree in Education or related field is preferred but not required.


  • Educational experience as a classroom teacher/administrator within a school district
  • Must have previous sales or training experience and the ability to present with minimal presentation time.


  • Extensive travel required.


Necessary changes to convert the information on the CV to bullet points more appropriate for a resume include:

  • Eliminating teaching experience, presentations and publications, and committee work that is not immediately relevant to the position
  • Shortening the length to 1 or 2 pages at maximum
  • Minimizing some details to make the information more easily readable and understandable to a lay audience
  • Incorporating keywords from the job ad
  • Highlighting experience that is especially relevant, including curriculum design, presentations, management, collaboration, and teaching diverse populations
  • Moving the education section to the bottom 

Download the PDF version of the CV below.

Stephanie Odom
Department of Rhetoric and Writing
University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, Mail Stop B5500
Austin TX 78712-1122


University of Texas at Austin – Ph.D. in English (in progress)
    Concentrations: Rhetoric
    Dissertation Director: Patricia Roberts-Miller

University of Texas at Austin – M.A. in English, 2005

Austin College – B.A. in English, 2001

TEACHING EXPERIENCE_______________________________________________________________

Assistant Instructor, University of Texas at Austin, 2007-present   
2010, RHE 310: Intermediate Expository Prose
Sophomore-level Writing Flag course in academic and professional prose styles, focusing on writing in the disciplines and paper workshopping
Self-designed, used Learning Record portfolio assessment method

2010, E314J: Literature and Education
Sophomore-level Writing Flag course in literature for non-majors

2009, E398T: Supervised Teaching in English (assisted Prof. Mark Longaker)
    Graduate course for new instructors of RHE 306

2008-2009, RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Abolition
    Sophomore-level topics course in composition
2007-2008, RHE 306: Rhetoric and Writing
First-year composition course

Teaching Assistant, University of Texas at Austin, 2005-2007
    2005-2007, E316K: Masterworks of Literature (British and American variants)
    Sophomore-level literature survey

Special Contract ESL Teacher, Texas Intensive English Program, Summer 2007 and 2008
    Reading and writing course for visiting first-year Japanese high school students

Assistant Language Teacher, JET Programme, Japan, 2001-2003
    Team-taught English conversation in three Japanese high schools

CONFERENCE PAPERS AND PUBLICATIONS_____________________________________________

Forthcoming paper at 2012 Rhetoric Society of America conference, Philadelphia

“Whose Syllabus is it Anyway?: The Non-Canonical Novel Project”
2011 Southwest Regional Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference, San Antonio

“Revisiting the Tate-Lindemann Debate”
2010 Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Minneapolis

Review of Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Public Engagement. The Ethnic and Third World Review of Books 10 (Spring 2010): 67-69. Print.

Alanna Bitzel, Stephanie Odom, and Andrea Saathoff. “Professional Development at the UWC: Three Personal Experiences.” Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. Fall 2009 (7:1). Online.

“Models of Writing: Examples in Rhetoric Textbooks”
2009 Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Francisco

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE___________________________________________________________

Editorial Advisory Board Member, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012
Provided feedback on preliminary format and contents for forthcoming series of composition textbooks

Assistant Director of Lower-Division Writing, 2009-2011, 2012
Department of Rhetoric and Writing, University of Texas
Mediated plagiarism cases; observed instructors and offered feedback about teaching; helped plan and lead 3-day orientation for new instructors of RHE 306; served on Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Assessment Subcommittee, and First-Year Forum Book Selection Committee

Writing Consultant, DiNitto Center for Career Services, 2009-present
School of Social Work, University of Texas
Consulted with graduate students in person and via email on their research projects, essays, personal statements, grant applications, professional resumes, and CVs; developed materials for orientation; worked closely with Director of Career Services and other writing consultants

San Antonio ISD Professional Development Series, February 2011
Pre-College Academic Readiness Programs, University of Texas
Developed curricular materials for teaching literature rhetorically, co-conducted workshop for high school English teachers

San Antonio ISD Professional Development Series, August 2010
Pre-College Academic Readiness Programs, University of Texas
Developed materials and presented on composition pedagogy to high school English teachers

Private Writing Tutor, 2010
Gave written feedback on rhetoric and writing for English classes to a UT undergraduate via email

Consultant, Undergraduate Writing Center, 2007-2009
University of Texas
Assisted students with writing in all disciplines in various stages of the writing process; offered individual consultations on essays, writing samples, and personal statements

Editorial Board, Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, 2008-2009
Undergraduate Writing Center, University of Texas
    Edited submissions to online journal, corresponded with authors

DEPARTMENTAL and UNIVERSITY SERVICE______________________________________________

Member, Assessment Subcommittee, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, 2010-2011
Department of Rhetoric & Writing, University of Texas
Collaborated with professors and graduate students to develop materials for pilot testing the Learning Record portfolio assessment for RHE 306, developed wiki materials to aid instructors new to the Learning Record, attended monthly meetings to advise instructors

Founding Member, Rhetoric Interest Group, University of Texas, 2009-present
    Helped organize speaking and social events for graduate students

Representative, First-Year Forum Book Selection Committee, 2008-2011
Department of Rhetoric & Writing, University of Texas
    Reviewed and proposed nonfiction texts for program-wide adoption in RHE 306

Committee Member, Kinneavy Prize for Scholarship in Rhetoric, 2010
    Reviewed graduate student submissions, met with faculty to decide winner

Representative, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, 2008-2009
Department of Rhetoric & Writing, University of Texas
Reviewed and proposed textbooks for RHE 306, represented Assistant Instructor interests in departmental policy decisions, attended monthly meetings

Volunteer Coordinator, International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference, 2008
Department of Rhetoric & Writing, University of Texas
Worked with Dr. Joan Mullin to prepare materials for conference attendees, coordinated shifts and responsibilities for all graduate student and staff volunteers, chaired panels

Chair, Steering Committee, English Graduate Group, 2006-2008
Department of English, University of Texas
Organized orientation activities for incoming graduate students, mediated discussions about listserv and common area usage, communicated messages from English department staff to graduate students, organized community-building events for graduate students


Nominee for Maxine Hairston Award for Teaching Excellence, 2011
Department of Rhetoric and Writing, University of Texas

Graduate Student Professional Development Award, 2009, 2010, 2011
Office of Graduate Studies, University of Texas

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS_________________________________________________________

National Council of Teachers of English / Conference on College Composition and Communication

Modern Language Association

Rhetoric Society of America


Patricia Roberts-Miller
Department of Rhetoric & Writing
University of Texas
Austin, Texas 78712

Cole Hutchison
Department of English
University of Texas
Austin, Texas 78712

Download a PDF version of the resume below.

Resume Sample

Stephanie Odom
12345 West Elm St.
Austin, TX  78757
Twitter: @smodomly

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE__________________________________________________

Assistant Director, University of Texas Department of Rhetoric and Writing     2009-2012
•    Served as a resource for new instructors by helping to solve problems in course planning and classroom management
•    Developed lesson plans and presentation materials
•    Planned and assisted with new instructor orientation
•    Mediated meetings between instructors and students

Assistant Instructor, University of Texas                            2007-present
•    Designed four general education courses
•    Developed curricula and daily lesson plans
•    Presented information in traditional and technology-enhanced environments
•    Met with students individually and in groups

Special Contract ESL Teacher, Texas Intensive English Program              2007 and 2008
•    Taught reading and writing course to visiting Japanese high school students
•    Developed curricula and daily lesson plans
•    Collaborated with other teachers on final student project

Educational Consultant, UT Pre-College Academic Readiness Programs              2010-2011
•    Developed curricula for high school English teachers to incorporate college readiness skills in K-12 classrooms
•    Collaborated with other UT instructors to plan workshops
•    Presented curricula during 2-day workshop for 40 teachers

Volunteer Coordinator, University of Texas International Writing Conference               2008
•    Recruited and supervised 15 volunteers to help run conference
•    Coordinated volunteer shifts and responsibilities
•    Facilitated panelist presentations and ensured that deadlines were met


Nominee for Maxine Hairston Award for Teaching Excellence, 2011


University of Texas at Austin—Ph.D. in English (Expected Spring 2013)
Austin College—B.A. in English

Print and Web Resources

Purdue OWL formatting guidelines

LACS page on resumes and cover letters

OWL page also good content about letters

Basalla, Susan, and Maggie Debelius. So What Are You Going to Do with That?”: Finding Careers Outside Academia. 2nd ed. University Of Chicago Press, 2007. Print.

Newhouse, Margret. Outside the Ivory Tower: A Guide for Academics Considering Alternative Careers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Office of Career Services, 1996. Print.

CV Doctor on The Chronicle of Higher Education—sometimes have advice about turning your CV into a resume. Relevant CHE articles include:

  • Miller, Brent. "Why I Tossed Your Resume." The Chronicle of Higher Education 17 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Oct. 2012.
  • Thompson, Kim, and Terren Ilana Wein. “From CV to Résumé.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 17 Dec. 2004. Web. 18 July 2012.
  • Vick, Julie Miller, and Jennifer S. Furlong. “A C.V. Revised Into a Résumé.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 3 Dec. 1999. Web. 18 July 2012.
  • Vick, Julie Miller, and Jennifer S. Furlong. “The CV Doctor Is Back: David Jones’s Résumé - After.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 16 Dec. 2009. Web. 18 July 2012.


1. Miller, Brent. “Why I Tossed Your Résumé.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 17 Apr. 2012. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. (Lists general resume flaws)

2. Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius, “So What Are You Going to Do with That?”: Finding Careers Outside Academia, 2nd ed. (Chicago, IL: University Of Chicago Press, 2007), 99.

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