Industry vs. Academia

Inside Academia

Curriculum Vita
Cur·ric·u·lum vi·tae: Latin, course of (one’s) life. The curriculum vita (CV) is the standard document one uses when applying for jobs in academia. The CV is more detailed than a traditional resume and summarizes your qualifications and experience. In addition, the CV highlights teaching, research, and service to the university and community.

In a CV, it is important to highlight formal classroom and informal teaching experiences. Research sections are emphasized for institutions more focused on research. You may also want to highlight success in acquiring grants, and scholarly awards for individual and group research.

Cover Letter
Depending on the job description or advertisement, a company/organization may have one of the following requirements: resume and cover letter required, resume required and cover letter optional, or resume required. We recommend submitting a cover letter with your resume 100% of the time. In your cover letter, you may want to expand upon your teaching and research experience.

Research & Teaching Statements
In addition to your resume and cover letter, your application materials may include research or teaching philosophies. These documents address how your prior research and teaching experience will impact your future research plans, and your method of classroom instruction. The Chronicle of Higher Education has prepared a comprehensive "how to" using feedback from professors and administrators. We also encourage you to bring your documents to the Career Development Center for review.

Recommendation Letters
Recommendation letters are your opportunity to showcase your professional network. You want to solicit recommendations from faculty who can speak on behalf of your teaching and research experience. It is important to seek recommenders who are will to speak positively of your experiences and work ethic.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines networking as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically, the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.” Networking is based on the premise of providing and receiving support; both parties profit from the relationship. The old saying goes without question “It is not what you know, but who you know.”

Networking allows you to:

  • Better learn the fundamentals of your field.
  • Obtain the "inside scoop" about specific job opportunities that may not be know to others.
  • Connect with your local community.
  • Assist in the creation of mutually beneficial and reciprocal professional relationships.
  • Develop your interpersonal skills.
  • Promote your personal brand.

Networking is NOT: 

  • Schmoozing or using/pursuing others solely for what they can provide you.
  • Asking for a job.
  • A contest to see who can "collect" the most contacts.
  • A one-time, one-sided deal.

In addition to academic conferences, informational interviews are a method of networking. Informational interviews are a method of obtaining information and guidance from an experienced worker in the field you exhibit interest in. These interviews are a great way to learn more about a job sector, university/college, and/or position you are interested in, and are a way of developing your professional network.

Most academic positions are posted on university and college websites. Identifying the type of institution (heavy research vs. heavy teaching; large vs. small; public vs. private) you are interested in working for will allow you to narrow your options and make the job search much easier.

You can choose to visit individual university/college websites to begin looking for positions, or use the popular website. allows you to search for academic positions both international and U.S. opportunities, and allows you to search by institutional type, state, and region/metro area.

As a graduate student and future alumni of the University of Louisville, you have life-long access to Cards Career Connection powered by Handshake. By logging into this system with your ULink information, you are able to search for academic positions posted by universities and colleges looking to recruit UofL students and alumns.