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How do I Create a Resume for Adjunct Faculty?

by Carol Poster, studioD

Departments hiring adjuncts want a full academic curriculum vitae rather than the shorter resume typical of other industries. However, adjunct curriculum vitae differ from tenure-stream ones in both order and emphasis. Universities hire adjunct faculty exclusively for teaching, unlike tenure-stream faculty who combine teaching, research and service. You should focus more on your teaching in adjunct CVs than in tenure-stream ones.


Prepare your CV on letter-size paper with 1-inch margins. Use 11 or 12 point Times New Roman font for every part of the CV except the heading. The first line or heading of your CV should be your name, and the second line the words "Curriculum Vitae," both centered in a 16-point font. Separate your CV into subsections with bold-faced section headings, either centered or on the left margin. Use the header-footer function of your word processing software to place your name and a page number at the top of every page.

Personal Contact Information

The first section of your CV contains personal contact information. Include your home address, personal e-mail, regular and cell phone numbers and Skype name. Do not use your current professional e-mail address, as that belongs to your employer, not to you personally. Instead, create a free email account for personal business, using some easily recognizable combination of your first and last names, in a format such as FirstName-LastName@FreeServiceProvider.com.


Organize the education section of your CV in reverse chronological order, beginning with your doctoral degree. For all postgraduate degrees, provide the names of the degree-granting department and university, completion date, major and minor areas, thesis title and supervisor's name. You can add a one- or two-sentence description of your doctoral dissertation if you completed your degree within the past five years, but not if you graduated more than five years ago.


While the research section follows the education one in your CV if you are applying for a tenure-stream position, in an adjunct CV, the teaching section follows immediately after the education one. For each university at which you have taught, list all of the courses that you were paid to teach. Do not include guest lectures or substituting for a few days for a colleague. For each course, supply the course number, title, a short description and course format, such as whether it was in a seminar or lecture-tutorial format. Next, indicate your role, whether as course director, discussion-section leader or grader, and whether you designed the course or taught from an established syllabus. Many adjuncts include student evaluation data in the teaching section, either listing the ratings for each course or adding a table showing evaluation scores.

Awards, Research and Service

Follow the section on teaching with ones including awards, research and service. The research section should include published work and successful grant applications. Work in progress or submitted but not accepted should be addressed in your cover letter. If you have substantial publications and conference presentations, summarize minor or older ones in paragraph form to keep your CV under 10 pages.

About the Author

Carol Poster began writing professionally in 1974. Her articles have appeared in "Outdoor Woman," "Paddler," "Ski Magazine," "Women's Sports & Fitness," "Dance News," "Show Business," "The Athenian," "PC Resource" and "Utah Holiday," among other publications. Poster holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Eastern Washington University, as well as a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri.

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