Tips for showing off publications on a CV for academia

Listing your publications on a CV is hugely important. Here’s how you can make sure your publications pack the maximum punch on your CV.



Table of Contents

  1. Publications on a CV
  2. Why you should put publications on a CV
  3. How to list publications on your CV
  4. Important points to remember when listing publications
  5. FAQ: Listing Publications on a CV

Publications on a CV

When writing a CV, it’s important that you list as much information as possible so that hiring managers want to give your application another read. If you’re in an academic field, you may have publication credits that show off your expertise and experience. Where do you put this list of publications, and how do you choose the best research and publications to include? Here’s what you need to know.

Why you should put publications on a CV

Publications include anything you have authored that has been published. Written publications include book chapters, academic journal articles, trade association magazines, research papers and any other piece of academia that has been formally published. In some instances, publications may include appearances and speeches, such as if you were a keynote speaker or panellist for an event.

These publications show recruiters that you know what you’re talking about. In academia, publishing something like a journal article is the best way to show that you’re an expert in your field. Additionally, there are many different types of publications, and they can help you show off diverse skills and areas of expertise.

How to list publications on your CV

Here are your best options for listing publications on your CV:

Create a section for publications

If you have publications to include on your CV, you should create a separate section. In a professional CV, it’s typically not effective to include publications in an education section or even in the work experience section. Instead, create a specific section where you’ll list your publications.

Only include publications that are relevant

Next, remember that it’s best to only include relevant publications. This may include your most recent publications or just those in an industry journal connected to the job. Consider what your potential employer would most likely think showcases your expertise. You may want to limit your publications to around three to six highlights that you think show off your talents and knowledge most effectively.

Use publications to hit CV keywords

When you’re writing a CV, you want to make sure it’s applicant tracking system (ATS)-friendly. An ATS is an automated system that scans your CV and cover letter before it gets to an actual hiring manager. One of the elements ATS scans for is CV keywords. So if the job description notes “geriatric care” as an important area, for example, consider it a keyword and see if you have a publication that addresses this topic. These keywords can appear in the subject matter and even the article’s title.

Include all necessary information

Lastly, include all the necessary information to ensure that the hiring manager can find your publication. Here are a few pieces of information that you might need to include:

  • Title of article/Name of the journal
  • Volume number/Issue number
  • Publication date/Year of publication
  • Page numbers of your article
  • All author names, including co-authors
  • Short description of the article

You can use CVHelp’s CV builder to help guide you as you write your CV and include your publications.

Important points to remember when listing publications

Remember that you should always emphasise publications that are relevant to the job. Typically, you’ll want to list them in reverse-chronological order. A recruiter typically wants to know that you’re working right now in the field, and listing your most recent publications first helps you do that.

Additionally, check what style is most applicable to your CV. If the job application mentions a specific writing style — for example, APA or Oxford — use that one. Some industries may also lean toward one or the other.

Lastly, remember to highlight your publications throughout your application. You should mention important publications in your professional summary or career objective, and your cover letter. That way, even an easy scan of your CV showcases that you know what you’re talking about.

FAQ: Listing Publications on a CV

Q: How many publications do I need for a publications section?

You will typically want to list at least three publications if you have a publications section. However, if you have specific industry journal publications that are extremely groundbreaking or interesting, you may have even just two. Unless the application asks for an extensive history of your publications, you’ll typically want to cap your list of publications at six maximum.

Q: Can I list publications on a CV if it isn’t published?

If you have authored a piece that hasn’t been published yet, you may still list it on your CV. Use “(In press)” or “(Submitted for publication)” to acknowledge that while the article is written, it hasn’t been actually published yet. In your job interview, you can talk more about what your article is about and what research you’ve done for it.

Q: Can I list research as part of my publications?

If you did original research to write your publications, you can create a section called “Research” where you include this information. This will be mostly utilised in academic CVs, as most other CV formats will not require this type of in-depth knowledge about your work. Only include research sections if it actively helps with your application.

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