Writing a College Adjunct Professor Resume or CV (Curriculum Vitae)

All too frequently, people graduate from college and expect to step right into their dream job teaching at a college. However, as most people know, this idealized plan very rarely occurs. When you are looking to establish yourself in the world of higher education, an important first step is to gain experience.

If you lack expertise in field of education, the best way to obtain it is by landing a job as an adjunct professor.

An adjunct instructor is a professor who is hired on a temporary, contractual basis. These individuals are not tenured, so their jobs are not as secure as those who have permanent instructor positions. Universities and colleges are eager to hire adjunct professors since it ends up being a better choice financially. Adjunct professors provide the college with the option of shifting or eliminating staff when financially necessary, or as course enrollment changes. Because there are so many more adjunct jobs that are available, it is significantly easier for an individual with no previous teaching experience to obtain a position in this field. For example, many people who have worked in the corporate or business world apply for the position of adjunct professor.

Adjunct professor giving a lecture

How to Write a Higher Education CV Curriculum Vitae or Resume to Show Your Value as a College Instructor

If you have an effective, well-organized resume that is keyword-rich and accomplishment-based, you can submit it to a variety of schools in your geographic area to receive the best response.

When writing your adjunct professor resume, be sure to include the following:

A Strong Objective and Introductory Profile

Start your resume with an objective tailored to the job of an adjunct professor. Do not state that your objective is to be tenured or that you have any other long-term goal. If you do state an objective such as this, the employer will be more likely to dismiss your resume because your objective and the job are not aligned. For example, your objective may be Adjunct Business Instructor or Adjunct Philosophy Professor.

The next portion is your profile. It should include:

A strong profile is one of the most important aspects of your instructional resume, as it provides a brief snapshot of who you are as a professional. Use this opportunity to market and sell yourself!

Previous Teaching Experience

You will not be a very desirable candidate if you do not have at least some form of related education or real life experience that is relevant to the position. Make sure to clearly list any instructional experience you have on your resume. Highlight related courses and units of instruction.

If you only have minimal experience, beef it up!

Elaborate on your duties in your previous tutoring or part time teaching jobs to help the college understand how you are qualified for the position. Demonstrate your hard skill sets (see below) and accomplishments along with previous job responsibilities.

An Attention-Grabbing Cover Letter

Your cover letter is just as important as your resume! It is your first chance to market yourself as a potential employee and stand-up adjunct professor. There are several things you must remember to include:

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Hard skills are teachable skill sets that give you the ability to do your job, and do it well:

Soft skills are less tangible than hard skills, but just as important:

Make sure you capture the reader's attention right away, and live him/her wanting to know more. Your cover letter should flow well, be no more than one page, include your contact information and close with a compelling conclusion, which invites the reader to offer you an interview. Your resume and cover letter should include the same layout and font; if one includes a border or color, so should the other.

Relevant References

Though references aren't included within your actual resume, they play a key part in the job application process. Try to include references that can attest to your teaching ability or topic-specific knowledge. While your old boss at the pretzel shop might have been very impressed with certain skills, his recommendation will not likely impress a college that is considering hiring you as a college instructor. Instead, select people who directly supervised you while you performed a job that required some type of teaching, mentoring, or presentation skills.

Achieving Your Goals

Very few people will want to put their long-term goals on the back burner mainly because they want their dream job now. However, it is important to remember that many employers want to recruit individuals who can bring tangible skills to the work environment. Although taking a job as an adjunct professor may seem like you are settling, this is far from the truth! You can learn a lot as an adjunct professor, and you may even find yourself advancing to a full time role. So, don't miss out on this opportunity because you were too impatient to start at this entry level!