Publications on CVs are common amongst academic, scientific, public relations and publishing work areas. Publications are useful for showing previous experience, knowledge and can even give you the edge you need to get called for an interview.
For example, online publications may be useful to list for a freelance writer, not only as proof of experience, but also a way for recruiters to get an insight into writing styles and proficiency.
Listing a publication on a CV, like any other section of your CV, should always hold some kind of relevance to the job application. It’s important to list publications correctly on a CV, demonstrating an organised and well-presented list of publications which can influence recruiters and give insight into your knowledge.
For those who have completed higher education studies such as a PhD, it is recommendable to use an academic CV template to list your publications and academic achievements, as well as other key elements that you may have completed during your studies or investigation.
On the other hand, you don’t have to be an academic, a professor or a scientist in order to qualify for listing publications on your CV. Listing a publication can demonstrate a different side to recruiters and persuade them to call you for an interview. That said, everything listed on a CV should pertain to the job specification, so bear this in mind when deciding whether to list certain publications.
If you’re left wondering whether it is necessary to include a publication or a list of publications on your CV, ask yourself whether they relate to the field of work or the job specification. If they are not relevant to the job specification, but are a big personal achievement for you, then it may still be worth including them. You never know, your prospective employer may have read your book or article and it may be a great talking point for your interview!
The sections below cover the topics; how to list publications on a CV, what kind of publication you can include on your CV and examples of the publication section on a CV.
How to list publications on a CV
Similar to referencing, publications should be listed in a consistent format and follow the same structure.
The publications section on a CV should be listed in reverse chronological order and if there are many publications, ideally they should be grouped within their categories, as well.
The standard information listed with all types of publications should contain:
- Author’s full name (or initials)
- Title of publication
- Year of publication (or date)
- Chapter or page number (if necessary)
If the publication can be viewed online:
- Include the URL
- Include the IBAN
- Speaker role
If you’re concerned about formatting the publications section of your CV, you can use a reliable and professional design template to list your publication on your CV. An online CV maker also helps to guide you in the creation of your CV with tips and advice on how to list your work experience, education and skills.
Formatting tips for the publications section on a CV:
- Use the same font and font size consistently
- Keep all spaces equal
- List in a reverse chronological order
- Group into categories/genre/type of publication
- Keep your referencing system consistent
If you have exceeded the recommended length of 1-2 A4 pages for your CV, you also have the option to leave a “publications available on request” note at the bottom of your CV, similar to references.
Only have one publication to list on your CV?
If you’re worried about clogging up space creating a publications section on your CV and you only have one to list, you can list it under other sections of your CV.
- If it’s is an academic publication from your PhD, list it with your PhD qualification in the education section of your CV.
- You can list your publication in an achievements section, should you choose to include one on your CV.
Remember: if any of your publications are directly relevant to the job application or serve as helpful documentation, take them to your interview in the case that recruiters wish to view them.
What if my work isn’t published yet?
If your work has been accepted for publishing and you have received a formal confirmation:
You can still include the publication on your resume, as long as you specify that it is “under review” or “awaiting submission”. If you choose to list your publications using the Harvard referencing system, you can write “in press”.
You can list the publication as you would any other, as long as you make sure it is clear that is has not yet been published.
In the case that your work has not been accepted for publishing:
Under no circumstances should you list your work as a publication if it has not yet been accepted by any publisher or academic institute.
Please note: all work fields are different and may have diverse expectations of what to see on a CV. For example, it is expected that academic CVs consist of a list of publications, as well as a lengthier academic background and explanation.
What kind of publications can you include on your CV?
The variety of publications which can be listed on a CV is extensive. There is no right or wrong publication to list on a CV. If you feel that the publication is relevant to the job for which you applying, you can include the publication on your CV.
Below is a list of possible publications:
- Scientific articles
- Academic articles or publications
- Research and investigation publications
- Press articles
Nowadays, it’s common for many people to have their own blog. Depending on the type of blog you have, you can choose whether you would like to share it with recruiters. The blog should maintain a professional or creative style which suits the job specification.
TOP TIP: make sure none of your publications have errors, as this could lead to recruiters rejecting your application. All citations should also be correctly written.
Listing your publications is a great way of showing prospective employers your previous successes, as well as knowledge and understanding of certain topics. If you are knowledgeable in a certain area which is a requirement in the job specification, listing a publication related to the same topic will boost your job application and chances of being called for an interview.
Bear in mind that if you choose to list your publications on your CV, hiring managers are within their rights to look them up and read your work. This means that the information you give needs to be accurate and correct.
It may seem simple, but missing out information or not noticing a typo in the title will mean that the hiring manager can’t find your publication and think that you have made it up.
Publication section on a CV example
Publication examples can vary depending on the referencing system used. Regardless of the referencing system you choose, you must keep it consistent and reference every publication in the exact same way.
Please note: the hiring company or academic institution may have a preference as to which referencing system you use, so it may be useful to research this or enquire.
MHRA referencing system (usually for English literature, theatre, film and TV)
Name, title of publication (location of publisher: publisher, year)
Harvard referencing system
Surname, initial. (year) Title of publication. Edition number (don’t include the edition number if it is the first edition). Location of publisher: publisher.
Note: the Harvard referencing system uses the phrase “in press” for approved work waiting to be published.