This Is Why Published Academic Papers Count in Job Applications


June 10, 2021

So you have an academic paper byline to your credit. Will this help you with a job application?


Writing an academic paper is one of the most challenging types of writing. Still, everybody tends to think that academic writing is usually targeted at scholars and does not add any value to a non-academic CV, but published papers can be considered as a precious asset when you have to apply for a job. What do academic papers prove, and why are published papers valuable? 


To create and publish academic papers, you need to be committed, use your research skills, and prove that you have read many critical texts, have argued about your ideas in certain ways, and have a critical perspective. Let’s discuss how all this work counts in a job application. 


The skills you can demonstrate you have

Most academic papers go through a peer-review process in which two external experts of the field evaluate what you have submitted and either accept the paper, suggest some revisions, or reject it. 


The expectations and requirements of academia are high & exacting: many reviewers demand deep knowledge of the argument you discuss, and consequently, excellent research skills. With a list of publications on your CV, you demonstrate these crucial qualities, such as the mental flexibility to adapt your work following unknown reviewers’ comments and a solid commitment to your projects and ideas. You also demonstrate that you are ready to listen to a critical perspective and collaborate with more experienced colleagues to improve your work. 


How can you leverage your academic credentials in your job search?

Searching for a highly qualified job in Humanities or in the Sciences can be difficult. In fields like publishing, journalism, or with data companies, or industries that rely on metrics, published research papers on your CV can make a difference. 


In a CV, publications are usually listed after the education section. They add additional value to your educational background and make your application stand out to the recruiters. Published papers instil confidence in recruiters that have proof of your knowledge and experience. They instantly know that you have research and teamwork skills. They are also aware that you are reliable and committed, considering that you followed a project for an extended period. 


How to get published: an insight into the process

Publishing an academic paper in a journal is a long and challenging process. You need to complete many stages before and after you submit your article to a journal. 

Firstly, let’s discuss the various steps before the submission. It is important to start by searching for “Call for Papers” online: google, newsletters of your area of study, or even websites like and can be precious tools. If you are familiar with relevant journals of your field, you can always send an email to the editors and ask when they will accept new manuscripts and which themes or topics they will base their next issue on. 


You need to prepare an abstract and a short bio, submit them and wait for the journal’s or editors’ response. If you receive positive feedback and you can proceed with the writing process, be sure to ask professors, colleagues, or friends to check what you are about to submit. 


Throughout the peer-review process, you will likely be asked to modify sections, add critical material, or adjust some parts of your paper. It is important not to lose motivation and, instead, to keep in mind that it is a normal part of the complicated peer-review process. In case of a rejection, the journal will communicate the reasons why your essay was rejected, and it is essential to take note of all the problems and flaws to rewrite the paper to share with some other journals.  


To conclude, deciding to publish an academic paper can imply a series of daunting steps. It is crucial to consider the benefits you will have in your future career as a scholar, as a postgraduate, and in all the job applications you will submit. Published research papers can help boost your CV and make it more noticeable for the recruiters. 

Francesco Bacci is pursuing a PhD in American Literature at the Graduate School of North American Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin. 

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