Create a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

What is a CV?

Curriculum Vitae: Latin, course of (one’s) life

  • A curriculum vitae is your first point of contact between you and your future colleagues.
  • The role of a CV is to grab the interest of the reader and encourage him/her to look over your other application materials.
  • Consider these questions as you are crafting your CV:
    • What will your audience be looking for?
    • What do you have that other applicants may not?

Comparing the Curriculum Vitae and Resume

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  • Goal: Obtain an academic position, research position, or grant
  • Audience: Fellow academic/researcher of similar field
  • Structure: Text-heavy
  • Length: (Flexible) as long as necessary
    • Doctoral CVs typically 3-4 pages
    • Master’s CVs typically 1-3 pages
  • Content: Complete history of academic pursuits (including teaching, research, awards, and service)
    • Tailored to highlight ability to conduct research/teach OR tailored to highlight ability to fit with specific job/field


  • Goal: Obtain a nonacademic job
  • Audience: Potential nonacademic employers
  • Structure: Minimal text, concise, achievement oriented bullet points
  • Length: Typically 1 page; limited to 2 page maximum
  • Content: Summary of most relevant skills and experiences tailored to ability to fit with specific job/company


  • Be consistent in your formatting.
  • Use formatting (bold, italics, underlines) to separate sections and help readers navigate the page.
  • Some opportunities prefer a traditional CV (very basic formatting, essentially lists, no descriptions).
  • After the first page, begin page numbering (2,3,4,5….)
  • 0.5 Margin Minimum; 11pt Font Size Minimum
  • Use Standard Fonts (i.e. Arial, Times New Roman)
  • When applying to professional schools/programs, it is important to check their website for required CV formatting (CVs vary per school, program, and even field of study)
  • Tell what you did, how you did it, and what the result was.
    • If altering your CV into a resume for a non-academic job, focus more on the processes than the content of the work, and use bullet points.
  • Typically, a CV should begin with contact information and education.
  • Sections that include items with various dates (such as education, research experience, service work, etc.) should be listed in reverse chronological order.

  • The personal information section can appear as the header.
  • Be sure to include: your name, home address, phone number, and email. Some students will include their office/department contact info.
  • Do not include: date or place of birth, marital status, gender, religion, social security number, etc. (These should never be included on your CV or resume).

Should include the name of the colleges/universities attended, the location (city, state, and country if outside of the United States) of each facility, the type of degree earned along with the field of study, and the graduation date.

  • Most experiences should contain at least 3 bullet points or a description
  • Transferable skills are the tasks you know how to do regardless of where they take place. They describe your functional skills.
  • Action verbs are strong active words which help you clarify your activities in a meaningful and relevant way.
  • Emphasize results to show accomplishments. -> Action verb + Transferable skills/Task = Result.

  • Unlike a resume, a CV includes references.
  • If possible, provide 3-6 references (with at least name, address, and contact information) of individuals who can comment positively on your capabilities. Remember:
    • Always ask references if you can include them on any documents and let them know if they may be contacted.

  • Academic Service
  • Administrative Experience
  • Articles
  • Awards
  • Certificates
  • Committee Leadership
  • Community Service
  • Conference Leadership
  • Conference Presentations
  • Conferences Attended
  • Dissertations/Thesis
  • Departmental Service
  • Education Interests
  • Endorsements
  • Exhibitions
  • Fellowships
  • Grant Writing Experience
  • Grant Funding Received
  • International Study
  • Journal Reviews
  • Leadership
  • Licensure
  • Master’s Project
  • Panels Organized
  • Panels Served On
  • Presentations
  • Professional Associations
  • Professional Certifications
  • Professional Experience
  • Publications
  • Relevant Courses
  • Related Employment
  • Research Fields
  • Research Interests
  • Scholarly Presentations
  • Scholarly Works
  • Scholarships
  • Skills & Languages
  • Study Abroad
  • Teaching Assistantships
  • Teaching Interests
  • Teaching Overview
  • Teaching Summary
  • Technical Skills
  • Thesis
  • Travel Abroad
  • University Involvement
  • Workshops

**When choosing which categories to include on your resume, think about which will highlight your most prestigious strengths and achievements in the position/field you are applying for. You may also reformat the categories so that your strongest points appear earlier in your CV.**

Don’t forget to check out our Sample CV!

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