A curriculum vitae (CV) is Latin for “course of life.” It is a comprehensive description of your academic credentials and achievements. It differs from a resume, which is a brief summary of your skills and experience over one or two pages. A CV is more detailed and can stretch well beyond two pages. Graduates with master’s or doctoral degrees are typically required to submit a CV when applying for teaching or research positions at colleges, universities, or research institutions.
How Long Should My CV Be?
CVs for recent PhDs are typically 2-3 pages in length. For more experienced individuals, a CV can be significantly longer.
What Should I Include?
Your CV should showcase the depth and breadth of your accomplishments and contributions. Include the following information:
- Contact Information – name, personal address, cell phone, email
- Education – degrees, awarding institutions, dates of completion, GPA
- Dissertation/Thesis Title(s) – names of advisor(s), if well-known in the field
- Honors, Awards – fellowships, grants (include dates awarded)
- Research and Teaching Interests– summary
- Research Experience
- Teaching Experience
- Grant Writing/Proposals
- Conference Presentations (including dates)
- Publications – comprehensive list
- Patent Disclosure(s)
- Professional Certifications
- Skills – may include languages, laboratory, computer, programming
- Community Service
- Professional Affiliations/Memberships – include description of service/leadership roles
You can create additional categories as you see fit. Note: different disciplines may require additional sections, such as “Performances” (performing arts) or “Production Highlights” (film). Consult with your advisor and/or other faculty members to learn about conventions for your specific field.
How Should I Organize My CV?
Consider the relevancy of the information to the requirements of the position you seek. What will interest this potential employer the most? Put the most pertinent sections first.
A sample CV is provided and can be adapted for many different majors. Remember, CVs are used primarily in teaching and research contexts. If you are interested in working in industry, please review the resumes section.
Additional Online Resources
- Job Searching in Academia
- Create an account with The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae community for up-to-date information and perspectives on job searching in academia
- Look for CVs of faculty members on departmental websites.
- Academia.edu – Make a free account and access a variety of resources.
Prepare Your Documents