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Creating your CV

The Academic Job Search: The Curriculum Vitate

The Curriculum Vitae, or CV, is the academic equivalent of a resume, used in applying for positions in academia and fellowship grants. CVs are usually longer than resumes, including all of your relevant experiences in some detail, and are more focused on academic credentials. CVs include teaching, research, and volunteer experience, publications, presentations, honors, awards, and other details not typically found on resumes. Your CV will likely be your first contact with a committee, and should therefore be engaging and present you in the best light possible.

There is no single correct format for writing a CV, but each field may have its own formatting guidelines. Ask your department for sample CVs from previous students and prepare your CV accordingly. You may want to revise your CV for each position you apply for, highlighting different areas of your background.

We suggest that you ask postdoctoral scholars or faculty if you can review a copy of their CV. Examples are the best way to determine what is needed in your specific field.

Sections found on CVs typically include:

  • Heading: Name, address, phone number (include a cell phone or alternate numbers where you may be reached), and email address.
  • Education: List academic degrees starting with the degree in progress in the reverse chronological order in which they were obtained. Include the school name, city and state, area of concentration, degree, and month and year of obtaining the degree.
  • Thesis/Dissertation: Include the title of your thesis/dissertation, your advisor, and committee members. Keep the description of your research to a paragraph.
  • Fellowships, Honors, and Awards: List any kind of scholarships, distinctions, grants, etc. that you have received. You can include one-line descriptions, and if your list becomes long, may want to add a separate section for your highest honors.
  • Areas of Interest or Specialization: This section would include areas in which you would like to conduct research or would be capable of teaching.
  • Teaching Experience: List positions held in reverse chronological order, including your position's title, university, city and state, and date. Describe your responsibilities and include a very brief description of the class along with its title and level.
  • Research Experience: List positions held in reverse chronological order, including your position's title, university, city and state, and date. Describe your research and its impact. Your thesis research may go here or in a separate section.
  • Volunteer Experience: Include any experiences that demonstrate leadership or service in academic or non-academic areas. Positions held in student organizations and academic committees would go here, as would community service roles. You may want to have separate sections for volunteer work inside and outside of academia.
  • Publications and Presentations: List any publications that you have authored or co-authored, including journal articles, research reports, and books. You may include works that are in progress. List presentations in reverse chronological order with title, conference, location, and date. Publications and presentations can be two separate sections.
  • Other: You can provide additional sections including professional associations in which you hold membership or officer positions, languages, specialized computer or lab skills, or any other type of skill or experience relevant to the position for which you are applying.
  • References: Provide a title, department, university, address, phone number, and email address. You should have at least five prepared references.

If you are applying for a research position, research experience should come before teaching experience, and you may want to cut down the teaching section. The reverse holds for applying for a teaching position.

Unlike a resume, work experience that is not directly related to the position for which you are applying should not be included on a CV.

Use no smaller than size 10 font and 1 inch margins, and use quality white or cream colored bond paper.