Introduction to Curriculum Vitae

What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

A CV is an overview of your accomplishments, specifically those pertaining to academia. CVs are important for graduate students or other academic pursuits.  Unlike a resume, CVs are often a few pages. A CV is a document that reflects what one has done in their career, therefore it is always growing. CVs are a scholar's identity.

A good CVs should include:

  1. Your name and contact information. In the upper left corner write your full name, phone number, and e-mail address. Some include their birthday and nationality as well. Make sure your e-mail is professional and that you use your full name, not a nickname.
  2. An overview of your education. Obviously list the colleges that you have attended, but also include your GPA if it is above a 3.0 and some of the most important courses you have taken. You may also wish to put academic awards here, such as the Dean's List, if you only have a few.
  3. Your academic and related employment. Explain exactly what you did in your job. Be sure to mention the title of the job and the name of the company you worked for. When writing description entries, be sure to be aware of gapping and parallelism. Gapping is when you use incomplete sentences in order to present information concisely but clearly. For example, instead of saying "I supervised all aspects of the project" say "Project Manager (2011-2012). Planned events. Handled all money. Held regular meetings with staff." Gapping allows you to cut out extra words and allows your potential employer to quickly read your CV. Parallelism is when you keep the structure of your phrases consistent. For example, you would say "supervised, held, and planned" but you would not say "supervised, held, constructing" because the phrase is not parallel. Be sure to put your work information in chronological order.
  4. Your research projects (including conference papers and publications). As with the other section, be sure to remember gapping and parallelism. Once again, explain exactly what you did. If you attended conferences, name the conference's full title, where it was at, and the paper you presented there.
  5. Your departmental and community service.
  6. Achievements, Additional Activities/Academic Groups/Professional Affiliations, Languages and/or Honors. Make sure you are specific on your role here and the accomplishments that you achieved with these groups. You can always separate these groups if you would like to. For languages, be sure that you put your level of expertise). Always list in chronological order.
  7. A reference list (either as part of your CV or as a separate page).


Please go here for a sample CV.