Curriculum Vitaes (CVs) 101
- Curriculum Vitaes (CVs)
- Guidelines for Preparing a CV
- Samples of CV Format
- Electronic Version of CV
- Transforming Your CV into a Resume
A curriculum vita (CV) is a comprehensive statement emphasizing:
- professional qualifications
- special qualifications
A CV can be as long as you need it to be, as long as the information is pertinent and accurate. Professionals seeking academic positions and non-academic positions in science, higher education, research, and health care typically use a CV. It is also used to seek a fellowship or grant and is expected for some positions overseas.
- The order of topics in a CV format is flexible.
- Arrange sections to highlight strengths for the position you are seeking.
- Elaborate on accomplishments and skills within categories.
- List items within each category chronologically, the most recent appearing first.
- Include additional headings when appropriate to reflect certifications/licensures, workshops/training, languages, book reviews, etc.
- Present information in an easily accessible and attractive style.
- Columbia University Career Resources sample CVs and resumes
- Chronicle of Higher Education’s CV Doctor
When sending electronic versions, attach a file (PDF is always better) or cut and paste the CV into the text of the email message. State your objectives and career interests in the first few lines since they may be the only items seen on a screen. Other tips:
- Use language and acronyms recognized in your field.
- Avoid using bold, italics, underlining, lines, or graphics. Use all caps for emphasis.
- Put your name at the top followed by address and each phone number on a separate line.
Many employers use websites for applicants to apply for positions. Although each form may be different, some elements may be similar. Save parts of your CV in a format that can be cut and pasted for each individual web-based form, such as saving a bulleted list of work experience.
You may need both a CV and a resume for your job search. Sending the appropriate document (CV or resume) tells employers that you can distinguish the differences between the academic and non-academic environments and that you can adapt your skills to either environment. Most employers in industry prefer a resume. When rearranging your CV to make it a resume:
- Do not exceed two pages.
- Re-evaluate your experience. Think creatively about how your academic experience can be translated into the necessary skills for a non-academic environment. Consider skills of project management, leadership, teamwork, effective communication, and meeting deadlines. See Explore Career Options
- Choose action verbs to describe your experience.
- Put your strengths first. List your professional experience or your degree first, depending on which is most important for a specific position.
- Include a well-written job objective; state the type of position and work setting you are seeking, skills or abilities you possess, and long-term goals. Be sure that your resume supports your job objective.
- Emphasize skills and accomplishments.
- List relevant presentations, publications, and papers, but not all.
- Have someone proofread it.