Resume and Jobs

Curriculum Vitae

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) (rather than a resume) is used for teaching or research opportunities, applying for admissions, fellowships, or for further academic training.

Other uses for a CV:

1. a supporting document with a grant or contract funding proposal
2. a requirement for internal review for tenure or promotion
3. a requirement with an application for membership in a professional society or organization, or
4. a background statement for an introduction at a conference presentation.

Generally, there is no single correct format or style for writing a CV. CV’s are frequently longer than resumes and thus can be multiple pages long. In a CV, completeness is more important than brevity.

What should be included in a Curriculum Vitae

Undergraduate Items:

As a master’s student, undergraduate accomplishments will likely be an important part of your CV, although they will drop away as your graduate career develops. Include such items as the senior thesis, fellowships, and awards.

Careers Prior to Graduate Studies:

List prior employment, especially if you worked as a teacher, editor, writer, or journalist.


Always include the title, and list the committee members.

Teaching Experience:

Rename the course, even if it is freshman English, to express your distinctive angle on the subject matter. If space allows, provide a brief course description. Note that you had full responsibility for the course, since not all universities give graduate students the opportunity to teach a class independently. Always save teaching evaluations and notes from students to use in the teaching portfolio.


Journal articles pass through many stages before publication. List your article’s status on the CV. Some terms for article status include “under consideration”, “under review,” “revise and resubmit,” and “forthcoming.”


Make sure you list work done as a research assistant, SITES intern, AGES chair, panel organizer, etc. If you have creative publications, list these under a separate heading.

What to emphasize

A CV summarizes educational and academic history. It emphasizes academic achievements such as:

  • teaching experience,
  • publications (books, articles, research papers, unpublished manuscripts, or book chapters), and
  • academic honors and awards.

Which experience is included on a CV?

  • On a CV it is appropriate to describe both teaching and research experience in detail. (On a resume this is usually not appropriate.)
  • If applying for a position that primarily involves research, describe research experience first; if the reverse is true, put teaching experience first.
  • Work experience not directly relevant to research/teaching/academic opportunities should be omitted or described only briefly.

Highlighting Your Thesis

Including a one- or two- page abstract of your thesis, is recommended, but optional. If you do provide an abstract, write (See Abstract Attached) in the Education section of your CV, after the name of your thesis title.

If you are working on or have recently finished your doctoral degree, at least include a brief, clear summary of your thesis topic in the Education section.

What Not to Include

  • Omit references to date of birth (age), marital status, children, health, spouse’s work, religious affiliation.
  • Do not include as headings, words such as “Personal Information”, “Name”, “Address”.
  • You don’t need to use the heading “Curriculum Vitae” at the top. It’s understood that it’s a CV.

How to Write a Curriculum Vitae

To write a Curriculum Vitae, the focus is on updating and polishing it. Below is advice on maintaining and updating your CV.

  • Begin to exclude details on earlier experience such as graduate school assistantships. You may still note the experience without discussion of the responsibilities.
  • If certain categories of your vita are growing substantially, begin making subcategories (e.g., Publications may be divided into articles, books and reviews.)
  • Ask others to review your CV. In addition to having them look for typos and grammatical errors, ask them what items they notice and remember … “if the most important items stand out, you’re in good shape”

Additional advice:

  • Look at the CVs of your peers and role models. Many faculty members post their CV online. If it is not online, you could ask them if you can see a copy. Notice the formatting, organizational techniques, and wording that works well.
  • Keep your CV updated. It can be difficult to remember presentations, awards, workshops, service work, and more. You want to be recognized for your efforts, and one way to do that is to include key events, committees, and more on your CV.
  • Consider removing personal information (such as your birth date) from your CV to protect your privacy.
  • Ensure your CV is easy for others to read and that the key information is easily accessible. Things to check:
    • Is your CV is in an electronic format that can be viewed easily by others (e.g., .pdf file)?
    • Does the font size/type scan and fax well?
    • Does the layout look good to others? Talk to someone who is good at visual layout and design. They might have recommendations that would make your CV more visually appealing. Ask someone who is detail oriented to review your CV. You might be surprised by the corrections they recommend. Discuss the organization of your CV with others — is there another way the information can be presented so that it’s clearer to others? These tips may require reworking your CV “from the ground up,” but the changes will probably be worth it.
    • Is your name highlighted in your list of publications, especially if there are multiple authors? Highlighting your name makes it easier for others to see your name.
    • Is your name listed on every page? Are there page numbers? Your name and the page number serve as reference points for readers.

Updating a CV can be time-consuming and is a task that can be quickly pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. To save time in the long run, considering updating your CV at regular intervals. Having an updated CV ready to go will reduce the stress of having to update it at the last minute.

5 Tips for Writing a Curriculum Vitae

  1. CVs should contain the following information:
  • Your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address
  • Current position (if you have a teaching appointment other than TA-ship)
  • Date (or expected date) of degrees and institutions (Ph.D., MA, and BA)
  • Title of thesis (and advisor’s name if useful)
  • Publications–books, articles, book reviews
  • Academic grants and awards
  • Conference papers presented
  • Research and teaching fields
  • Teaching experience, including courses taught
  • List of references
  1. Other optional information you may want to include:
  • Foreign language proficiency
  • Memberships in professional associations
  • Administrative or service experience (if relevant to position)
  • Prior non-academic work experience (if relevant to position)
  1. Do not include extraneous information such as unrelated work experience, personal background, etc. There is no need to pad your CV–it will be obvious to the reader and will not help your chances. Two pages is fine.
  2. Pay attention to visual presentation. Use bold subheads to highlight your categories and break up large sections of text. If you don’t have enough entries to constitute a separate category, combine them with creative titles such as “Publications and Works in Progress.” If a category is too long, break it into two (e.g., “Books” and “Articles”). If you know someone who has experience with graphic design, ask them to help you with formatting.
  3. For some people, a single CV will do for all jobs. Others may want to prepare two or more versions of their CV for different types of jobs. The most common scenario would be to have two versions: one stressing teaching, the other stressing research and publications. In most cases, it’s just a matter of shuffling the categories around to emphasize your strengths for the particular job or to restate your teaching interests.

Curriculum Vitae VS Resume

A resume, which should never be longer than two pages, should be used for all business, administrative, and service positions. A CV should be used for all faculty positions and all senior level research positions. Resumes should be no longer than two pages. Although it is acceptable for a curriculum vita to be longer than a resume, a CV must also be well written, clear, concise, and with a consistent format.

Sections of a Resume

  • Contact Information – full name, address, telephone number and email address
  • Career Objective (optional)
  • Professional Summary (optional)
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Special Skills
  • Licenses/Certifications (optional, but recommended if they are related to the field)
  • Awards (optional)
  • Professional Affiliations (optional)

Sections of the CV

  • Contact Information full name, address, telephone number and email address
  • Objective Education
  • Professional Memberships
  • Research Experience
  • Teaching Experience
  • Awards and Fellowships
  • Projects
  • Publications
  • Presentations
  • Industry Experience
  • References

Articles on Resume and Cover Letters

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