What is a Curriculum Vita?
In the United States, a curriculum vita, often called a CV or vita, is used when applying for academic and research positions, fellowships, and grants.
Note: The term CV is also used in many foreign countries to describe a résumé. Keep in mind, overseas employers often expect to receive personal information that would not be included on a U.S. résumé such as a photo, place of birth, nationality, gender, number of dependents, and marital status.
A CV is longer than a résumé (at least two pages) and represents your accomplishments, areas of expertise, and professional skills in a detailed and organized manner. It is best to discuss any special CV formatting your field may require with a mentor or trusted member in your department (i.e., faculty member or adviser). As with a résumé, you may need different versions of a CV for different types of positions.
Writing a Curriculum Vita: Vitae Categories
A CV is a summary of your educational and academic background as well as teaching, research, and service/engagement experience, publications, presentations, honors and awards, affiliations, and other details. Include the categories below which best highlight your experience.
Personal Contact Information
Name, address, phone number, email, online portfolio (if applicable).
Degree, major, institution (city & state), and date of completion (or expected date of completion). List the most recent or expected degree first, writing in reverse chronological order.
Dissertation or Thesis
Include title and brief description of research work.
Include scholarly interests, professional competencies, educational highlights, scholarly proficiencies, areas of expertise, areas of experience, areas of concentration, academic interests, research interests, and professional interests.
This section will be divided into multiple categories to highlight academic work and contributions. Subcategories
List special trainings or conferences attended to develop professional skills. For example: Preparing for Future Faculty training, WebCT Vista Technology training, or SPSS Statistical Software competency.
Honors, Awards, Fellowships, Scholarships
List recognition received from a college, university, association, or honorary society.
- Languages/International: International study, study abroad, research abroad, language competencies, languages
- Licenses/Certifications: Professional certification, certification, licensure, special training, endorsements
- Credentials: Placement/Credential file (such as Interfolio), dossier, references, recommendations
Strategies for Success
- Tailor your CV to a specific position. Organize it so the most relevant categories come first.
- Keep the layout and design of your CV organized, consistent, and attractive.
- Consider creating a complete CV and an abridged CV, a shorter version which highlights some of your most relevant and reputable experiences.
- Avoid the use of acronyms; spell everything out.
- Have your CV reviewed by your adviser, career counselor, or other professional.