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A curriculum vitae (CV) is a comprehensive summary of your educational and professional experience. This includes publications, presentations, professional activities, honors, and additional credentials. A CV is usually used for positions focused on academic roles or research, clinical or scientific positions, or whenever requested.

Formatting your CV

There are two structural formats to choose from when crafting a CV. Regardless of the format make sure to keep information short and succinct.

  • Chronological Format
    This is most appropriate when you have experience directly related to your career goal. Preset education and work experience in reverse chronological order, describing responsibilities and achievements under each entry.

  • Functional Format
    Use this format when pursuing a career goal not directly related to your field of study. In this format your experience is explained under major skill headings while job titles, employers, and dates are all listed separately.

Content of your Vitae

Take a moment to brainstorm all of your experience within your professional and education backgrounds. Think though specific tasks that you preformed and all the skills required.

Heading and Contact Information

Your name should be bolded and in larger print. Do not include the words 'Curriculum Vitae' in the document (they know what it is) and make sure to include complete contact information. This should include permanent and campus office addresses, email address, and permanent office and home phone numbers with area code.


List degrees in reverse chronological order. Include the official name of your degree or certification and the date it was or will be completed, along with year of your graduation and any majors or minors obtained. A list is much easier to scan so keep things simple to follow.


Reverse chronological order is what is expected but if you have a mixture of experiences you can break them down into categories, such as Related Experience and Additional Experience. List your job title or position, the organization name, the dates of employment, and an active, descriptive summary of your job responsibilities.

Number such a percentages or dollar make strong statements. Consolidate information when appropriate and avoid repetition and excessive details. Use bullet points to make the list easy to read and start each with a strong action word.


Consider including this section to highlight special skills. You can also include certifications that you've obtained in this category.


List most relevant activities first. Include professional, community, graduate level, and, occasionally, outstanding undergraduate activities. You can add brief details or explanations if appropriate. This section allows the chance to show some of your personality and own interests.

Honors and Awards

Include this section only if you have several honors. If you have one or two simply include them in the activities or education sections.


Unlike the resume, reference are usually included directly inside the CV. Three to five is appropriate and should include professional contacts and faculty members. Include the reference's name, title, organization, and appropriate contact information. Make sure to obtain permission from your reference before including them.

Potential Items to Include

Your CV serves as a comprehensive history of your experience and can include a wide variety of items. If relevant, consider including some of the following:

  • Educational Background
  • Grants Received
  • Professional Service
  • Research Experience
  • Publications
  • Thesis or Dissertation
  • Teaching Experience
  • Presentations
  • Internships
  • Professional Experience
  • Fellowships
  • Certifications/Licensure
  • Research Interests
  • Honors and Awards
  • Programs and Workshops
  • Teaching Interests
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Creative Works
  • Scholarly Works
  • Languages
  • Foreign Study
  • Committees
  • Administrative Experience
  • Works in Progress

Sample of a CV

Avoid using templates when creating your personal CV. Use the samples as a guide for formatting and information organization.

Get Feedback

A mistake on your CV will leave a poor impression. Proofread your content several times and have others review your content to look for errors.

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Curriculum Vitae (CV)