A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is typically written when applying for academic positions, research opportunities, fellowships, grants, or certain international job applications. It is a comprehensive document highlighting your educational background, research experience, publications, academic achievements, and professional qualifications. View an example on the Career Center Blog.

Here are some common scenarios when you should consider writing a CV:

  1. Academic Positions: When applying for faculty positions, teaching positions, or research positions in universities or academic institutions, a CV is commonly used to showcase your qualifications, research contributions, and teaching experience.
  2. Research Opportunities: If you are applying for research positions, such as research assistantships, internships, or positions in research-oriented organizations, a CV is appropriate to demonstrate your research background, skills, and publications.
  3. Fellowships and Grants: Many fellowship and grant applications require a CV as part of the application package. A CV helps the selection committee evaluate your qualifications, previous research experience, and potential for contributing to the specific program or project.
  4. International Job Applications: In some countries, particularly in Europe, a CV is commonly used instead of a resume for job applications. When applying for jobs abroad, especially in academic or research fields, it's important to prepare a CV tailored to the specific requirements and conventions of the target country.
  5. Professional Qualifications: Certain professional organizations and industries may require a CV for membership applications, certifications, or professional recognition. This is particularly true for fields where academic achievements, research contributions, or publications hold significant importance.

It's worth noting that different countries and industries may have different CV formats and content conventions. Therefore, it's important to research and follow your target audience's specific guidelines and expectations when preparing your CV.

CV vs. Resume

The main difference between a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a resume is the level of detail and their purpose. A CV is commonly used in academic and research fields and for international job applications. On the other hand, a resume is a concise summary of a person's relevant skills, work experience, and achievements. Resumes are typically used in the corporate world and for job applications within a specific industry. Unlike a CV, resumes are usually limited to one or two pages and focus on highlighting skills and experiences directly relevant to the position being applied for.

A CV Should Be: 

  • An overview of your academic background and accomplishments;
  • Be interesting and tell more of a career narrative for the reader; 
  • Be concise, strategic, and specialized based on what you want to teach and/or research.

Tips for Developing a CV

  • Consider what is most relevant and important and make sure it’s on the first page.
  • Make it reader-friendly (bold, categories, font size/type, margins, etc. helps with this).
  • Keep it in reverse chronological order and categorized.
  • If you choose to include work experience, explain the relevance to your academic/research interest.
  • You can also make sub-categories for various publication types and include submitted works, works in progress, and upcoming research/presentations.

Necessary Categories on a Curriculum Vitae

  • Name and Contact Information
  • Education
  • Professional Experiences
  • Skills

Other Commonly Used CV Categories 

  • Awards or Fellowships 
  • Dissertation 
  • Teaching Experience and Interest 
  • Research/Publications 
  • Presentations 
  • Professional Experience 
  • Professional Affiliations 
  • Professional Training 
  • Languages 
  • University/Department Professional Service 
  • References

For guidance and more personalized questions, contact your career advisor.