Student Professional Development Center

Curriculum Vitae (CVs)


Sample CV

Curriculum Vitae (CV) vs. résumé: what’s the difference?

  • CVs are primarily used when seeking academic, research, medical and education positions. The reader is more interested in you as a member of, and a contributor to, an academic community.  Resumes focus on experiences that would allow you to best contribute within a work setting.
  • CVs can be longer than one page, but elaboration should be strategic.  Resumes, while also strategic in design, should not exceed one page (for college students and new graduates).
  • CVs typically include categories such as publications, research, and presentations, while these areas (on resumes) are generally less important to employers.
  • CVs always begin with education.  Resumes lead with education only as long as you are a student.  Once you have professional work experience, you will lead with that.

Basic Tips for CVs:

  • Do not use a template, and keep format simple, organized, consistent and clear.
  • A CV (as well as a resume) is an implied first-person document; no personal pronouns.  We know you mean “I.”
  • The most important information should always be on the first page, and preferably at the top.
  • Include name of principal investigator or advisor under research experience.
  • Avoid unnecessary words such as “responsibilities included.”
  • Use phrases, not sentences, to describe your skills and experiences; start phrases with action verbs. 
  • If longer than one page, include name and page number on each page after the first.
  • Do not include personal information, such as marital status, gender or social security number.
  • A reference list is a separate document.  Do not include this as part of your CV or resume.

Potential Sections of a CV (only relevant sections should be included):

  • Education –  list all degrees awarded, include study abroad institutions
  • Research Experience – reverse chronological order
  • Research Interests – list them
  • Teaching Experience – reverse chronological order (having been a TA is teaching experience and can be very helpful when applying for an assistantship!)
  • Internships –  show relevance to your field of study if it’s not obvious
  • Work Experience – emphasize related experiences and skills gained while working
  • Professional Societies – be sure to include leadership and specifics about involvement
  • Honors, Awards – include years they were received
  • Skills – include computer skills, language skills, lab skills or other tangible skills appropriate to the position or field
  • Professional Presentations – reverse chronological order or group by topical/functional headings
  • Publications – reverse chronological order in format appropriate for the field. Bold your name to emphasize
  • Volunteer or service work that ties to your career goals – sustained involvement and commitment should be noted; include dates



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