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 (and 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