(Tips) Curriculum Vitae: How to Write a CV

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) (rather than a resume) is used for teaching or research opportunities, applying for admissions, fellowships, or for further academic training.

Other uses for a CV:

1. a supporting document with a grant or contract funding proposal
2. a requirement for internal review for tenure or promotion
3. a requirement with an application for membership in a professional society or organization, or
4. a background statement for an introduction at a conference presentation.

Generally, there is no single correct format or style for writing a CV. CV’s are frequently longer than resumes and thus can be multiple pages long. In a CV, completeness is more important than brevity.

What should be included in a Curriculum Vitae

Undergraduate Items:

As a master's student, undergraduate accomplishments will likely be an important part of your CV, although they will drop away as your graduate career develops. Include such items as the senior thesis, fellowships, and awards.

Careers Prior to Graduate Studies:

List prior employment, especially if you worked as a teacher, editor, writer, or journalist.

CV ExampleCV ExampleThesis:

Always include the title, and list the committee members.

Teaching Experience:

Rename the course, even if it is freshman English, to express your distinctive angle on the subject matter. If space allows, provide a brief course description. Note that you had full responsibility for the course, since not all universities give graduate students the opportunity to teach a class independently. Always save teaching evaluations and notes from students to use in the teaching portfolio.Sample Curriculum VitaeSample Curriculum Vitae


Journal articles pass through many stages before publication. List your article's status on the CV. Some terms for article status include "under consideration", "under review," "revise and resubmit," and "forthcoming."


Make sure you list work done as a research assistant, SITES intern, AGES chair, panel organizer, etc. If you have creative publications, list these under a separate heading.

What to emphasize

A CV summarizes educational and academic history. It emphasizes academic achievements such as:

  • teaching experience,
  • publications (books, articles, research papers, unpublished manuscripts, or book chapters), and
  • academic honors and awards.

Which experience is included on a CV?

  • On a CV it is appropriate to describe both teaching and research experience in detail. (On a resume this is usually not appropriate.)
  • If applying for a position that primarily involves research, describe research experience first; if the reverse is true, put teaching experience first.
  • Work experience not directly relevant to research/teaching/academic opportunities should be omitted or described only briefly.

Highlighting Your Thesis

Including a one- or two- page abstract of your thesis, is recommended, but optional. If you do provide an abstract, write (See Abstract Attached) in the Education section of your CV, after the name of your thesis title.

If you are working on or have recently finished your doctoral degree, at least include a brief, clear summary of your thesis topic in the Education section.

What Not to Include

  • Omit references to date of birth (age), marital status, children, health, spouse's work, religious affiliation.
  • Do not include as headings, words such as "Personal Information", "Name", "Address".
  • You don’t need to use the heading "Curriculum Vitae" at the top. It’s understood that it’s a CV.

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