A Curriculum Vitae

Also called a CV or vita, the curriculum vitae is an overview of your life’s accomplishments, most specifically those relevant to the academic realm. It is a living document that reflects the developments in a scholar/teacher’s career and should be updated frequently.

When should job seekers use a CV, rather than a résumé? In the United States, a CV is used primarily when applying for academic, education, scientific, or research positions. It also is applicable when applying for fellowships or grants.

When asking for a job in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia, expect to submit a CV rather than a résumé. Overseas employers often expect to read the type of personal information on a curriculum vitae that would never be included on an American résumé, such as date of birth, nationality, and place of birth. United States law on what information job applicants can be asked to provide does not apply outside the country.

Differences Between a Résumé and CV
A CV is typically longer (up to two or more pages) and has a more detailed synopsis of your background and skills. A CV summarizes your educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations and other details. As with a résumé, you may need different versions of a CV for different types of positions.

Like a résumé, a CV has your name, contact information, education, skills, and experience. In addition to the basics, a CV includes research and teaching experience, publications, grants and fellowships, professional associations and licenses, awards, and other information relevant to the position for which you are applying. Make a list of all your background information, and then organize it into categories. Include dates on all the publications you list.

Curriculum Vitae Format
Your Contact Information
  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone
  • Cell Phone
  • Email

Personal Information
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Citizenship
  • Visa status
  • Gender

Optional Personal Information
  • Marital status
  • Spouse’s name
  • Children

Employment History (in chronological order, including position details and dates)
  • Work history
  • Academic positions
  • Research and training

Education (including dates, majors, and details of degrees, training and certification)
  • High school
  • University
  • Graduate school
  • Post-doctoral training

Professional Qualifications
  • Certifications and accreditations
  • Computer skills

Professional Memberships

CV Samples
Review a sample or two before you start writing. Here is a sample, including versions for both academia and international employment: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/cvsamples/a/blsamplecv.htm