Curriculum Vitae (CV) Examples, Samples, And Format

By Chris Kolmar and Experts - Sep. 9, 2020

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While writing a resume is commonplace when it comes to applying for a new job, there are certain roles that may call for a curriculum vitae (CV). Though this document does serve a similar purpose as a standard resume, its overall composition will differ. You will also find that the content of a CV will focus less on traditional work history and more on education, published works, special honors, and other achievements.

Knowing how to write a CV is necessary for gaining employment in certain industries, which is why we have compiled a few tips for writing yours. Learn more about what a CV is, key differences from resumes, and see easily customizable templates that you can use on your job search.

What is a CV?

To better understand what a CV is, we can start with the definition. Curriculum vitae is a Latin phrase meaning “course of life”, giving its first indication that the document is highly detailed. A CV is a credential-based document, meaning that it will include your research, certifications, and any affiliations with professional memberships.

For perspective, a resume is competency-based and will focus more on skills and prior job roles. In short, a CV is a document that gives an overview of your accomplishments with a focus on academics.

When to Use a CV Instead of a Resume

Unsure of whether to submit a resume or a CV? The good news is that you typically will not have to guess–it will be directly expressed in the job posting. If you do happen to run across a job listing that gives you the option to submit one or the other, there are a few factors to help you determine which is best for your job market.

CVs are typically relevant to recruiters when applying for jobs in academia, science, law, and/or medicine. Essentially, any field in or outside of academics that requires heavy research may need a curriculum vitae. When you consider how much time graduates spend researching and presenting for these career paths, it becomes clear why there is a document focused on these areas. Getting published is also an accomplishment that many graduate students focus on, and its also something that recruiters are interested to see.

You may also want to opt for a CV versus a resume when applying for fellowships and grants. These application packets will require more extensive details on awardees and the criteria is often based on merits or academic success. A CV is also more common when applying for international positions, with most countries preferring this document over an American resume.

What to Include in a Curriculum Vitae

When you start writing your curriculum vitae, there are a few points that you want to make sure to include. Similarly to a resume, you will include basic contact information, skills, and professional experience. You can also customize your CV to the position that you are applying for by writing a summary statement tailored to the job. Your CV should outline all of the following as they relate to your professional accomplishments:

  • Contact information

  • Education experience

  • Work experience

  • Research experience

  • Teaching experience

  • Honors and awards

  • Presentations

  • Volunteer experience

  • Conference attendance

  • Publications

  • Grants or funding

  • Memberships/Affiliations

This is a comprehensive list of the types of information that can be included in your curriculum vitae. You may find that certain sections can be combined or forgone altogether. For example, some candidates may have dedicated sections for “teaching experience” and “research experience” but not include a “work experience” section. Determining which sections to showcase on your CV will depend on your unique experiences but use this list as a starting point.

What Not to Include

Being that a CV is often longer than a standard one-page resume, it is easier for job seekers to get carried away with what they include. While you want to keep your curriculum vitae focused on the aforementioned points, you should also be actively avoiding certain components.

Starting from the top of your document, make sure you do not include personal or sensitive information. That means no date of birth or social security number. You also do not want to include a contact email address that is unprofessional.

In your statement, avoid mentioning your desired salary or any information regarding your last position. This short statement should be tailored to who you are as a candidate and what you have done.

The body sections of your curriculum will vary, but here are tips for what can generally be left off of your CV:

  • Don’t include unrelated skills.

  • Don’t address gaps in work history.

  • Don’t discuss hobbies that are not relevant to the position.

  • Don’t use the present tense for previous experiences.

  • Don’t use hard to read fonts.

  • Don’t include intricate design elements such as charts, tables, or images.

  • Don’t include a photograph unless specified in the posting.

  • Don’t include short-term employment unless your work history is limited overall.

How Long Should a CV Be?

We all know how tough it can be to write a one or even two-page resume, especially if you have an extensive work history. One of the distinguishing features of a curriculum vitae versus a resume is that there is not a strict length requirement.

Instead, aim to make sure that your document accurately depicts your entire professional experience while still being as concise as possible. Keep the CV do’s and don’ts in mind, and you should have an effective letter. That being said, most entry-level job seekers can accomplish this within two to three pages, with one survey finding that 91% of recruiters prefer two. Of course, more established job seekers with numerous publications or additional accolades may easily surpass this benchmark.

Curriculum Vitae Sample & Template

ROBIN LEE

345 Maple Road
Charlotte, NC 28277
rlee@email.com
123.456.7890 (Cell)

Curriculum Vitae

Award-winning researcher and lecturer focused primarily on abnormal psychology studies. Published twice in the Psychology Today Journal and received multiple honors for early childhood education methodologies.

Education

Ph.D. in Psychology, June 2019 — FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY, Tallahassee, FL

MA in Psychology, June 2015 — FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY, Tallahassee, FL

BA in English (Emphasis: Literature), May 2013 — UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, College Park, MD

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Adjunct Lecturer, Department of English, FSU

, June 2019 — June 2020

Literature Tutor, Department of English, FSU

, August 2015 — June 2019

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Adjunct Lecturer, Florida State University

  • Psychology of Motivation, Psychology 2311

  • Research Methods, Psychology 3341

  • Abnormal Psychology, Psychology 3500

  • PUBLICATIONS

  • Lee, Robin. “Abnormal Psychology Methods on Young Adults.” Dissertation.

  • Study of M. La Rue, Experimental Psychology Standards for Psychology Today Journal 5 n. 6 (2017), 250-27.

  • Review of T. Madison, Early Childhood Methodology for Psychology Today Journal 8 n. 9 (2019), 122-15.

  • HONORS / AWARDS

    Frank Prize, 2020

    Abnormal Psychology Leadership Award, 2018

    FSU Mentorship Award, 2018

    Psychology Institute Study Abroad Fellowship, 2017

    MEMBERSHIPS / AFFILIATIONS

    Society of Clinical Psychology

    American Psychological Foundation

    Medical Curriculum Vitae Example

    DONALD TILL M.D

    134 Lattice Drive
    Frederick, MD 21701
    dtill@email.com
    123.456.7890 (Cell)

    EDUCATION

    Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), June 2016 — Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

    B.S. in Biochemistry, magna cum laude, June 2012 — Duke University

    HONORS / AWARDS

    Stanley N. Cohen Biomedical Research Award, 2014

    William Osler Patient-Oriented Research Award, 2013

    University of Pennsylvania Dean’s List, 2008 – 2012

    EXAMINATIONS

    USMLE Step 1, May 2014

    USMLE Step 2 CK, May 2016

    WORK EXPERIENCE

    UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, Department of Dermatology

    Research Assistant

    (2015-2016)

  • Assisted Mae Smith, M.D. in research and publication of “Dermatologist’s Treatment of Onychomycosis”.

  • DUKE UNIVERSITY

    Resident Assistant

    (2010-2012)

  • Provided guidance and resources to assist undergraduate residents with the transition to university life.

  • VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

    Volunteer

    , American Medical Student Association, UPENN (September 2014 — June 2016)

  • Vice President, May 2015 — June 2016

  • Organized Dermatology Today summit, September 2015

  • Hospital Volunteer

    , Langston Dermatology Outreach Clinic (June 2014 — June 2016)

  • Volunteered in community outreach rotation for uninsured patients.

  • LANGUAGES

    English (native speaker)

    Spanish (bilingual oral and written fluency)

    MEMBERSHIPS / AFFILIATIONS

    International Society of Dermatologic Surgery, 2016 – present

    International Society of Dermatology, 2017 — present

    Example Academic CV

    TYLER SMITH

    3435 Elevation Street
    Tampa, FL 33606
    tsmith@email.com
    123.456.7890 (Cell)

    RESEARCH INTERESTS

    African American Literature, African Literature, Diasporic Literature

    EDUCATION

    Ph.D. in African American studies,

    2019 — University of California Berkeley.

    Dissertation: Pioneering Africa: Exploring Black Culture in the 20th Century

    . Ashley Ramirez, Chair

    M.A. in African American Studies, June 2015 — University of California Berkeley

    B.A. in African American studies, June 2013 — University of California Berkeley

    WORK HISTORY

    Adjunct Lecturer: University of California Berkeley, Department of African American Studies, September 2018 to Present.

    PUBLICATIONS

    Smith, Tyler. “Dissecting the African Experience in America,” Black Literature Today 12(3): 27-37.

    Smith, Tyler. “Connecting to Black Culture,” Black Literature Today: 12(3): 21-33.

    CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

    2020. Smith, Tyler. “What is the Diaspora Today?.” Black Literature Association Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.

    2019. Smith, Tyler. “Recurring Themes in African-American Literature.” African Literature Annual Conference, Dallas, TX.

    TEACHING EXPERIENCE

    Adjunct Lecturer, University of California Berkeley

  • African American Literature, AFRICAM 3331

  • Women in Black Literature, AFRICAM 3350

  • African American Poetry, AFRICAM 4339

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of California Berkeley

  • Multicultural Communities AFRICAM 2501

  • Race, Identity, and Culture in Urban Schools AFRICAM 2610

  • HONORS / AWARDS

    Leadership Award for Community Arts & Service, 2018

    VèVè Clark Institute for Engaged Scholars Program, 2017

    Black Literary Leaders award, 2017

    MEMBERSHIPS / AFFILIATIONS

    African American Culture Society

    American Society of Journalists and Authors

    American Comparative Literature Association

    Appropriate Curriculum Vitae Format

    The format of your curriculum vitae is just as important as your resume or cover letter. Make sure that your CV has a consistent font and font size, though headers can be bolded and slightly larger. Some of the most common fonts are Times New Roman, Calibri, and Arial for their readability. Proper margins also assist with overall readability, with the ideal measurement being between 1-1.5 inches.

    You also want to structure your CV so that sections are aligned and appear relatively similar in length. For example, you would not want to have five bullet points under your first work experience and then only provide one bullet point underneath the next.

    All of your sections should list your experiences in chronological order, no matter which sections you choose to include. The document should present a timeline of your accomplishments to the reader. The final step to ensure that your CV is written correctly is to proofread. Read over it yourself and also get a second or third person to provide feedback as well.

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    Author

    Chris Kolmar

    Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

    Expert

    Don Pippin, MHRM, CPRW, CDCS

    Don Pippin is an executive and HR leader for Fortune 50 and 500 companies and startups. In 2008, Don launched area|Talent with a focus on helping clients identify their brand. As a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Digital Career Strategist, and Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Don guides clients through career transitions.

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