What is a Curriculum Vitae/CV?
A curriculum vitae or CV is similar to a resume in that it provides an overview of your professional and educational experience. The difference between the two primarily lies in content and purpose. A CV is typically developed for application for teaching or research positions in a university or research setting. A resume is prepared for employers outside the academic environment.
What do I include in a CV?
The CV should begin with name, contact information (including email), and education. Information listed under education, teaching, research, service, or other categories should generally be listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent listed first. Education: Include the name of the colleges or universities attended, city and state of each, degrees earned, area(s) of study, and graduation dates. List the title of each thesis/dissertation, as well as the primary advisor. Beyond this basic information, category headings used within CVs may vary widely. However, there are certain major areas that require mention, regardless of specific headings used. These are:
- Teaching: List all teaching fellowships, assistantships, or any other experiences working with students in a classroom/laboratory setting. You may also choose to list teaching interests or similar categories.
- Research: Include all relevant research experience in your area of specialization. You may choose to list publications, conference presentations and any other evidence of scholarly work in this section.
- Service: Include service to the university or community. You may also include professional associations, volunteer work, committee membership, etc. in this section.
It is important to incorporate evidence of teaching, research, and service in your CV, but choice of category headings to cover these areas is purely subjective. Choose category headings that emphasize your particular strengths and achievements. Also, depending on the position to which you are applying, it may make more sense to rearrange categories. For instance, if you are applying for a college teaching position where teaching is the focus, it is recommended to focus on the general area early in the CV. If research is the primary focus of the institution to which you are applying, listing research-related categories near the beginning of the CV will be most effective.
- Length: 2 - 4 pages for a new professional 4 - 7 pages for mid level career; 10 pages max.
- Omit reference to marital status, children, health, spouse's work, religious affiliation, and date of birth.
- Do not include headings such as "Curriculum Vitae", "Personal Information", or "Name".
- Use action verbs to begin every job description.
- Add a header with name and page number to each page after the first.
- Be sure to have a counselor and/faculty member review your CV.
Letters of Recommendation
A well-written recommendation can often be a deciding factor, especially if you have any weak spots in your qualifications. Recommendations may be submitted online or in paper form. When you are deciding, consider individuals who know you well and can vouch for your academic, professional and/or research abilities. Remember that you are asking the recommender for the favor of their time and effort, so treat them with care and consideration.
- Your recommenders are busy. Start asking for recommendations well before your deadline. This typically means you need to be lining up recommenders in the early fall if you plan to attend graduate school in the fall of the next year.
- Schedule an appointment with each potential recommender to talk about how your chosen program aligns with your career goals and why you think you are a good candidate. This just may spark their memory about some positive things they can write about you.
- Give them the list of schools you are applying to, instructions for sending the letter, the recommendation form (if required), the deadline, your contact information, and any pertinent information that will help them write an appropriate letter. Include your personal statement and resume to help jog their memories.
- If you notice that a person you asked for a recommendation seems hesitant, move on to an alternate. You do not want to run the risk of submitting a poor recommendation.