A curriculum vitae, also known as a vita or a CV, is a detailed biographical summary of your educational background and employment experience used as an academic resume for students seeking graduate study. View a sample CV (PDF).
Make an appointment to have your CV critiqued by a career counselor. Also, consult a colleague or a mentor in your field who can point out inconsistencies, errors, or weaknesses and advise about any special formatting that is common to your field.
CVs Versus Resumes
Typically, resumes are used for internship or job search. However, some graduate programs, especially master’s degree programs in more applied fields such as business or international affairs, will request a resume. A resume is shorter than a CV and focuses more on work experience, while a CV is longer and focuses on research and publications. You may reference our resume samples if your graduate school application requires a resume.
Structuring your CV
A CV has three basic components:
- Identification: Name, address, telephone number, email address
- Education: Degrees earned or in progress in reverse chronological order
- Professional Experience: Current and previous work, competencies and skills, publications and presentations, awards and honors, languages spoken, computer skills, etc.
What to Include
Before creating the final draft, you should consider the following questions.
- In addition to my degree(s), what licenses, certifications or specializations do I have?
- Does this draft of my CV reflect all of the components of my education and experience?
- What themes and skills areas are represented in my CV?
- How might an individual or committee who does not know me react to my CV?
- Are there sections of my CV that are awkward, long-winded, or difficult to understand?
- Are the included skills, presentations, publications, etc. relevant to the position I am seeking?
- Do I possess any relevant skills that I have not included?