When applying for certain positions in the U.S., as well as jobs internationally, you may be required to submit a curriculum vitae rather than a resume.
A curriculum vitae, or CV, includes more information than your typical resume, including details of your education and academic achievements, research, publications, awards, affiliations, and more.
What is a CV?
A curriculum vitae (CV) provides a summary of your experience, academic background including teaching experience, degrees, research, awards, publications, presentations, and other achievements, skills and credentials. CVs are typically used for academic, medical, research, and scientific applications in the U.S.
Review curriculum vitae samples, learn about the difference between a CV and a resume, and glean tips and advice on how to write a CV.
When to Use a CV Instead of a Resume
In the United States, a curriculum vitae is used when applying for academic, education, scientific, or research positions. A curriculum vitae can also be used to apply for fellowships or grants. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia, employers may expect to receive a curriculum vitae rather than a resume.
A curriculum vitae, commonly referred to as a “CV,” is a longer (two or more pages), more detailed synopsis than a resume. There are also differences in what is included, and when each document is used.
Your CV should be clear, concise, complete, and up-to-date with current employment and educational information.
What to Include in a Curriculum Vitae
The following are examples of information that can be included in your curriculum vitae. The elements that you include will depend on what you are applying for, so be sure to incorporate the most relevant information to support your candidacy in your CV.
- Personal details and contact information. Most CVs start with contact information and personal data but take care to avoid superfluous details, such as religious affiliation, children's names, and so on.
- Education and qualifications. Be sure to include the names of institutions and dates attended in reverse order: Ph.D., Masters, Undergraduate.
- Work experience/employment history. The most widely accepted style of employment record is the chronological curriculum vitae. Your career history is presented in reverse date order starting with the most recent appointment. More emphasis/information should be placed on your most recent jobs.
- Skills. Include computer skills, foreign language skills, and any other recent training that is relevant to the role applied for.
- Training / Graduate Fieldwork / Study Abroad
- Dissertations / Theses
- Research experience
- Teaching experience
- Presentations, lectures, and exhibitions
- Grants, scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships
- Awards and honors
- Technical, computer, and language skills
- Professional licenses, certifications, and memberships
What Not to Include in a CV
There is no need to include your photo, your salary history, the reason you left your previous position, or references in a CV submitted for jobs in the United States. References should be listed separately and given to employers upon request.
The requirements for international CVs differ, and depend upon the country to which you are applying.
In other countries, private information like your date of birth, nationality, marital status, how many children you have, and a photograph may be required.
How Long Should a CV Be?
A good, entry-level curriculum vitae should ideally cover two to three pages (CVs for mid-level professionals, especially in academia and medical research roles, may run longer).
Aim to ensure the content is clear, structured, concise, and relevant. Using bullet points rather than full sentences can help minimize word usage.
Curriculum Vitae Sample
The following is a curriculum vitae example for an entry-level candidate for a faculty position in the US. This CV includes employment history, education, competencies, awards, skills, and personal interests. Download the CV template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Curriculum Vitae Example (Text Version)
3204 Windover Way
Houston, TX 77204
Hispanic Literature, Latin American Literature, Peninsular Literature
Ph.D. in Spanish (US Hispanic Literature), 2018 – University of Houston.
Dissertation: Quixote Reborn: The Wanderer in US Hispanic Literature. Sancho Rodriguez, Chair
M.A. in Spanish, June 2015 – University of Houston
B.A. in Spanish, June 2013 – University of Houston
Adjunct Lecturer: University of Houston, Department of Hispanic Studies, September 2018 to Present.
Gonzalez, Gloria. Quixote Reborn: The Wanderer in US Hispanic Literature. New Haven: Yale University Press (forthcoming)
Gonzalez, Gloria. “Mexican Immigrant Stories from the Central Valley,” Lady Liberty Journal, 6(1): 24-41.
Gonzalez, Gloria. “Comparing the Hispanic and European Immigrant Experience through Story,” Hispanic Literature Today 12(3): 25-35.
Gonzalez, Gloria. “Yearning to Be Free: 3 Hispanic Women’s Diaries,” Hispanic Literature Today: 11(2): 18-31.
2020. Gonzalez, Gloria. “Storytelling Methods in the Central Valley.” Hispanic Storytelling Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA
2019. Gonzalez, Gloria. “When Cultures Merge: Themes of Exclusion in Mexican-American Literature.” US Hispanic Literature Annual Conference, Tucson, AZ.
Adjunct Lecturer, University of Houston
- Mexican-American Literature, Spanish 3331
- Women in Hispanic Literature, Spanish 3350
- Spanish-American Short Story, Spanish 4339
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Northwestern University
- Elementary Spanish 1501, 1502, 1505
- Intermediate Spanish 2301, 2302, 2610
HONORS / AWARDS
Mexico Study Abroad Summer Grant, 2018
UH Teaching Awards, 2017, 2018, 2020
Dissertation Fellowship, 2017
Spanish (bilingual oral and written fluency)
Classical Latin (written)
MEMBERSHIPS / AFFILIATIONS
National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures
Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica
Modern Languages Association
More Curriculum Vitae Examples and Templates
Here are additional resources and CV examples to review to get ideas and inspiration for writing your own CV.
- CV Format
- CV Template
- Free Microsoft CV Templates for Word
- Academic CV
- Information Technology CV
- International CV with a Profile
- Medical CV
Curriculum Vitae Writing Tips
Have Several Versions of Your CV
Don't just write one CV and use it for every position you apply for.
Have targeted and focused versions of your curriculum vitae and use them accordingly.
Keep It Concise
When possible, try to keep your CV short and concise. Include summaries of your employment and education, rather than lots of details. Use formal (no slang or abbreviations) language, writing simply and clearly.
Tell the Truth
It can be tempting to over-polish a CV and make our educational qualifications or work history sound a little better than they are. If you're tempted to stretch the truth about your work history - don't. It will come back to haunt you.
Most employers conduct reference and background checks, and if your curriculum vitae doesn't match your actual work history or education, you will most likely get caught at some point – either you will be cut as a candidate or you will get fired if you have already been hired.
Check the Format
Look at the format of your curriculum vitae. Is there plenty of white space? Is it cluttered? Is your formatting consistent (bold, italic, spacing, etc.) and is the overall picture that your CV provides a professional and polished one?
Proof Your Curriculum Vitae
Double-check your curriculum vitae for typos and grammatical errors. Then, ask someone else to review it for you - it's often hard to catch our mistakes.
Choose an Appropriate Curriculum Vitae Format
Make sure you choose a curriculum vitae format that is appropriate for the position you are applying for. If you are applying for a fellowship, for example, you won't need to include the personal information that may be included in an international CV.
How to Write a Curriculum Vitae
Here are the details on when to use a CV, what to include, and how to write it.