When you’re writing a curriculum vitae (CV), it can be easiest to start with a template—especially if you’re used to working with other types of resumes.
A curriculum vitae is an alternative form of a resume. Certain industries (including academia, education, some sciences, and international companies) often prefer CVs over resumes. A hiring manager will typically ask for a CV in the job listing.
CVs are longer than resumes—at least two or three pages—and differ from resumes in other respects as well. CVs provide more information on your academic background and achievements, including research, awards, grants, publications, and teaching experience.
How to Use a CV Template
Whether you are writing your first curriculum vitae or revising a current CV, a template can be very useful. For example, a template can show you how to lay out your CV. It shows you what sections to include and how to organize each section.
Templates can also help you with your CV style, including what font and font size to use, and how much space to put between each section.
Templates also show you what you need to include in your CV, such as what information to put in each section and what kind of language to use.
How to Select a CV Template
Not sure how to format a curriculum vitae? Looking to revise your current CV? You have two options:
- Here is a basic CV template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) that you can download and use by inserting your own information into the relevant categories.
- Alternatively, Microsoft curriculum vitae templates are free for Microsoft Word users. Reviewing their templates is a useful way to get a sense of the format and what information to include on your CV.
Microsoft Curriculum Vitae (CV) Templates for Word
Free Microsoft CV templates are available to download for Microsoft Word. (Microsoft also has resume templates.)
To access these CV templates from your computer:
- Open Microsoft Word, then click on “New.”
- Then, type “curriculum vitae” into the search bar to browse for available templates. (Or select “Resumes and Cover Letters” from the suggested searches to access resume and CV templates.)
- Finally, choose the template you want to use, and Word will launch your ready-to-use template.
To access the Microsoft CV templates online:
Visit the Templates section, then:
- Scroll down to the “Resumes and Cover Letters” section to browse all of the templates (this section includes CVs as well).
- Or search for "curriculum vitae" or "resume" to view available templates.
- Click on the title of the document you’re interested in to preview the template.
- Click the “Download” button, then follow the instructions to download the CV template to your computer; or,
- Click “Open in Browser” to edit the template using Word Online. If you have a Microsoft account, you can use Word Online to create, edit, and share Word documents.
Not all templates work with all versions of Word, so check before you download. There will be a message next to the download button letting you know if there are restrictions.
Tips for Using a CV Template
Once you have downloaded or opened a curriculum vitae template file, type over the text in the file to begin building your own CV. To create a personalized, polished CV:
Check out CV templates and examples. Before you start writing your CV, you should review some examples and templates to get ideas for a well-written curriculum vitae.
Make the CV unique to you and the job. CVs include several sections that resumes typically do not, including teaching experience, research, grants, fellowships, publications, presentations, and the like. Decide which sections you need to include in your CV (based on the job you’re applying for), and which ones you can remove.
Remember to customize your CV based on the experience required for each job application. Use keywords from the job posting to match your qualifications to the listing. This ensures that your application will catch the hiring committee’s attention.
Keep it short and to the point. CVs should be as concise as possible, even though they can be longer than the typical resume.
Keep your CV laser-focused on the job you’re applying for, and leave out anything that’s unrelated unless it strengthens your candidacy.
It can be tempting to use the longer format to feature more of your qualifications, skills, and experience, but beware: Hiring committees still have limited time to review your application. Keep your CV laser-focused on the job you’re applying for and leave out anything that’s unrelated unless it strengthens your candidacy.
Tell the truth. Whether you’re writing a resume or a CV, it’s essential to be honest about your experience and skills when you apply for a job. Otherwise, you run the risk of being found out during the background check and dropped from consideration for the role. In academia, for example, faculty members can be fired if it is discovered that they had lied on their CVs during the hiring process. (Plus, even if you get away with fibbing in the short term, you’re less likely to be successful in a role for which you’re not truly qualified.)
Give it a unique file name. Save your CV with your first and last name as the file name. This way, employers will know to whom it belongs. For example, save it as firstname.lastname.doc or lastnameCV.doc.
Proofread. Read through your CV before sending it to an employer. Make sure you have replaced all the information from the template with your own, personalized information. Also, take the time to carefully proofread your CV, looking for any spelling errors or inconsistencies in the format. Ask a friend, family member, or career counselor to read through your CV as well. A polished CV will impress an employer, while a careless error might work against you.
Download a Curriculum Vitae Template
This is a CV example. Download the CV template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Curriculum Vitae Sample (Text Version)
123 Highgate Towers, Apt. 3
Chicago, IL 60637
Victorian England, Literary Theory, Detective Fiction, Historical Fiction
PhD in English Literature, 2017 – Northwestern University. Dissertation: Searching for Identity in Victorian Detective Fiction. Sherlock Watson, Chair
MA in English Literature, June 2015 – Northwestern University.
BA in English, June 2013 – Northwestern University.
Associate Professor: University of Chicago, Department of English, September 2019 to Present.
Assistant Professor: University of Chicago, Department of English, September 2017 to June 2019.
Academician, Andy. Dickens and the Birth of Detective Fiction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019
Academician, Andy. “Zombies and Axe Murderers in Victorian Detective Fiction,” Victorian Literature Journal, 32(4): 38-67.
Academician, Andy. “Where None Venture to Dwell: Dickens’ Underground,” WHAT: The Dickens Journal 12(3): 25-35.
Academician, Andy. “Finding One’s Way Through Dicken’s Bleak House,” WHAT: The Dickens Journal 11(4): 08-19.
2018. Academician, Andy. “Bleak House Underground.” Dickens Association Annual Conference, Seattle, WA.
2017. Academician, Andy. “Unexpected Pathways in Detective Fiction.” Victorian Studies Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.
Assistant/Associate Professor, University of Chicago
- History of the Novel, English 301
- The Birth of Detective Fiction, English 302
- The Victorian Period, English 303
Assistant/Associate Professor, University of Chicago
- Introduction to English Literature, English 201
- Dickens Underground, English 400
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Northwestern University
- English Composition and Rhetoric, English 101
HONORS / AWARDS
ABC Study Abroad Summer Grant, 2020
UC Teaching Awards, 2018 and 2019
Sherlock Holmes Dissertation Fellowship, 2016
SERVICE TO THE UNIVERSITY
Chair, Faculty Search Committee, 2020
Library Acquisitions Committee, 2019
Undergraduate Advisor, 2017-2020
MEMBERSHIPS / AFFILIATIONS
Society for Victorian Studies
Association of Detective Fiction Studies
Modern Languages Association
- A curriculum vitae (CV) is an alternative form of resume that is at least two or three pages long and contains more information on your academic background.
- Certain industries, including academia, education, some sciences, and international companies prefer CVs over resumes.
- Always follow the instructions in the job listing and send a CV if requested.
- Curriculum vitae templates can show you how to lay out your CV, which sections to include, and how to organize each section.