Free Curriculum Vitae (CV) Templates for Microsoft Word

Image shows a woman sifting through papers, a headshot, a tally of all skills, experience, and education, and a picture of various CVs in an online folder. Text reads: "Tips for using a CV template: Review CV examples, make the CV unique to you, and Customize your CV files for each job application"

Image by Jo Zhou © The Balance 2019

When you need help writing a curriculum vitae (CV), it can be easiest to start with a template. 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 offer more information on your academic background and achievements, including research, awards, grants, publications, and teaching experience.

Why 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 layout 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.

Options for Selecting a Template

Not sure how to format a curriculum vitae? Looking to revise your current CV? You have two options:

1) 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.

2) 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 from Template.”
  • Then, type “CV” into the search bar to browse for available templates. (Or select “Resumes and Cover Letters” from 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 Office Templates & Themes, then:

  • Click on the “Resumes and Cover Letters” section to browse all of the templates (this section includes CVs as well). The website displays six templates and provides a link to “Browse Free Templates” for you to see the rest.
  • 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 “Edit 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 Template

This is a CV example. Download the CV template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Screenshot of a CV template
©TheBalance 2018 

Curriculum Vitae Sample (Text Version)

Andy Academician
123 Highgate Towers, Apt. 3
Chicago, IL 60637
000.123.4567 (Cell)


Victorian England, Literary Theory, Detective Fiction, Historical Fiction


PhD in English Literature, 2014 – Northwestern University. Dissertation: Searching for Identity in Victorian Detective Fiction. Sherlock Watson, Chair

MA in English Literature, June 2012 – Northwestern University.

BA in English, June 2010 – Northwestern University.


Associate Professor: University of Chicago, Department of English, September 2016 to Present.

Assistant Professor: University of Chicago, Department of English, September 2014 to June 2016.



Academician, Andy. Dickens and the Birth of Detective Fiction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016

Peer-reviewed Journals

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


ABC Study Abroad Summer Grant, 2017

UC Teaching Awards, 2015 and 2016

Sherlock Holmes Dissertation Fellowship, 2013


Chair, Faculty Search Committee, 2017

Library Acquisitions Committee, 2016

Undergraduate Advisor, 2014-2017


Society for Victorian Studies

Association of Detective Fiction Studies

Modern Languages Association