Writing the Curriculum Vitae (c.v.)
A curriculum vitae (CV) is an academic version of a résumé. A CV is generally used only when applying for academic positions, research, grants, and admission to some graduate programs. If the position you're applying for is outside academia, a résumé is usually more appropriate unless the hiring party specifically asks for a CV.
A CV is a summary of your educational and professional background. It includes a full list of your publications, honors, awards, research, etc. Unlike a résumé, a CV may be several pages in length: space is not at a premium, and the CV will be thoroughly reviewed by a search committee.
It is important for a CV to be complete and accurate. Many institutions will use their employees' CV’s as evaluating tools for increases and promotions. Sometimes it is a good idea to maintain a master copy of your CV or résumé that includes everything. Then, when you use your CV, you can edit out the extraneous experience as needed for particular situations.
Basic Elements of the Curriculum Vitae
Your CV should contain your name, address, phone number, fax, and email address. It’s also a good idea to put your last name next to the page number on subsequent pages in case the document becomes separated.
Education, Areas of Specialization, Dissertation
Education comes next, starting with the most recent degree. Many will include the titles of their theses or dissertations and sometimes the names of their advisers. Putting the dates of your degree in the margin may make your CV more straightforward and easy to read. You may include awards such as graduating cum laude in this section as well.
Awards, Honors, Grants
Include any awards, honors, or grants you have received in your career thus far. Some people include grants applied for as well. Consider to whom you are sending your CV.
Experience and Publications
The next section can be either professional experience or publications. Again, the best thing to consider is who will be reading your CV and what they are looking for. If you think your experience is your best strength, then put that first.
If you have many publications, then you should divide this part into sections based on journal articles, conference proceedings, and other sections such as reports or presentations. If you don’t have so many, then it’s fine to include them under one heading. It’s fine to be inclusive for your ‘master copy.’ However, think about each CV or résumé you send out and who will be reading it. You do not want to put in irrelevant activities that may appear as if you are padding your CV. You may also include a work in progress section detailing manuscripts pending publication.
Your experience can be more descriptive in a CV than it should be for a résumé. You can also divide it up into different kinds of experience as the following example shows. Do list your duties in each job and don’t short-change your importance in each position you held.
Professional Activities and Memberships
Don’t forget to include your professional memberships and dates you became a member.
Depending on your background and relevant experience, you may want to create categories, such as Foreign Language Proficiencies, Professional Certifications, etc. which are relevant to the position for which you're applying.
It is customary to include three to five references at the end of your CV. Choose your references carefully and do obtain their permission before including their information on your CV.
For more information and additional samples, see the UW Career Center's guide to CV writing.