The C.V. (Curriculum Vitae)

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

Personal Information

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.

Other Categories

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.

Sample C.V.


Amelie Johnson
Department of English
29-B Amity Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94730
home (510) 535-1000
office (510) 543-1111
fax (510) 616-9999


Ph.D., English, University of California at Berkeley, 2008-12

M.A., English, Cornell University, 2006-08
Summa Cum Laude

B.A., English, Voorhees College, 2002-06
Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Voorhees Presidential Scholar


Historicizing Stevens: A Marxist Reading of Modernist Metaphysics


Modernist poetry; 20th century experimental literature; Marxist thought


Acting Instructor, University of California, Berkeley, 2008-12
ENGL 287 - "Modern/Post Modern Literature" - Autumn 2012
ENGL 236 - "20th C. Novel" - Spring 2012
ENGL 240 - "Multi-Ethnic Modern Poetry" - Winter 2011, Spring 2011
ENGL 270 - "American Literature, 1917-present" - Autumn 2010
ENGL 271 - "Intermediate Expository Writing" - Spring 2010
ENGL 288 - "Post Modern Poetry" - Autumn 2009

Anselmo Teaching Fellow, Lake Tahoe Community College, Spring 2010
ENG 0124A - "African American Literature, 1745 - Present"

Teaching Assistant, Cornell University, 2006-08
ENGL 170 "Advanced Composition" - Winter, Spring 2008
ENGL 201 "Introduction to Poetry" - Autumn 2007
ENGL 141 "English Composition II" - Spring 2007
ENGL 121 "English Composition I" - Autumn 2006, Winter 2007


Nominated for Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, UC Berkeley, 2012
Avery Pellon Dissertation Fellowship, UC Berkeley, 2011-12
N. Echols Award for Distinguished Scholarship, Cornell University, 2008
Gates Millenial Scholarship, 2002-06
Selected by Phi Beta Kappa, Voorhees College, 2005
Voorhees Presidential Scholarship, 2005


Essays and Articles
"The Idea of Order in a Hartford Insurance Company: The Challenge of Reading Stevens Historically," Diacritics, v. 26, no. 2., Summer 2012.
"Experimental Retro Techno: Constraint Driven Artificiality in an Age of Ubiquitous Programs," Postmodern Culture, v. 9, no. 3., Spring 2011.

"Someonela," Sewanee Review, v. 17, no. 4, Autumn 2009.
"Africatto," New England Review/Breadloaf Quarterly, v. 66, no. 6, May-June 2008.
"The Accident's Brother," Epoch, v. 49, no. 2, Autumn 2007.
" Work of Hands," The Southern Voice (Voorhees College literary journal), v. 22, no. 1, Winter 2006.


"Where Java Meets Dada: Anti-Art and the Anti-Website, or, The Esthetics of Information Breakdown," Beyond Hypertext: Re-Visioning 'Writing' in the 21st Century, 14th Annual Conference of the American Society for Literature and the Media, Baltimore, May 2012.

Service to Educational Institutions
University of California at Berkeley Focus Group for Campus Diversity, 2010-12
University of California at Berkeley Minority Think Tank, 2008-10
Served on the selection board of the New York Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, 2007-08.
Member of Voorhees College President's Council on College Relations, 2006.


Casey Williams
Department of English
122 Bethany Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94907
(510) 999-9999

Cimian Essing
Professor and Associate Chair
American Ethnic Studies Department
146 Bethany Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94907
(510) 777-7777

Amanda Ames
Department of English
250 Goldwyn Smith Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14883
(222) 111-2222

Pether Manthis
Vice Provost for Diversity
Voorhees College
111 Campus Way
Denmark, SC 29202
(803) 333-4444

For more information and additional samples, see the UW Career Center's guide to CV writing.