Formatting a CV
Most academic positions require applicants to provide a curriculum vitae that describes their educational experiences, research projects, and accomplishments that are relevant to the job. Some professional positions outside of the academy may request a CV as well, so it is important to know how to format the document in a manner that is clear, efficient, and attractive to potential employers. You will want to search for sample CVs within your field when beginning to format your own because there may be slight differences in the formatting of CVs for different types of jobs. Nevertheless, there are several components of CV writing that can be addressed from a more general standpoint for those who would like to keep a draft that can be adapted for different purposes.
A CV should be formatted using a word processing program. It can be exported to a .pdf document upon completion to ensure that the formatting will not change when opened on a different computer. 1 inch margins are appropriate, and Times New Roman is a font that is generally accepted, as it is easy to read. 12 point font is a standard size, with slightly larger headings where necessary.
Make sure you provide your contact information (name, address, email) near the top of the document so that the employer does not have to search through the document for this vital information. You will also want to make sure you write “Curriculum Vitae” near the top of the page so that it is easy to identify the purpose of the document. Subheadings are usually provided throughout the document in order to divide the information into sections. Headings may be bolded and/or larger in size than the descriptions. Some headings you may want to include are: education, work experience, research presentations, awards, published papers, and references.
It is important that the content of the CV is concise. Instead of writing complete sentences, you may want to consider using a strategy known as “gapping.” Gapping is more or less providing information in the shortest way possible, but without excluding what is most important. For example, you will want to present the courses you have taught in a list format rather than through narrative writing. Furthermore, it is important to provide at least one space between each heading so that it will be easy to recognize when you have transitioned to a new entry. CVs that are organized in an effective manner are more likely to catch the attention of employers.
These tips only provide general information on formatting a CV, so it is important to search for sample CVs that are specific to your field of work while you are beginning to format your own CV. Also, remember to proofread your CV before you submit it so that you will not be disqualified based on simple errors. CV writing is a process, and it is possible that your formatting as well as included information may have to be adapted for different jobs.