Writing Your CV: The Basics
A curriculum vitae, or CV, is a working document that is often requested when applying for scholarly positions, such as a university professor or a researcher. Additionally, some graduate schools or scholarship programs will request a CV as a part of the initial application. The purpose of the CV is to provide the employer with information regarding the experiences and accomplishments of your academic life.
Although there are some commonalities among resumes and CVs, a CV is generally lengthier than a resume because it provides much more information. While a resume is generally only a page or two long, a CV may contain more than three pages. Furthermore, a CV is also different from a resume because it is specifically rooted in academic experiences and should be catered to a scholarly audience, while a resume may be more general in nature because it can be used for most types of professional jobs.
When writing your CV, you will want to make sure you include experiences and accomplishments that are relevant to the type of position you are applying for. If you do not take your audience into consideration, the employer may not believe that you are the ideal candidate for the job. Regardless of the position, you will want to make sure you include:
* Contact information (name, email, phone number)
* Education (both undergraduate and graduate, if relevant)
* Work experience
* Research projects
* Conference presentations
* Any other service you have conducted within your field
* Recommenders and their contact information
There are many different styles in which a CV can be formatted, so it is advisable to search for sample CVs of people who are in your field. Additionally, it may be useful to gather advice from others at your institution, if you are a graduate student, or from other connections you may have with people who are working similar jobs.
One of the most basic components of CV writing, regardless of the field, is the ability to describe your accomplishments in a very concise manner. Although the CV is longer than the resume, it is still important to list your information in a way that is clear and easy for the employer to read. Additionally, you will want to make sure you choose your font and word size wisely. Employers may not bother to finish reading a CV that is organized ineffectively or difficult to read.
Writing a CV may seem like a daunting task, but it is necessary in certain fields. Beginners may want to share their drafts will others who are familiar with the line of work or who have already been hired for similar positions. If you are in graduate school or even an undergraduate, you will want to begin keeping track of your accomplishments, research, presentations, and teaching experiences so that you will not need to search for this information when you begin to write. With the amount of information available online, you may want to consider looking at several CV examples before you even begin to write.