Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Purpose of a CV

The curriculum vitae (CV) provides a comprehensive overview of your scholarly and academic achievements.  A CV is primarily used when applying for academic employment at a college or university, awards, funding and fellowship applications, and should therefore highlight your strengths in research and teaching.  Because a CV is meant to chronicle your academic career, there is no page limit.

Sections of a CV

There is no “right” way to prepare a CV; categories and formats vary by academic discipline.  A list of commonly used CV categories is below, however, it is not necessary to use all categories listed.  It is very important that you consult with your advisor, professional peers and UCS staff when developing your CV to determine the appropriate categories based on your individual credentials and the standards for your area of study. 

Common CV Categories

  • Contact Information:   Include your name, address, telephone number, and email address.  Students seeking academic positions often opt to use their departmental address.  Make sure that the voice mail message for the telephone number you provide is clear and professional.  Your name should be bold and slightly larger than the other font size on the page.
  • Education: List all of institutions you have attended, degree received, and graduation dates/anticipated graduation date in reverse chronological order, with the exception of high school.  Include your dissertation title and advisor name with your doctoral degree.  Latin honors should be included with your undergraduate degree. 
  • Research Experience: List your research experiences in reverse chronological order.  Include graduate-level research, post-graduate research, and relevant undergraduate and industry research experiences.  In the header, include the institution name, position title (e.g.: Research Associate, Graduate Research Assistant, etc.), PI/advisor name, and dates.
  • Teaching Experience:  List your teaching experiences in reverse chronological order.  In the header, include the institution name, course title (not the course number), position title (e.g.: Teaching Assistant, Lecturer) and dates.
  • Honors and Awards:  This section should include fellowships, grants, academic honors, and awards in reverse chronological order.  The focus of this section should be on awards received during graduate study, however, undergraduate awards may be included if they are particularly noteworthy.   Include the date received, and a short description of the award if it is not evident from the title.
  • Professional Affiliations: List the scholarly or professional organizations to which you hold memberships. 
  • Skills and Proficiencies: Use this section to list your laboratory, technical, computer and language skills.  Indicate your level of expertise with each skill.  For example, with a spoken language, you might indicate if you are fluent or conversational; with a laboratory skill you might indicate that you are proficient or familiar with a particular technique.
  • Publications:  List the academic publications for which you are an author using the proper citation format for your field, including journal articles, books, book reviews, etc.  If there are multiple authors, bold or underline your name in the author list.  For some fields, it is appropriate to indicate publications that are “in progress,” “submitted,” and “under review.” 
  • Presentations:  List the research talks you have given at a conference or meeting using the proper citation format for your field.  Bold or underline your name in the list of presenters.  Note:  The Publications and Presentations categories can be combined for if you do not have many publications or presentations.
  • Relevant Work/Professional Experience:   It is not necessary to include your entire work history in your CV, however, relevant professional experience through a full-time or internship position can be listed.  In the header, include the employer/organization name, position title and dates of employment.
  • Academic Service/Leadership:  Use this section to demonstrate your contributions to the university and your department.    List committee involvement, leadership roles within student organizations, and volunteer roles related to your discipline in reverse chronological order. 
  • Research Interests/Teaching Interests:  These two sections provide a list of specific research topics you intend to pursue and classes you can teach.  
  • References:  Provide a list of your references at the end of your CV, including each reference’s name, title, academic affiliation, and contact information.

Format of a CV

As you prepare your CV, have an understanding of the mission and values of the organization to which you are applying in mind.    Order the categories based on what is most significant for the position for which you are applying.  Highlight your headings and important information using a variation of bold and capital letters, underlining, and italics.  Additionally, within each category, list information in reverse chronological order.