When to Use a Curriculum Vita
When should job seekers use a curriculum vitae, commonly referred to as CV, rather than a resume? In the
United States, a curriculum vitae is used primarily when applying for academic, education, scientific or
research positions. It is also applicable when applying for fellowships or grants.
When asking for a job in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia, expect to submit a CV rather than a
resume. Keep in mind that overseas employers often expect to read the type of personal information on a
curriculum vitae that would never be included on an American resume, such as date of birth, nationality
and place of birth. United States law on what information job applicants can be asked to provide does not
apply outside the country.
The Differences between a Resume and a CV
There are several differences between a curriculum vitae and a resume. A curriculum vitae is a longer (up
to two or more pages), more detailed synopsis of your background and skills. A CV includes a summary of
your educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching and research experience, publications,
presentations, awards, honors, affiliations and other details. As with a resume, you may need different
versions of a CV for different types of positions.
Like a resume, a curriculum vitae should include your name, contact information, education, skills and
experience. In addition to the basics, a CV includes research and teaching experience, publications, grants
and fellowships, professional associations and licenses, awards and other information relevant to the
position you are applying for. Start by making a list of all your background information, then organize it
into categories. Make sure you include dates on all the publications you include.
Your name should appear on the top of each page. On the first page include your name, address, phone
number, fax number, and email address. Page numbers should appear on all pages except for the first.
When including your email address consider this communication with an employer to be professional. It is
advised to avoid "nick names" or "cute" automatic responses. This also applies for phone messages.
In reverse chronological order list all of your degrees from college on, with the name of the institution and
date they were awarded. List the date you expect to receive the degree for the program you are currently in.
It is standard to list the name of your advisor and your thesis title.
From this point on you have more latitude in shaping the organization of your CV. You should be
guided by your strengths, requirements for the job, and conventions of your discipline.
Honors and Awards (Grants, Fellowships and Patents, etc.)
Place Honors/Awards near the top of the CV (unless you have few, then put later or omit). This is a good
place to list research-related and dissertation-supported grants, fellowships, awards and patents. Scientists
may create a separate section for "Research Grants", which would probably come later in the CV.
Scientists will briefly describe their postdoctoral, doctoral, and possibly undergraduate research. You
should include both substance and techniques employed if relevant. List names of the institution, professor,
CURRICULUM VITA (CV) GENERAL CV CATEGORIES