Whatʼs the difference between a CV and a resume? A curriculum vitae (CV or vita) should tell the reader what you know; a
resume should tell the reader what you know how to do. A resume summarizes your background and experience in order to
demonstrate your ability to do well in a speciﬁc position. A CV is a longer and more detailed document that focuses more exclusively
on your academic training and related pursuits in order to demonstrate your potential as a scholar or researcher. Typically, youʼll need
a CV if youʼre applying for an academic position (e.g., a position at a college, university, or research institution); youʼll need a resume
if youʼre applying for a non-academic position in the private or public sector. Because of these distinctions, CVs and resumes tend to
be phrased and organized differently.
HOW TO WRITE A CV
Begin by brainstorming a list of relevant facts. What qualiﬁes
you for the position you want? What distinguishes you
from other applicants? After writing down everything you can
think of, start organizing this information into categories.
Within each category, list your accomplishments in reverse
For what type of position are you applying? What aspects
of your background qualify you most strongly for that position?
To a large extent, considerations like these will determine
the format of your CV. It is a good idea to ask someone in
your academic department for advice, since different disciplines
have different conventions when it comes to writing CVs.
Generally speaking, if your degree is in the sciences, you
should emphasize your research experience, while if your
degree is in the humanities, you should emphasize your
dissertation and teaching experience. Of course, many types of
information will end up on your CV regardless of your academic
What to Include in Your CV
The following list of categories is by no means exhaustive;
if you have relevant qualiﬁcations that are not covered by
any of these categories, feel free to add more. You should
check with someone in your department to ﬁnd out what a CV in
your ﬁeld should include or emphasize.
Personal information (Heading). This section includes your
name, address, area code, telephone number, and e-mail
address. Your name should be at the top of the page in bold
print. Consider using a larger font size than the rest of the
document. Use formal names; never abbreviate on a CV or
resume. List your mailing address, along with the best phone
number to reach you.
Educational history. In this section, list every post-secondary
school you have attended. For each school, include your major,
degree, date of completion (or expected date), the titles of your
theses and dissertations, and your advisor. Also list minors,
subﬁelds, and any honors you have received; however, if you
have several prestigious honors and awards, you may want to
list them in a separate section. If your ﬁeld is in the humanities,
you may want to have a separate Dissertation section in which
you give a short summary of your dissertation and the names of
your dissertation readers.
Professional experience. All teaching or research positions
you have held should go here. Include the course name, dates,
and a brief description for each course you have taught. If you
want to give a greater emphasis to teaching, research, or any
other aspect of your professional experience, you can split this
category into multiple categories, such as Teaching Experience,
Research Experience, or Fieldwork. Do not forget to use action
verbs when describing your responsibilities; they will grab the
readerʼs attention more forcefully and make your resume more
Academic service. Include the names of all committees you
have served on and a description of each academic service
position you have held.
Memberships. List all national, regional, state, or local
professional organizations to which you belong, with dates of
membership. Past memberships and student memberships
should be listed if they are relevant.
CVs & Resumes