What Is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

Definition of Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Curriculum Vitae is a Latin expression, which is loosely translated as “The course of one’s life”. Curriculum means Course and Vitae means Life.

What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A Curriculum Vitae is similar to a resume but it is more specifically focused on academic achievements. A Curriculum Vitae includes educational and academic history and may include detailed teaching experience, publications, and academic honors and awards.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) versus Resume

The main differences between a Curriculum Vitae and a Resume are the content, the purpose, and the length.

  • The Content: A Curriculum Vitae should include an educational and academic background summary. It should also include teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations, etc. A Resume should include a summary of your skills, experience, and education. A resume should be as brief and concise as possible while making every word count.
  • The Purpose: A Curriculum Vitae is normally used when applying for international, academic, education, scientific, or research positions. It is also used when applying for grants or fellowships. A Resume is used when applying for positions that match up to your current professional work experience. It is important to tailor your resume or curriculum vitae to the skills, experience, and education required for the position.
  • The Length: A Curriculum Vitae can vary in length. Some are two to four pages and some are longer depending on the background and experience of the individual. Resumes are typically one to two pages in length.

What to include in a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A Curriculum Vitae normally contains the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number and Email Address
  • Education
  • Dissertation
  • Fellowships and Awards
  • Teaching and Research Experience
  • Publications
  • Presentations
  • Professional Associations and Licenses
  • Works in Progress
  • Related Professional Experience (Work experience not directly related to research/teaching/academic opportunities should be omitted or only described briefly)
  • Languages
  • References (Reference information should include Reference Title, University Affiliation, and Phone Number)

Always include a Cover Letter along with your Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

A cover letter is your first and might be your only opportunity to get the attention of the hiring manager for the position that you are applying for. It is important for your cover letter to grab the hiring manager’s attention and let them know why it is important for them to review your Curriculum Vitae and interview you for their open position.

A Correct Curriculum Vitae

  • Proofread: You should always proofread your Curriculum Vitae. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. I would recommend having someone else proofread your curriculum vitae after you have proofread it before you submit your application.
  • Revise your Curriculum Vitae: It is important for your Curriculum Vitae as well as your cover letter to be tailored to meet the job qualifications and experience listed in the job posting.
  • Length: There is not a set limit to how long a Curriculum Vitae should be. Just make sure that all the details included in your curriculum vitae are relevant to the position that you are applying for.
  • Tone: The tone of your curriculum vitae should always be professional, informative, confident, and upbeat/positive. You should make every word in your curriculum vitae count.
  • Paper: If you are submitting a curriculum vitae non-electronically, then you should make sure you use good quality paper that matches your cover letter paper and envelope.

An Incorrect Curriculum Vitae

  • Contractions: Do not use contractions. Write out the word ‘do not’ instead of using the word ‘don’t’, etc.
  • Duplicate: Make sure that your cover letter does not read like a duplication of your curriculum vitae. It needs to be original and it should compliment your curriculum vitae.
  • Fonts: Do not use decorative fonts, flashy colored paper, or unusual formats. Your curriculum vitae should look professional. Make sure your entire cover letter and curriculum vitae is in the same font type.
  • Wording: Do not overuse adjectives in your curriculum vitae and do not use the word “very”. Do not start too many sentences with the word “I”.Limit the use of writing in the passive voice. Avoid using clichés and meaningless or wordy expressions. Do not use exclamation points in your cover letter or curriculum vitae.
  • Recycled: Never use the same cover letter or curriculum vitae for different jobs. You should always take the time to tailor your cover letter and curriculum vitae to each individual job posting.
  • Dishonesty: Never exaggerate or be dishonest about your qualifications, education, etc.

See Also: