Writing Your Curriculum Vitae

Learn the elements of an effective curriculum vitae or "CV". Elements may vary according to your field. See some undergraduate sample CVsdoctoral student CV samples. See an advisor for CV tips or a critique.

A resume is typically used when applying to jobs and internships in "industry", while a CV is used primarily when applying for academic, eduation, scientific or research positions. It is also applicable when applying for fellowships or grants. CV can inlcude all of your adademic background as well as teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations and other details.

A two-page sample CV for a doctoral student in English follows. For more CV samples, download the WSDM - Career Communication Guide.


Header & Footer

  • Include your name, address, phone number, and email address. If you plan to move while the CV is in use, include your current address and permanent address.
  • Number each page and include your name


  • Include your PhD, institution, date expected, major or area of specialization, outside fields
  • MA or MS, institution, date of degree, major and minor
  • BA or BS, institution, date of degree, major and minor


  • State the title and dissertation director
  • Include a four- or five-sentence abstract or summary addressing both the content and methodology.

Honors and awards

  • Special distinctions associated with passing the MA and PhD exams
  • Fellowships, scholarship, grants-in-aid, etc.
  • Honorary awards received including those received at the bachelor's level (avoid irrelevant non-academic awards)

Teaching experience

  • Position and institution
  • Descriptive titles of courses taught; include URLs to conference presentations available online
  • Extent of experience (number of sections and quarters, semesters or years)
  • Teaching interests

Research experience

  • Position, location, dates
  • Brief description of work conducted as it relates to the desired position
  • Research interests

Other work experience

  • Include research, consultation, and other experiences relevant to the type of position


  • List all publications you are willing to show to a search committee; include URLs to papers accessible online
  • Include work in progress or submitted but not yet accepted

Other possible headings

  • Conference papers/research reports
  • Academic service (committee work)
  • Professional memberships (attendance at conferences/meetings can be noted)
  • Language skills - describe skill level ("reading knowledge," or "fluent speaking ability")
  • Miscellaneous categories when relevant to teaching/research