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Curriculum Vitae vs. Resume

Description of a CV

Graduate students are often uncertain whether a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) is most appropriate for their needs. In some cases, both may be necessary, depending upon your professional objective.

What are the differences? Generally, a CV is most appropriate for the academic and research environment. A resume is most appropriate for other employment sectors.

The CV is generally longer and more comprehensive, while the resume is more concise and is usually one page for recent graduates and two pages for more experienced people. The CV highlights research, teaching, and administrative experience. Other categories may include the dissertation title and description, teaching interests and competencies, presentations and publications, professional affiliations, honors and awards, and special skills.

The CV can be used for preliminary screening for employment or as a support document in the following ways:

  • Grant or contract proposal
  • Tenure review or annual review by an employer
  • Support an application for a professional association
  • Biography for conference introductions or professional presentations
  • Information for professional publications or activities

As such, the curriculum vitae (literally translated as “course of life”) has many uses and is an important document in your professional life. Consult the following menu to choose the most appropriate categories for your CV.

Sample CV Headings

HEADING
CONTENTS

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
  • Summary of relevant skills, qualities, experiences, or training

EDUCATION
  • College and university degrees
  • Concentrations
  • Course highlights

THESIS
  • Doctoral dissertation
  • Master’s thesis
  • Master’s project

CERTIFICATIONS
  • Certificates
  • Licenses

HONORS AND AWARDS
  • Fellowships
  • Academic awards
  • Distinctions

COMPETENCIES
  • Areas of expertise
  • Committee leaderships
  • Departmental leadership
  • Faculty leadership
  • Professional activities
  • Professional competencies
  • Research interests
  • Teaching interests

EXPERIENCE
  • Administrative experience
  • Consulting experience
  • Professional experience
  • Research experience
  • Teaching experience
  • Volunteer experience

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE
  • Study abroad
  • Language competencies
  • Travel abroad

PUBLICATIONS
  • Arrangements/scores
  • Articles/reviews
  • Exhibits/exhibitions
  • Professional papers
  • Publications

PRESENTATIONS
  • Conference presentations
  • Poster presentations
  • Workshop presentations

PROFESSIONAL   MEMBERSHIPS
  • Associations

SKILLS
  • Laboratory
  • Language
  • Technical

REFERENCES
  • References or dossier