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The Curriculum Vitae

The curriculum vitae (CV) is a comprehensive statement of your academic background and your teaching and research experience. In academic circles, your CV will be the cornerstone of any application for employment, funding, honor, award or fellowship. Therefore, it is extremely important that your vitae reflects the range and scope of your interests, as well as highlights your particular teaching and research strengths.

Unlike a business resume, your curriculum vitae will increase in length as you gain experience and establish a publication record. As a beginning scholar, your vitae will probably be about two pages in length, unless you are very experienced. In compiling your vitae, present a trajectory of your life as a scholar and teacher, from the time you started your academic career as an undergraduate. Arrange all information on your vitae in reverse chronological order, listing the most recent positions or awards first. Report all pertinent information, but do not pad your vitae with extraneous information.

When compiling a vitae for employment purposes, highlight your strengths and tailor your vitae to the positions for which you are applying. Since academic institutions vary in their missions and objectives, you may need to arrange the information on your vitae differently for different audiences. For instance, list your publications, presentations, and awards first when applying to research institutions; list your teaching experience first when applying to smaller liberal arts colleges or community colleges, and add a section on community or academic service. Things to think about when writing your CV, who is the reader and should I emphasize my teaching skills or research area more? It's a good idea to keep a 'master' CV which includes all of your accomplishments then you can just copy and paste the sections when needed. Remember your CV is a constantly evolving document that should be continually updated – you never know when you may need to provide a copy to someone.

Elements of the Curriculum Vitae


Include your name, address, complete telephone number, and e-mail address. Since your vitae may be circulated to faculty members and deans without your letter of application, include your department address, as well as your home address, so your current academic affiliation is clearly stated at the top of the page. Do not include any explicit reference to your age, marital status, race, sex, gender identity, ethnicity or sexual orientation anywhere on your vitae. List your name and page number on each subsequent sheet of your CV.


List all institutions, degrees and graduation dates in reverse chronological order. If you attended an institution but did not earn a degree, you do not need to list it on your vitae unless the training you received was vitael to your career – a language course taken abroad, for instance.


You can list the title of your dissertation beneath the information on your doctoral degree, as well as the name of your director. Some fields require a longer description (one paragraph) of the dissertation on your vitae. Consult with faculty members in your department on this matter.

Exams and Requirements

In some disciplines, the CV should include a description of your fields as well as the dates of your qualifying examinations. Seek advice on this matter from your department.

Awards, Fellowship, Honors, Grants

List any academic distinctions, teaching awards, fellowships, honors, or grants you have received since you entered college in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the department and institution bestowing the honor.

Publications, Creative Work

Include bibliographic citations of articles, pamphlets, research reports, poems, stories and book reviews that you have published. If applicable, list any musical recitals or art exhibits in this section. As you gain experience, you will further separate these items into different categories, such as 'book reviews,' 'articles in refereed journals,' 'books,' etc. use the form of citation appropriate to your field. In order to list something as 'forthcoming' in this section, you should have a signed contract and a reasonably firm sense of when the publication will appear in print.


List all papers you have delivered, or will deliver, along with the names, dates, and locations of the conferences or meetings where you presented that work.

Work Submitted, Work In Progress

In some fields, it is fairly standard practice for scholars to add 'Work Submitted' and 'Work in Progress' sections to their CV's. If you have an article or book under review at a refereed journal or academic press, you list it under a category titled 'Work Submitted for Publication' or 'Work in Circulation.' In this way, you can inform employers that you are starting to move toward professional activity – that you have enough confidence in your work to submit it for publication. If you are an experienced candidate, or are looking to change jobs, you will want to indicate the potential of publication on new projects by reporting on them in a section entitled 'Work in Progress.'

Teaching Experience

Include all full-time, part-time and adjunct teaching experience. For each position, list your title, the dates of employment (or quarter and year), the name of each course you taught, and a brief description of your responsibilities. Since job titles vary from university to university, you need to tell the employer something about your level of involvement in the course design, preparation of materials, weekly instruction, and grading.

Research Interests, Teaching Competencies

Describe your current research interests and teaching competencies. List no more than four or five areas under each heading, in order of preference. When listing your teaching competencies, be sure to list general categories, as well as specialization, so that employers know you are capable and willing to teach the undergraduate and general education requirements offered in their departments.

Professional Training

List any special professional training you received in your department or through a professional organization in this section. Such training may include special courses on pedagogy or teaching techniques, professional seminars offered through your professional organization, or technical or computer training you completed in addition to your regular coursework.


List the languages you have studied, as well as some indication of your level of expertise. For example, you may have a 'reading knowledge of French,' be 'fluent in Spanish,' or have a 'working knowledge of Italian.'

Professional Affiliations

List the major professional organizations to which you belong. If you have served actively in the organizations, indicate the level of your involvement.

University, Department, Professional Service

If you have served on any committees (such as graduate advisory or search committees in your department, or any appointed or elected position in the university or in your professional organization), list the experience here. You may also note in this category any talks you gave or meetings you arranged in the department about professional issues in your field. Demonstrating service will tell employers that you are a good citizen in your current department and institution.

References and Dossier

At the end of your vitae, list the names, titles and academic affiliations of your references. List your references in order of importance (for example, your dissertation director first, followed by other members of your committee or other advisors who know your work well). In some fields, it is customary to list addresses and telephone numbers of your references; follow the standard in your field.

Inform prospective employers how they can obtain a copy of your dossier. You can add a line at the end of your vitae or in the last paragraph of your letter of application. In order to have a better sense of where they stand in the application process at each school, some candidates prefer to manage the mailing of their dossiers themselves. If you prefer this method, simply state at the end of your letter or vitae that your dossier is 'available upon request;' employers will then contact you directly.

Curriculum Vitae examples

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