CV: The Curriculum Vitae

Your CV is an important document — an initial decision about your appropriateness for a position is generally based on it. This document is the academic equivalent of a resume and summarizes your academic and professional history. 

The Mission of Your CV

The CV is used for teaching and administrative positions in academia, fellowships and grants. CVs are the committee's first contact with you, and should represent you in the best possible light. The goal is to capture the attention of the reader. 

CV Tips and Guidelines

Be aware of CV standards and guidelines, then create a standout version.

Do a page count.

There is no limit to the length of a CV, but it is usually 2-3 pages for Ph.D. students or 3-4 for graduate alumni with experience. Each field has its own CV formatting guidelines, so check with your department to review samples. 

Prioritize information.

Review our list of ideas for what to include on your CV, and consider modifying it to each position, emphasizing teaching or research. Include the most important information on the first page.

  • For new grads: Page one should cover your educational background and recent experience.
  • For graduates: You may want to include your educational background later if you have several years of experience to showcase.

Be consistent with formatting.

  • Capitalization: If you capitalize headings such as EDUCATION, use lower-case for the institution name.
  • Fonts: Choose a font size and type that is fairly standard, no smaller than size 10.
  • Bold and italics: These are fine for emphasis, but do not be so styled that you distract from the content. 
  • Dates: Keep dates to the right, since the reader will want to read the most important information first.
  • Hard copies: Use a laser printer and white or cream-colored bond paper when printing. Include your name on each page. 

Let others proof it.

Have your CV critiqued by your academic advisor, peers and department members. You can also call 609-258-3325 to schedule an appointment with one of our advisers.