Your CV is an overview of your accomplishments and includes a detailed history of your academic pursuits in research, awards, teaching and service. You should provide a CV instead of a resume when requested in the application instructions or by the employer, grant agency, scholarship or committee. If you’re in doubt whether to use a CV or a resume, contact the hiring agency and ask which one it prefers.
The following types of positions often require a CV instead of a resume:
- Academic (graduate students, professors)
- Scientific or research ( scientists, researchers)
- Medical (medical residents, physicians, some nursing positions)
- International (commonly used for all types of positions in Europe, Asia or Africa)
- Fellowships or grants (researchers, scientists, graduate students)
The main differences between a resume and CV include the following:
Detailed list of relevant accomplishments
Tailored snapshot of relevant skills, education and experience for a specific position or career
Academia, research or medical, or international jobs
Typically nonacademic jobs
Substantial information, usually written in narrative style
Minimal text, achievement-oriented bullets
No length restrictions
One to two pages
Included in CV
Provided in a separate document
Publications, grants and fellowships, professional associations and licenses relevant to the position are typically included on a CV. Sections of your CV might include any of the following, depending on your background and the type of position you are seeking:
- Contact information
- Teaching experience
- Honors, awards, fellowships and grants
- Professional memberships
The Purdue Online Writing Lab provides an overview of strategies for writing an effective CV. More information on
Some hiring organizations provide a template to use in creating a CV. If an organization requests a CV, you may ask if it has a specific format or template it prefers you use.
Whether you are writing a CV or a resume, it’s important to target the document to show you’re qualified and an excellent candidate for the position for which you’re applying. Make sure the information you provide is relevant and accurate. It’s also critical that your CV is mistake-free — no errors in grammar or spelling.
Remember, your CV or resume is your chance to capture a potential employer’s interest so make sure you make a great impression. Call 800-342-9647 to have a career coach review your completed CV or for assistance if you have questions.