Preparing a Curriculum Vitae Webster University I Career Planning & Development Center

Writing a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A Curriculum Vitae or CV is common for professionals who are pursuing positions within academia in the United States. You may also use a CV when applying to graduate school, research positions, or for grants/fellowships. A CV is typically longer than a standard industry resume and will continue to grow as experience is gained.

Note that some countries may use the term CV to designate what would be considered a resume in the United States.

Formatting Guidelines

  • Length for a recent graduate is typically 2 – 4 pages. As experience is gained, CVs can grow to more than 10 pages in length
  • Maintain a consistent format throughout your entire document. To stand out in a competitive applicant pool your document should be easily readable
  • Keep a traditional format and avoid the use of graphics, colors, or tables
  • Since there are no page limitations, use standard margins of 1 inch and a readable font size
  • Provide brief and concise narratives when describing your research and academic achievements. Bulleted task descriptions are easier to read than a paragraph
  • There are different styles for date placement. Traditionally, dates were aligned on the left hand side for CVs. It is becoming more common to see dates aligned to the right hand side so readers see more relevant information first like job titles or research experience
  • References should be provided on a separate page

Recommended Content Sections

Contact Information

  • An address is not required. If you provide an address, include only one (office or home)
  • Include a link to professional websites or customized LinkedIn URL as relevant.


  • In reverse chronological order, list all institutions, degrees, and graduation dates.

Dissertation or Thesis

  • If applicable, provide the title. You may have a description of the work, including its theoretical outline, and conclusion. Keep any description brief since you also will be able to highlight your research in other application materials or under your research experience.

Awards, Honors, Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships

  • Scholarship recognition by the university where your degree was awarded or within the field of interest is critical for pursuing positions in academia.
  • In this section, include relevant recognition of your work.
  • You may add a brief bullet description to give context if relevant. For instance, you could list the monetary amount for significant grants or scholarships.

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Particularly for those who have limited or no teaching and research experience, include a list of 3-5 teaching or research interests in this optional section.

Research Experience

  • This section is often one of the most important components of your CV.
  • Include relevant undergraduate and internship research in this section.
  • Describe your work, techniques, and technologies used.
  • You may choose to list the supervising lab or professor if they have name recognition or provide additional context.

Publications, Invited Papers, Exhibits, etc.

  • List your work in reverse chronological order in this section.
  • Work should be listed in the citation style appropriate to your field.
  • If the publication is not yet in print, indicate when it will be published and classify the status of your work appropriately.
  • Indicate if the piece or article was included in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Readers may find it helpful to see your name in bold if there are multiple authors.

Presentations, Workshops, and Conferences Attended

  • List all names, dates and locations of conferences where you have given presentations.
  • Workshops, talks, or other presentations that you have presented should also be listed.
  • Number of attendees, if it was a well-attended presentation, may be included.

Teaching Experience

  • The format for this section is similar to a standard industry resume. Describe your teaching experience in a bullet format.
  • In relationship to your academic interests, include all full-time, part-time, adjunct, and graduate teaching experience in reverse chronological order.
  • Note that it is usually more helpful for your readers to list the title of class than the course number. For example, Multicultural Counseling is more informative to an outside audience than Psych 450.

Related Work Experience

  • Professional experience, as it relates to your academic interests, can be listed in this section in a format similar to a standard industry resume.

Academic Service and Community Involvement

  • Include committees you have served on, elected positions, and student or professional organization involvement as it relates to your academic interests.
  • Detail your role in an organization as you would for an employment position.
  • Include community involvement where you have had a significant position.

Highlight Relevant Information

  • Tailor your CV for applications and organize sections in order of importance. For example, teaching experience may be highlighted first if you are applying for an adjunct position while research and publications would be weighted higher for a postdoctoral application.
  • Consider the relevancy of information you include. While there are no page limitations, don’t add irrelevant information just to take up space.
  • As you gain more experience, you can subdivide sections to further emphasize areas.
  • Based on your field, you may include other sections like certifications, skills, etc.
  • Each discipline has their own unique preferences so be sure to solicit feedback from professors/mentors in your discipline as well as staff at the Career Planning & Development Center.
  • Regularly update your CV to document your accomplishments.

View example Curriculum Vitae documents in the social sciences, humanities, sciences, and arts below.

Social Sciences

The Career Planning & Development Center assists individuals with exploring and defining their personal career goals while developing the skills and confidence necessary to succeed. Visit the Career Planning & Development Center website to view a listing of resources, services, and events that are offered to students.


Created with images by Marten Bjork - "Business time" • Sarah Shaffer - "Business Meeting"