Resumes, Letters & Interviews

Curriculum Vitae Outline

When should I use this type of document?

A curriculum vitae is a more extensive document typically used by those with graduate education who are pursuing positions in academia or research.

Outline of Layout Structure

A curriculum vitae or CV is similar to a resume in that it provides an overview of your professional and educational experience. The difference between the two primarily lies in content and purpose. A CV is typically developed for teaching applications or research positions in a university or research setting. A resume is prepared for employers outside the academic environment.


The CV should begin with name, contact information (including email), and education.The education category should include the name of the colleges or universities attended, city and state of each, degrees earned, area(s) of study, and graduation dates. Degrees should be listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent listed first. List the title of each thesis/dissertation, as well as the primary advisor. Beyond this basic information, category headings used within CVs may vary widely. However, there are certain major areas that require mention, regardless of specific headings used. These are:

  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Service


Include all relevant research experience in your area of specialization. You may choose to list publications, conference presentations and any other evidence of scholarly work in this section.


List all teaching fellowships, assistantships, or any other experiences working with students in a classroom/laboratory setting. You may also choose to list teaching interests or similar categories.


Include service to the university or community. You may also include professional associations, volunteer work, committee membership, etc. in this section.  


It is important to incorporate evidence of research, teaching, and service in your CV, but choice of category headings to cover these areas is purely subjective. Most CVs include a sampling of the category headings listed below. Choose category headings that emphasize your particular strengths and achievements. Also, depending on the position to which you are applying, it may make more sense to rearrange categories. For instance, if you are applying for a college teaching position where teaching is the focus, it is recommended to focus on that general area early in the CV. If research is the primary focus of the institution to which you are applying, listing research-related categories near the beginning of the CV will be most effective.


Completed Examples

Curriculum Vitae


What is a CV? slideshow