CareerAdvice: Writing your Curriculum Vitae (CV)

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Your curriculum vitae or CV is one of the most important documents that you'll write as a freshly minted graduate student. Even if you are hired and never apply for another position, you'll continue work on the C.V. throughout your entire academic life. For example, I have to submit a new C.V. to my college each year as part of my annual review. When I submit work for review, publishers and conference organizers also usually want an updated CV.

Now the first thing to note is that a C.V. is not a resume. There is no requirement that a CV be less than one page. Most run at least three pages, I'm trying to limit mine to seven pages, which seems to be slightly excessive. You don't need to print it on premium pure virgin linen bond cloth. In fact, printing it on something that will clog the departmental photocopier is most probably a bad thing.

There are many ways to write a C.V. Each CV is discipline specific as to content. One of the first things you should do is most probably ask several of your professors in your department for copies of their CVs. There's nothing to be embarrassed about, these are public documents. Many younger faculty will have them posted on their web pages, you can look at mine here, for example.

There are varying degrees of detail you want to put into your CV. At the bare minimum, it should include:

  1. Contact information: Name, address, phone number, web site, e-mail. Don't include your social security number as the CV is a public document.
  2. Current academic position
  3. Education: Ph.D., MA, BA (don't include your high school, middle school, elementary school, kindergarten)
  4. Academic Publications: This is the most important part of the CV. Many people break this down into:
    1. Journal articles: some people further break this down into peer-reviewed (juried) and non-juried
    2. Book chapters
    3. Monographs
    4. Edited Volumes
    5. Book reviews
    6. Forthcoming: this is especially important for grad students who don't have many publications
  5. Previous academic positions: don't include non-academic jobs, but do include TAships, RAships, and other teaching and research positions if this section would otherwise be blank.
  6. Conference Presentations
  7. Grants, Awards, and Scholarships

Basically you want to show that you're an active scholar. If you are doing academic activity, you should show it in your C.V. For example, if you're teaching in the fine arts, you should include gallery openings, musical performances, etc. If you have a website -- I think all scholars should -- you should post your CV or at the very minimum, a redacted CV minus personal information -- to your website.

Like CVs, this blog entry is a living document and I'll return to it later to expand it. Keep it bookmarked in your browser and feel free to send in questions, comments, or suggestions using the comment form below.


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This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on April 13, 2005 5:51 PM.

Link: Write an essay on rangefinders, win one! was the previous entry in this blog.

Fieldnotes: Backwards compatible fieldnotes is the next entry in this blog.

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