Resumes and CVs

A resume is a written description of your knowledge, skills, and abilities presented in a clear, concise, and well-formatted manner. The purpose of a successful resume is to give an employer or recruiter a snapshot of your professional experiences and explain why you’re a qualified candidate for the position (with the goal of securing an interview). Resumes are appropriately used to apply for jobs in most industries, including for-profit businesses, as well as government and non-profit organizations. Resumes are also acceptable additions to many graduate school applications. 

A Curriculum Vitae (generally known as CV) is Latin for “course of life.” If applying for jobs in the United States, CVs are generally used within academic fields and include a complete history of your academic and research-oriented credentials. If you’re applying to jobs in other areas of the world (primarily European countries), the term CV is used the same way as “resume” is used in the United States. If you’re not sure which type of document to submit when applying for a position, we recommend that you check with a Career Center staff member or clarify with a Human Resources recruiter. 


  • Primary audience is hiring managers and recruiters within for-profit businesses, and both government and nonprofit organizations. 
  • Summary of education, skills, and professional accomplishments. 
  • Highlights relevant skills and results attained through action-oriented statements that demonstrate impact and results. 


  • Primary audience is within academic institutions and when applying for research-oriented positions, fellowships and grants. 
  • A complete history of your academic credentials including: publications and presentations, research interests, teaching experience, honors and awards, service (committee membership, etc.), and membership in professional organizations. 
  • Highlights academic and scholarly achievements. 
  • Find more CV tips and sample documents here: 

CV Tips: 

  • Never use a template.   
  • Use a simple format and keep content clear, concise, and well-organized. 
  • Use phrases (not full sentences) to describe your experiences, begin each with strong action verbs. 
  • If more than one-page in length, include name and page number on all pages after the first. 
  • Do not include personal information such as race, gender, age, marital status or social security number. 
  • The most relevant information always goes first (above the fold). 

Sections of a CV (only include sections relevant to your experience): 

  • Education  
  • Community Service 
  • Laboratory Experience 
  • Research Interests and/or Experience 
  • Honors Thesis 
  • Fieldwork 
  • Fellowships/Grants 
  • Teaching Experience  
  • Work Experience  
  • Professional Organizations  
  • Honors, Awards  
  • Software Skills 
  • Professional Presentations  
  • Certifications/Licensure 
  • Publications