When to Use a Curriculum Vitae
In the United States, a curriculum vitae is used when applying for academic, education, scientific or research positions. A curriculum vitae can also be used to apply for fellowships or grants. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia, employers may expect to receive a curriculum vitae rather than a resume.
Choose an Appropriate Curriculum Vitae Format
Make sure you choose a curriculum vitae format that is appropriate for the position you are applying for. If you are applying for a fellowship, for example, you won't need to include the personal information that may be included in an international CV. Review curriculum vitae samples to get suggestions for the best format for your CV.
Have Several Versions of Your CV
Don't just write one CV and use it for every position you apply for. Have targeted and focused versions of your curriculum vitae and use them accordingly.
What to Include in Your CV
In addition to your education and work history, your CV should contain your research experience, publications, grants and fellowships, courses taught, institutional service, professional associations, accreditation, presentations, licenses, and awards.
What Not to Include
There is no need to include your photo, your salary history, the reason you left your previous position, or references in your CV. References should be listed separately and given to employers upon request.
Proof Your Curriculum Vitae
Double-check your curriculum vitae for typos and grammatical errors. Then ask someone else to review it for you - it's often hard to catch our own mistakes. Look at the format of your curriculum vitae, and again, ask someone else to take a look. Is there plenty of white space? Is it cluttered?
Is your formatting consistent (bold, italic, spacing, etc.) and is the overall picture that your CV provides a professional and polished one?
Keep it Short
If possible, try to keep your CV short and concise. Include summaries of your employment and education, rather than lots of details. Use formal (no slang or abbreviations) and well-written language, writing simply and clearly.
Tell the Truth
It can be tempting to over-polish a CV and make our educational qualifications or work history sound a little better than they really are. If you're tempted to stretch the truth about your work history - don't. It will come back to haunt you. Most employers conduct reference and background checks and if your curriculum vitae doesn't match your actual work history or education, you will most likely get caught at some point and you will either not get the job or will get fired if you have already been hired.
Curriculum Vitae Tips
More tips and advice for writing a perfect curriculum vitae, plus CV tips for online job applications, CV formatting and styles, academic and international CVs, and tips for writing curriculum vitae that secure an interview.
What, When, Where and How
This overview describe a curriculum vitae and explains when and how to use a CV when seeking employment.