MIT Global Education Career Development
Curriculum Vitaes, or CV’s, are used to apply for teaching or research opportunities, fellowships, further academic training, grants, contract funding proposals, tenure, promotion to professor positions, and membership in a professional society or organization. To get help with your CV, schedule an appointment to see one of our counselors.
Curriculum Vitae (CV) vs. Resumes
Develop Your CV Strategically
You should have two CVs: a master CV with all information and a tailored CV, which you should write for a specific position or opportunity. In developing your CV, keep the following tips in mind.
You want to make your 3-4 most notable skills, achievements, and knowledge areas leap off the page for readers. This can be done by putting the most related items to the opportunity higher up on your CV. When writing your tailored CV, keep your audience in mind. How technically savvy are they? Will they understand the vocabulary of your field? What are they looking for? What will they find interesting about you?
Material you present early in your CV is likely to stand out more than material placed later. (An exception is that publications are often at the end).
Formatting Your CV
There is no single correct format or style for writing a CV. It is recommended to consult with people in your discipline about particularities of CV’s in your field. You can also see example CV’s and have your CV reviewed by a GECD counselor.
Typically, CV’s are longer than resumes. Unlike a resume, t is appropriate to describe both teaching and research experience in detail. If applying for a position that primarily involves research, describe research experience first; if the reverse is true, put teaching experience first.
Completeness is more important than brevity. The length is typically 2 to 4 pages for a younger professional, 4 to 7 pages for a person with more experience.
CV Sections and Headings
Headings can be located and titled strategically. Determine what is of primary importance, and put that section first.
Common CV Headings
- Name Contact Information
- Dissertation Title or Topic
- Research Experience
- Teaching Experience
- Other Professional Experience, e.g., Industry Experience, Government Experience
Additional CV Headings to Tailor Your CV
- Skills – may include subcategories such as Computer, Languages, Lab Instrumentation
- Professional Associations
- Leadership Activities – or University Service
- Research Interests
- Areas of Expertise
- Prepared to Teach
- Works in Progress
- Dissertation Abstract (sometimes included separately)
- Other — could include relevant global / travel experience, professional association memberships, or hobbies and personal interests
Including Work or Professional Experience
It is acceptable to include work experience if it’s relevant to your academic interests. If you include work experience, it is important to clarify the relevance in your description.
If your work experience is not directly relevant to your academic interests, are there skills you gained that make the experience worth including? Work experience may take a number of forms in your CV. You may describe your experience briefly or list it without description.
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