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Career Corner: Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae (CV) is the Latin term for “course of life”. As opposed to a resume, which summarizes your credentials, a CV lets you go into detail about your personal, professional and academic achievements. CV’s are generally used by students with a graduate degree, PhD’s or employees with years of work experience. They are used when applying for positions in higher education, research, medical or scientific fields.

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Lisa Duke, assistant director for Career Services, describes it as an “expanded resume”; the difference is, you can include things like your dissertation, degrees earned, awards, grants and extensive details about various experiences. “It can allow you to document presentations, list out publications and things that you’ve partnered with fellow colleagues for, like research in your career field or projects,” said Duke.

Unlike a resume, a CV does not have a strict page limit. Typically, a CV is about 4-5 pages long. However, depending on your research and accomplishments, it can be up to 8 pages long. If this is the case, then you may be asked to present a CV summary instead. Templates for both a CV and a CV summary are available online.

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While the use of a CV isn’t limited to specific majors, there are some that are more suited to a CV. A heavy research major would benefit from using a CV. “I would say that maybe a business major or an accountant or marketing person would never have the need to have a CV,” said Duke. “But somebody, maybe in the college of science, math or engineering, or anything in the medical field would at some point in time transition from a resume to a CV.” Depending on the amount of research required in the course, psychology majors could potentially require a CV too.

If you’re working on your CV or considering working on one, reach out to a career counselor. “See if you can get a faculty member to help you,” Duke added. “Chances are, they’ll have a living, working document to help you out. They’ll know what works in their career area, since there’s different formatting for every field.”

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