Curriculum Vitae (CV) Structure

Curriculum Vitae is ...
  • A rhetorical document traditionally used within the academic community and designed to persuade. 
  • Earned degrees, teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, volunteer experience, sabbatical or fellowship opportunities, grants, consulting and others are featured.
  • Your CV is flexible, adaptable, and capable of reflecting changes in your responsibilities, activities, and accomplishments, and shifting emphases to suit your purpose.
  • A CV is distinguished from a resume not by its length, but by its content.
  • CVs are not confined to a certain page limit.


  • Three essential elements:  Name and address; Education; Relevant experience or skills.
  • Always update your contact information.
  • Include your academic discipline, degree-granting institutions, and dates the degrees were conferred.
  • Sentence fragments are perfectly acceptable, fragments allow you to omit the overused personal pronouns.  Use action words!
  • Clarity and emphasis can be achieved by underlining, boldface, and italics.
  • The experience category is one place where you may name drop.  For example, you may be able to capitalize on the reputation of your mentor. 
  • Caution:  Accuracy about academic degrees and experiences is critical.  Even the slightest discrepancy can be damaging.

     Suggested CV Categories


Lectures and colloquia


Education background

Committee leadership

Postdoctoral experience

Professional Studies

Book reviews

Professional experience


Funded projects

Academic appointments

Comprehensive areas

Language skills

Scholarly presentations

Master’s project




Graduate practice




Special training

Areas of expertise



Specialized training

Career highlights



Create new categories to reflect your interests, responsibilities, achievements, and strengths.

     Do not include:

  • Photographs, race, religion, ethnicity, age, or birth date. 
  • Physical characteristics (gender, height, weight, and eye color). 
  • Any family information (marital status, name and occupation of spouse, names and ages of children).

Sample CV