CV Writing

A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a document that contains relevant information about your educational background, research, and honors you have received, among other topics. Unlike a resume, which is a single page, a CV can be as many pages as necessary. There are many different ways to format a CV, but like any piece of writing, you want to make sure that it is geared towards the audience that will be reading it. Remember that the people reviewing your application might only have a few minutes to read through your CV and they will use the CV to make decisions about your application. Because of this, you will want to make your CV concise and easy for the reader to read and understand. 


What is on a CV?

  • Your name and contact information 
    • Address, email address, and phone number
  • Educational background
    • Name of the institution, address, degree you earned or expect to earn, GPA, and graduation date or expected graduation date 
  • Research experience
    • Where you did the research, name of your advisor(s), dates during which the research was conducted, short description of your project
  • Presentations and publications
    • Titles of talks or conference posters you have given including a list of authors and the dates. Titles, author lists, and citation information for any publications you have. Focus only on professional presentations and publications. Presentations given in classes should not appear on your CV in most cases. 
  • Teaching experience
    • If you have any teaching experience (such as tutoring or being a TA) give a short explanation of what you did.
  • Honors and Awards
    • Name of the award, date it was awarded, consider including a short description for awards that are not well known nationally. 
  • Public outreach
    • A list of outreach activities that you have done. Be sure to give a short explanation of the event and your role at the event. If you had an integral part in the outreach program, make that known. Also include dates of the programs. 
  • Technical skills
    • Programming languages you know, any technical tools that you have experience with that pertain to the research you are interested in doing. 
  • Professional Societies
    • If you are a member of a professional society, put that here along with the dates you have been a member. 


Format of a CV

  • Put the most important things first
  • Use a font that is both easy to read and professional 
  • Utilize indentations, bold and italic fonts, and horizontal lines to draw the reader's attention to the most important parts of your CV
  • Whitespace is just as important as the text. A wall of text is difficult to read, so make sure to use whitespace to give the person reading your CV an easier time. 
  • No typos or grammatical errors! Have a friend proofread for you. 

For more information about the content and format of your CV, check out the these examples from the UT College of Natural Sciences.