Internship Preparation - Career Services Center - St. Cloud State University

Career Services Center - St. Cloud State University

Career Services Center - St. Cloud State University

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SCSU Career Center

Curriculum Vitae (CV)


A curriculum vitae (singular), meaning "course of one's life, is a document that gives much more detail than does a resume about your academic and professional accomplishments. Curricula vitae (plural) are most often used for academic or research positions, whereas resumes are the preferred documents in business and industry.

Note about plural / singular forms:

  • "Curricula vitae" (vee-tie) is the plural form; "curriculum vitae" is singular.
  • The informal shortened form, "vita" standing alone, meaning a brief autobiographical sketch (Webster's), is singular, while "vitae," is plural.
  • The abbreviation is often used: CV or CVs.

CV Tips:

Curricula vitae are commonly used in applying for the following:

  • Admission to graduate school or as part of an application packet for a graduate assistantship or scholarship.
  • Grant proposals.
  • Teaching, research, and upper-level administrative positions in higher education.
  • Academic departmental and tenure reviews.
  • College or university service appointments.
  • Professional association leadership positions.
  • Speaking engagements.
  • Publishing and editorial review boards.
  • Research and consulting positions in a variety of settings.
  • School administration positions at the superintendent, principal, or department head level.

Vitae are usually two pages at the shortest, and can be many pages in length. Common lengths for curricula vitae are one to three pages for bachelor's and master's degree candidates; two to five pages for doctoral candidates; and five or more pages for an experienced academician or researcher. Even though it's a longer document, write it concisely and give it a clean, easy-to-read layout.

A CV includes information about professional publications, presentations, committee work, grants received, and other details based on each person's experience.

You can include:

  • Education
  • Master's thesis or project
  • Dissertation title or topic
  • Course highlights or areas of concentration in graduate study
  • Teaching experience and interests
  • Research experience and interests
  • Consulting experience
  • Internships or graduate practica
  • Fieldwork
  • Publications
  • Professional papers and presentations
  • Grants received
  • Professional association and committee leadership positions and activities
  • Certificates and licensure
  • Special training
  • Academic awards, scholarships, and fellowships
  • Foreign education and travel abroad
  • Language competencies
  • Technical and computer skills

Although CVs are often similar to resumes, the preferred style, format, and content varies from discipline to discipline. Before writing a CV, you should become familiar with the requirements of your academic field by asking faculty members in your department and consulting professional associations for additional guidelines and examples. Career Center advisors can review your CV and make suggestions. Call or come into the office to make an appointment.