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What is a CV?

Done well, your CV is the single document that will be opening doors for you throughout your career. It is impossible to over-stress the importance of deciding what you want that document to say about you when you graduate. A good rule of thumb is to plan to add at least one line to your CV each month, both during school and throughout your career. Do some research on what sort of background/experience people who are successful in desired positions possess, and get to work doing things that fill up those parts of your CV.  

Difference Between a CV and Resume

A CV is like a resume (outlines a candidate's experiences and skills related to an opportunity) with a few key differences:

  • CV's are typically longer in length. Resumes tend to be 1-2 pages. CV's can be much longer depending on career level and amount of related experience.

  • CV's are often used for applying for research or teaching positions.

  • CV's contain sections like: Teaching Experience, Publications, Research Proposals and Grants, or Service

When to Use (or Not Use) A CV

Not all graduate-level positions require the use of a CV. As a general rule, it is a good idea to provide exactly what is asked for in the job description. Some cases where you may revert to using a resume include:

  • Non-research positions in business. These positions usually look for brevity and appreciate a 1-page resume at any educational level.

  • Non-research positions in most any industry. Again you will have a chance to share more details about your experiences once your resume (2 page Master's level, no more than 2-3 page Ph.D. level) gets you an interview.

CV vs. Resume Resources

Chronicle Vitae

Advice on how to successfully transform your CV into a resume.

Marquette University

Discover the key differences between Resumes and CV's in style, content, and length.

Cornell University Graduate School

Learn when it is appropriate to use a CV and when to use a resume.

Princeton University

Quick tips including CV standards and guidelines.

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