Resumes and Curriculum Vitae

As you transition from your career as a graduate student to your career in your chosen field, you will need to create either a resume, a curriculum vita (CV), or both (depending on the positions for which you are applying) to market yourself to potential employers. Having a professionally designed resume or CV can help your application stand out from a pile of others and can potentially help you land your dream position, so it is important that you understand how to create resumes or CV. First, you must understand what information is included and how that information is organized in each document. Resumes and CV are somewhat similar in concept and design, but there are a few important distinctions between these types of documents. You can use the following descriptive lists to familiarize yourself with the conceptual distinctions between resumes and CV.

Resumes

• Audience = typically nonacademics
• Length = 1–2 pages
• Position-driven with information primarily focused on professional experiences
• Organized, clear language, consistent
• Reverse chronological order
• Variety of font formatting to organize headings and information
• Bullets beginning with active verbs in sentence fragments, which make potential employers want to interview you so that you can elaborate
• Sentence fragments briefly state that you did something that resulted in something
• Submitted with a cover letter

CV

• Audience = typically academics but can also be used outside of academia if the position requires extensive educational experience
• Length = however many pages are necessary to fully describe academic experiences
• Article-driven with information primarily focused on academic experiences
• Organized, clear language, consistent
• Reverse chronological order
• Variety of font formatting to organize headings and information
• Bullets beginning with active verbs in sentence fragments, which make potential employers what to interview you so that you can elaborate
• Sentence fragments briefly state that you did something that resulted in something
• Submitted with a cover letter

Armed with this basic information about resumes and writing a CV, you are ready to use a template for a resumes or CV to familiarize yourself with the visual and organizational design of these documents and to start creating your own.

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