Curriculum Vitae: What Is It and Do I Need It?

While a well-written resume may have opened doors to multiple jobs during your college years, applying for jobs in areas like teaching or science will often require a curriculum vitae. Knowing the differences between these two employment documents is essential to securing an interview.

Curriculum Vitae Versus Resume

Resumes are built to provide a short, one page overview of your experience and skills in direct relation to the position or career you’re trying to get a job in. A curriculum vitae is typically longer and provides significantly more space to describe additional information applicable to the job you’re applying for, especially in regards to academic or research pursuits.

What It Contains

A curriculum vitae typically develops towards the end of your undergraduate study, but really starts to form during graduate school and beyond. The document can be anywhere from 2 to 15 or more pages later in your career, with each item listed chronologically. Like a resume, a curriculum vitae starts with all of your contact information. As is the case with a resume, education, employment history, and references are also included; though, they are typically significantly more detailed.

Where a curriculum vitae starts to really differ from a resume are the additional sections included. A professional curriculum vitae should include a detailed list of honors or awards, including items like grants or scholarships. Interest areas, especially in regards to research or teaching subjects, also play an important role. A curriculum vitae also lists out all your professional or scholarly memberships or organizations you belong to that pertain to positions you may be applying for. Finally, a curriculum vitae provides the opportunity to list out all published works and any conferences or presentations you’ve taken part in.

When to Submit

In order to determine whether or not you should submit a curriculum vitae, it’s important to pay close attention to the requirements in the job posting. Most jobs will specifically state whether a curriculum vitae or resume is required when applying for the position. If you are unsure what document to provide, always contact the company directly for more detailed requirements before submitting.

The prospect of developing a curriculum vitae can feel overwhelming at first, especially if you’ve never created one before. Luckily, whether creating a curriculum vitae or a resume, helpful online tools are available to help you get the process started.

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