Resumes & More

Get expert advice for writing your resume or curriculum vitae (CV), view samples and templates, and learn how to tell your unique story.

Resumes Curriculum Vitae (CV) Online Profiles Cover Letters Samples

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A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a brief biography of your educational, research and work background used to obtain an interview in the higher education, or research focused job search, usually consisting of three or more pages.

How a CV Can Help You

  • Establish your professional image.
  • Apply for postdoctoral fellowships in the academic or related fields.
  • Promote yourself for employment opportunities, particularly in academic settings.
  • Inform employers about your achievements and activities for annual or tenure review.
  • Describe your areas of expertise when applying for independent consulting.
  • Support your applications for fellowships, grants or other contract funding proposals.
  • Provide information related to professional activities (e.g., application for professional memberships, leadership roles/awards).
  • Introduce yourself when making presentations at professional conferences.
  • Establish credibility when submitting a manuscript proposal to an academic journal or press.

What To Put On Your CV

CVs are designed to highlight your entire career path. Write in chronological order all of your career experiences, research and any accomplishments like publications, awards or honors.

Here are some typical sections to include:

Identification Information: Name, address (campus/temporary and permanent/home), email, phone numbers and LinkedIn profile

Education: Name of college/university, title of academic degree, location (city/state), date of completion, GPA (optional), areas of specialization, title of thesis or dissertation

Relevant Work Experience: Title/position, department, institution/organization/company, location (city/state), description of duties

Publications: Authors’ names, date of publication, title of article, journal name

Special Awards and Honors: List all awards and honors awarded during graduate school

Presentations: Presenters’ names, title of presentation, name of conference, date and location

Recent and Current Research: Short description of research including type and purpose of research

Grants Received: Name of grant, granting agency, date received, title/purpose of project

Professional Association Memberships: Current memberships only, in alphabetical order

Professional Service: Title of leadership positions held, names of associations, dates held, responsibilities

Community Involvement: Brief description of responsibilities, name of organizations, dates

Competencies/Skills: Language competencies, computer skills, international experiences, etc.

Current Interests: Teaching/research interests, service to profession/department/college/community, etc

References: Include names, title/department, organization/institution, contact information

Tips From The Experts

  •  List in chronological order.
  • Pick a format and stick to it. Use consistent spacing, font and format and save as a word document.
  • Try to avoid the use of first and third person pronouns, such as “I,” “he” or “she.” 
  • Spell out all acronyms the first time they are used, followed by the acronym in parentheses e.g., University at Buffalo (UB). 
  • Use a variety of "action words" to bring your skills and experiences to life and avoid using each word more than once. 
  • Use Keywords. Scan the job description, see what words are used most often and make sure you’ve included them in your bullet points.
  • Refrain from using slang or jargon.
  • Name Your File Smartly. Save it as “Jane Smith CV” instead of “CV.”
  • Proofread, Proofread, Proofread. Ask family or friends to check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Get it reviewed by an expertHint: We are available during a drop-in hours, Monday through Friday.

Tools & Resources

CV Review

Stop by 259 Capen Hall for a 20-minute drop-in appointment, Monday - Friday, with one of our career counselors or peers.

Versatile PhD

As a UB student, postdoctoral scholar or faculty/staff member, you have full access to Versatile PhD (VPhD), the largest online community dedicated to non-academic and non-faculty careers for PhD graduates in humanities, social sciences and STEM fields.

What's Next

I'm Ready!

Have one of our expert career experts review your CV during a drop-in appointment.

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