How to Write a Resume/CV


Whether you’re looking for your first job or applying for graduate school, your first step is to develop marketing materials. You need to sell potential employers and advisors on YOU. A strong résumé or curriculum vitae (C.V.), paired with a cover letter tailored to the opportunity at hand, is the key document that will get their attention.

Though the overall use of these documents is similar, a résumé differs from a C.V. in length and purpose. A résumé is typically 1-2 pages and summarizes your education, experience and skills relevant to the position to which you are applying, whereas a C.V. is more in-depth, detailing teaching experience, publications, awards, and many other aspects of your career. A résumé is often requested for entry-level jobs, internships, and positions that are expected to have many applicants, whereas a C.V. is typically requested for academic and scientific positions (e.g., graduate school). Generally, a position listing will specify which document is expected. The key difference between these two documents is that a C.V. includes everything you have accomplished that is relevant the targeted job, whereas résumés showcase only a handful of your professional qualities, and may involve a bit more strategy to develop.

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Ross Boucek, Ph.D. Student, Florida International University
Rebecca M. Krogman, Research Biologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources