What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

by | June 3, 2009

Many people are unfamiliar with the differences between a resume and a curriculum vitae (CV), but as doctoral learners, it’s possible that you will asked to submit a CV for future job applications.

A resume is to a CV what a 30-second commercial is to a 30-minute infomercial.

A resume is a brief summary of your skills, abilities, education, and experience, and is essentially a self-marketing tool used in a job search. Like a short personal commercial, a resume provides an overview of your background and highlights your unique qualifications in order to encourage the consumer (in this case, a prospective employer) to seek more information.

Curriculum vitae (‘vē-te) means “course of life” in Latin, and as you might expect, this is a much more comprehensive document than a resume. Your CV is like your own personal infomercial.

Like an infomercial, a CV isn’t appropriate in all circumstances. While it is commonly used overseas, a CV is usually only required in the U.S. when:

A curriculum vitae, or CV, gives you freedom to choose the headings that most effectively highlight your qualifications without a space limitation. One formatting difference is that a CV always begins with your educational background, and is usually followed by your Teaching and Training Experience, or another category that directly addresses the position for which you’re applying (e.g., Counseling Experience). In addition, your document may include many of the following sections:

More tips and strategies for creating an effective CV, sample CVs, and a recorded CV seminar are available in the Job Search Tools section of the Capella Career Center. Career professionals are also available to provide a critique of your document and help you to create a CV that inspires employers to “Call now for more information!”

One Response to "What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?"

  1. Janora Winsor says:

    Just a note: in the legal field, we always ask for a CV from anyone who is going to testify as an expert in his/her field. So, the CV is used by PhDs quite often after gradutation if you work with the Courts.