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School of Graduate Studies and Research

Perfecting your CV and resume

Now is the time to update your CV and Resume. A CV, or Curriculum Vitae, is an academic resume. Most graduate schools will require this or a resume for application. Central Washington University's Career Services can assist you in perfecting your CV and Resume and offers one-on-one consultations and several workshops throughout the year and the main campus and branch campuses.

Here is what to include:
What to include in a Curriculum Vitae (
1. Name, address, phone number, email, website (if applicable)
o State these items at the top of the first page. Include your work phone number in addition to your home number if you want to be reached during business hours.
o State your name and page number on subsequent pages at the top left corner in case the pages come apart.
o Some vitae begin with the title Curriculum Vitae - this is unnecessary.
2. Education
o List your educational experiences in reverse chronological order with the highest degree earned, or anticipated, first.
o State the institution, degree and year received, major and area of specialization (if applicable). Either the institution or the degree can be listed first, depending on which you want to emphasize.
o Doctoral degree holders should list under the Ph.D. the title of their dissertation and their chairperson. A short (2 or 3 line) summary of the research can also be included. Master's students may list their thesis.
o Do not list grammar or high schools.
o Do not list grade point averages. You may, however, say that you graduated with distinction or cum laude, etc.
o Additional coursework or private study (particularly for Fine Arts people) can be included in the Education section after your formal studies have been listed.
o You may list qualifying, comprehensive or preliminary examinations passed (optional).
o Do not list all your graduate courses. This should be in your credentials and/or transcript.
3. Dissertation
o By listing your dissertation in a category separate from Education, you are calling attention to it. This may be desirable if your topic is of special interest to the types of academic institutions you are applying to.
4. Honors/Awards
o List academic and professional awards you have received.
o Honors and awards can be listed within the Education or Professional Activities section when appropriate. This might be done if one had only a few awards and did not want a separate section.
5. Military Experience
o Optional if applicable
6. Professional Employment
o List full or part-time related experiences in reverse chronological order.
o Provide title of the position, place, and date of employment and a brief description of duties.
o Indicate any unique responsibilities you may have had such as "designed the course", "selected texts", or "team taught".
o Do not over-emphasize routine tasks such as grading papers, constructing tests, etc. Emphasize your accomplishments!
o Teaching assistantships, internships, practicums, and field experiences may be included.
o Do not include summer or part-time jobs unless professionally relevant.
o Professional Employment can be sub-divided into appropriate categories if you have had a variety of professional experiences. Typical sub-headings could be: Teaching, Research, Administration, and Consulting.
7. Performance or Exhibit Experience (for Fine Arts Majors)
o This category allows you to highlight your performance and exhibit experiences.
o List both professional and non-professional activities which may include: dances performed and/or choreographed, plays acted in or directed, one person shows, MFA exhibits, symphonies, performances, student and faculty recitals, etc.
8. Teaching Interests and/or Research Interests
o This section allows you to demonstrate a range of teaching/research interests.
o Helpful especially if your education and experience do not necessarily indicate all of your interests.
o Present a balance of interests - course you will be required to teach and special interest areas.
9. Publications (Can be placed before Professional Experience for more emphasis)
o Include completed publications or those in press, cited in full, in the form customary in your field.
o Do not include unpublished dissertations, addresses, conference papers, works in progress or projected work.
o Can also use these headings if appropriate: Publications and Professional Activities, Proposed Research, Research Interests, Publications and Presentations.
10. Professional Activities (related titles might be Professional Memberships, Academic Service, etc.)
o List activities which contribute to your professional credentials such as professional association memberships, conference presentations, committee memberships/activities, etc. If you have extensive community service activities (i.e. Rotary, youth counselor, Red Cross, etc.) you should have a separate category called Community Service.
11. Languages
o Indicate the languages in which you are fluent.
o You may qualify the level of fluency (i.e. Italian-excellent speaking, fair reading and writing).
12. References
o Should go on a separate page. Three to five professional references. Include name, title, organization/business, address, and phone (email and fax numbers are optional).
o Give references to an employer only if they request them.

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