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Curriculum Vitae (CVs) for Research Opportunities and Graduate School

If you are applying for research opportunities or graduate school, you will often be asked for a CV or a Curriculum Vitae. If this is requested in a place outside of the United State, it may be another name for your resume. However, if it is requested in the context of opportunities in academia or research, there is a particular sort of document that is expected.

Usually CVs are expected of students at the Master’s, Doctorate or post-Doctorate level of school, so most undergraduates can usually use a resume that is focused on experience relevant to research and graduate school. Because undergraduates at Bucknell usually have opportunities to engage in research and partner with faculty in professional publications and presentations, it is possible to create a resume that is very much like a CV of graduate students.

CVs resemble lists of experiences and don’t usually have as much description of experiences that would be highlighted in resumes. Sections of information about the following areas can be included, in order of what experience you most want to highlight, starting with your academic credentials.

  • Name, address, telephone number, and/or e-mail address
  • Degrees, institutions, and degree dates
  • Thesis title(s), names of advisor and committee members
  • Awards, fellowships, and grants
  • Publications and presentations
  • Teaching experience and interests
  • Research experience and interests
  • Related experience (for example, administrative or editorial experience)
  • Language, computer, and/or other skills
  • Activities and/or interests (optional)
  • Service and membership in professional associations (e.g., Modern Language Association)

Other sections can be included, depending on the nature of your discipline – consult with faculty or an advisor in your area to confirm what is expected and to see examples.

  • Data Sets (sciences)
  • Performances (performing arts)
  • Film Production Highlights (MFA)

Formatting should be clear, concise and organized so readers can easily find information that is relevant, useful and easy to read. The length of a CV can be 2-4 pages, but undergraduates should usually be able to fit the most relevant information in two pages. Be sure to label each page (after the first page) with your name and page number. The experiences should be listed in reverse chronological order within each section.

Another difference between a resume and CV is that CVs often include names and addresses of 2-3 references towards the end of the document, often professors and/or research advisors who can speak to your academic work and research. Be sure to obtain permission to list them as references.

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