CV Structure
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What Makes a Curriculum Vitae Stand Out?

You'll generate a better response with your curriculum vitae if it is well organized and is packed with relevant information to match and support your professional, academic or research objective.

Your CV/Resume & its Structure

Presentation is vital. Concise, precise, with just enough information to make a recruiter feel compelled to interview you, your CV should be structured so that any part of the information it contains can be seen at a glance. If valuable time has to be spent searching through your CV, then it is likely to become a rejection.

In order to achieve success, therefore, all aspects of the project should be scrutinized.

Design and Detailing:

Personal details should include:

Full name;
Contact address, telephone, email addresses.

Which program are you interested in?

Education and Qualifications:

Schools, colleges, universities;
Dates attended;
Qualifications attained;
Subjects and level of achievement;
Professional memberships.

Work Experience

Include teaching, research, & Graduate.
Publications, Presentations, and Papers – include current submissions.
Performances, Exhibitions, and Compositions.
Current research interests.
Grants awarded, worked on, or revised.
Types and values of projects.
Include dates and job titles;
Employers’ names and locations;
Professional memberships.
Honors and Awards.
Professional service and consultations
Duties and responsibilities;
Achievements/promotion details.
Specific skills – Lab techniques and equipment, computer programs and languages, Technology and other technical skills, etc.


include details of all courses with dates.


include level of spoken / written ability.


state period of notice required by present employer.

This is a basic list of details which we expect to receive from all applicants. Information required in addition to the above varies with each individual application; e.g. if your job entails involvement with plant and / or equipment, then types and experience should also be stated.

Remember that phone numbers and email addresses should be “permanent.” If “Hotmail” or other internet based email is used, remember to check often and avoid bouncing email, by routinely throwing away old messages.

Information NOT to include

An otherwise well-constructed CV can quickly become a liability for you if it includes irrelevant information. Generally, the following information should be excluded.
Ethnic identity
Marital status
Sexual orientation
Place of birth
Height, weight, health

Format and Quality

When comes to electronic standards, Microsoft Word‚ and WordPerfect‚ are the most widely used word processing client programs. Other programs, such as Appleworks, Star Office, Nisus, Writer, etc, allow the user to save in one of these two formats. It is recommended that CV’s be saved in either MS Word or format Rich Text Format (RTF) as well.

Always use standard white or ivory 8.5 x 11 inch paper.

Do not “double-side” the CV. If the prospective department is photocopying the CV, they may omit the backside of a page. In this case, search committee members will only receive partial information about you.

Always place a cumulative footer at the bottom of the page. A cumulative footer tells the reader which page they are on out of a certain total of pages. The footer is most appropriately placed in the lower right hand corner of the page and may be in smaller font size. The basic format of the footer should be as follows:

CV_d_stone, p.2 of 6

Consult your software manual on the placement of footers within a manuscript. Every page should be numbered, including the first page.

Avoid “fontomania.” Just because you have 128 “TrueType” fonts available does not mean that you should use them all in your CV. The most commonly used fonts are “Times/Times Roman” or “Helvetica/Arial.” (This document is set with a 12 point Arial font.) The actual choice is a matter of taste and preference. Point size should be at least 11 points, but not greater than 12 points. More and more institutions are “scanning” resumes and font sizes below 11 points are much more difficult for the software and hardware to recognize. Do not overuse boldface, italics, and underlining. These features, like headers in a professional article, should guide the eye and help the reader find useful information.

How to get started

Numerous websites and books give very good models and advice about constructing CV’s, resumes, and Cover letters. The library at UCR’s Career Center maintains several excellent guides for resumes, CV’s, and cover letters.

All currently registered UCR students are eligible to use the library for no fee.

Websites for CV’s and Cover Letters

Suggested Books on CVs and Resumes

CV Samples

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