Resume vs. CV

Graduate Student Resumes vs. CV

The type of position for which you apply will generally determine which type of document you submit. For job in academia, most universities and colleges require a curriculum vita. However, jobs in industry typically prefer a resume.


Writing a resume may seem difficult at first, but we're here to help. You can find comfort in the fact there is no "right" or "only" way to write or format a resume. What matters the most is the content. A standout resume can put you ahead of your competition, especially if it is preceded by a stellar cover letter.

Getting Started

  • Do not use templates: they are hard to format, they all look alike, and they do not send well electronically.
  • Make your name slightly larger, usually somewhere between sizes 14 and 18 pt. This will make your name stand out to an employer who is overwhelmed with resumes.


  • Try using italicsbold or CAPITALIZATION for section headings or job titles, but be consistent throughout your resume and avoid over-formatting.
  • Make sure there is a consistent amount of white space (space without text) on your resume; avoid large open spaces and too much clutter.
  • Use the tab function, not the space bar, to line things up perfectly.

Making Space

  • Decrease margins if space is needed, but not smaller than 0.5” all the way around.
  • Be sure approximately 2/3 of the second page will be utilized if you decide to use one.

Other Tips

  • Avoid the use of any color other than black.
  • When sending a resume to an employer electronically, send the file in .pdf maintain the formatting.

Overall Impression

  • Will your resume make a strong, positive, professional impression on the reader?
  • Is your resume the most professional “snapshot” presentation of your ability to complete a task effectively and successfully?

You can find more resume information and tips, as well as an example, on our comprehensive resume checklist.

Downloadable Resume Examples

Curriculum Vita (CV)

Cur·ric·u·lum vi·tae: Latin, course of (one’s) life. The curriculum vita (CV) is the standard document one uses when applying for jobs in academia. The CV is more detailed than a traditional resume and summarizes your qualifications and experience. In addition, the CV highlights teaching, research, and service to the university and community.

In a CV, it is important to highlight formal classroom and informal teaching experiences. Research sections are emphasized for institutions more focused on research. You may also want to highlight success in acquiring grants, and scholarly awards for individual and group research.