Whether it’s your first time writing a CV or if you’ve sent prospective employers your curriculum vitae in the past, you’ll find this CV template to be a useful resource. CV layout isn’t terribly complicated, however having a curriculum vitae format to follow helps to ensure that you include all the most important information. Keep in mind that a CV template is simply a starting point, and be sure to customize your curriculum vitae to meet your needs.
How to Use This CV Template
The following CV layout includes everything one could potentially add to a CV. This curriculum vitae format is much longer and much more detailed than are most CVs; all fields are included to give you an idea what to include (and what to leave out) of your own CV. If a particular field seems irrelevant to you or if the information it includes is not pertinent to your job search, skip it and include only the fields that pertain to your individual case. Need more help? Be sure to take a look at our full-length tutorial, How to Write a CV.
Your Street Address
Your City, State or Province, and Post or ZIP Code
Your email address
Your best telephone number
Another telephone number (optional)
Your Photo: In some places, it is customary to include a photo of yourself on your CV. If you do include a photo, keep it small: about 1.5 inches square is standard. Ensure it’s a professional headshot, and position it either to the left or the right of your name, address, and other contact information.
Physical Description: Unless you are an actor, actress, host, or hostess, there’s usually no need to include a physical description on your CV. If you are required to include a physical description, find out what stats are important to the employer, list those and those alone, and be completely factual.
Outside the United States, you may include some additional personal information here. Research to find out what’s customary to include. In some places, it is acceptable to include your date of birth, gender, visa status, marital status, spouse’s name, your children’s names and ages, and other details about your personal life. If you are at all in doubt about including any of this information, leave it out. Religious details, sexual orientation, your national ID number or social security number, and other private information should be left off your CV.
Write a brief career objective here. Use two to three short sentences, keeping in mind that this part of the curriculum vitae format is a formal introduction that potential employers use to form an initial opinion of who you are. It’s a good idea to read job requirements and create a career objective statement that closely matches some key points mentioned within the job description. At the same time, remember to be realistic and truthful.
Education & Certifications
Education is the one thing nearly every CV layout has in common. Use the heading “Education & Certifications” if you carry specific certifications that apply to the position you are seeking. If you like, you can write a one- to two- sentence summary of your background here, then provide details in the bullets that follow.
- Name of Degree, School, Location, Year of Graduation. Degrees and certifications should be listed in reverse chronological order, with the school and graduation year listed in the details. The next bullets contain concise examples.
- Bachelor of Nursing Degree, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, 2015
- Virginia State Registered Nurse, 2015
Honors, Awards, and Accomplishments
This area is for listing any honors, awards, and / or accomplishments that are applicable to your professional standing. Create a title that summarizes what this section is about: “Honors and Awards,” “Accomplishments,” or “Honors, Awards, and Accomplishments” are common titles.
Simply highlight any academic or professional achievements here. Include relevant honors, awards, or accomplishments that you have earned for exceeding standards in academic or work environments. If applicable, include awards you have received for artistic or athletic endeavors.
- Honor Roll or Dean’s List
- Awards won for specific subjects or activities (ensure they are applicable to your job search)
- Inclusion in student- or work-related achievement publications
- Perfect attendance awards
- Awards for volunteer work
- Work-related awards
- Promotions, i.e. a promotion to a leadership position at work
Be judicious when including honors, awards, and accomplishments. Although this CV template provides a little room for patting yourself on the back, list only items that show that you are extraordinary. Regular activities such as performing tasks correctly, being on time for meetings, or being friendly are nice, but they aren’t included in this section.
In addition, avoid listing accomplishments that have nothing to do with your current job search or your future career goals. If an honor, award, or accomplishment does not enhance your candidacy, leave it off your CV.
If you are writing a science CV, include any research experience you have. The following entry is an example of one way to relay information in a clear, concise way:
Undergraduate Honors Research: Department of Biological Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, 2012-2013, (research adviser: Dr. Bethany Advisername).
- Development of quantitative theory of differences of spatial scale between prey and predators
- Analysis of how ecological communities reflect hierarchical structure
- Analytical and numerical works show how species integrations can sharpen underlying environmental patterns and how heterogeneous environments can stabilize predator and prey populations.
If you include research experience in your CV, you should probably include research interests as well. Use a simple bulleted list like the one below:
- Theoretical and field study of ecological communities
- The roles that biological patterns and processes play in shaping ecological communities
- How influences of disturbance size and frequency impact landscape structure
If applicable, list teaching positions in reverse chronologic order. Include the name of the school, course name or names, semester or semesters, and other pertinent information. Student teaching, tutoring, and leadership experiences may be included under this heading. If you have no teaching experience but do have leadership experience, use the heading “Leadership Experience” instead. The following entries are examples of how to present teaching experience on a CV:
Instructor: Core Biology Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, 2014.
- Laboratory and field trips.
Teaching Assistant: Biology of Birds, University of California, Berkeley, 2013.
- Lectures and Field Trips; with Dr. A.B. Instructor name
Relevant work experience should be listed in reverse chronological order and should include relevant positions as well as unrelated work that you feel is worth including. For each entry, name the employer and list your position and dates of employment. Include a brief summary of your duties and / or accomplishments at each job. The following examples show a popular method of listing work experience on a CV layout:
Tour Guide: Botanical tours of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA, 2014-2015.
- Emphasis on explanations of special horticultural methods
Wilderness Guide: Association of Sierra Nevada Scout Camps, Berkeley, CA, 2012-2014.
- Seven-day hiking and rafting trips, with attention to Sierra Nevada natural history.
If you have relevant skills that don’t fit elsewhere, use this CV section to make brief mention of them. You can write a few short sentences or create a bulleted list:
- Administrative skills
- Computer skills
- Laboratory skills
- Other skills that are relevant to the position you are seeking
Books, Publications, and Presentations
Have you been published? If so, and if the work is relevant to the position you are seeking, list it here. Be sure to include information about co-authors, and include a bibliography for each item. If you currently contribute to print or online publications, list them as long as they are relevant. If you have authored presentations, use this section to list them.
Note: if you have only published one or two types of items, change the heading to reflect publications appropriately.
The following entry is a brief example of how to cite a publication in your CV. There is no universally accepted citation style, so be sure to cite your work according to the bibliographic style that is most commonly used in your field:
Yourname, A.B. (2014) The Title of Your Book.
Publisher’s City: Name of Publisher
If you speak more than one language well, it’s worth mentioning on your CV. Mention your proficiency level by listing the number of years you have spoken the language or by using the words fluent, proficient, or competent, and use a bulleted list if you speak more than two languages:
- English (native)
- Japanese (12 years)
- Spanish (10 years)
- Farsi (4 years)
As long as it’s relevant, use this section to mention volunteer work, services provided at no cost, and any participation in clubs or organizations, particularly if you learned or utilized some transferable skills that relate to the job you are seeking. The extracurricular activities section is ideal for anyone who is experiencing a career change, just entering the workforce, or re-entering the job market after a long hiatus.
Use the following entry as an example:
University of California, Berkeley: Resident Assistant.
- Responsible for 40 dormitory residents, fielding questions and enforcing university policies.
If your personal interests relate to your career, you may list a few highlights on your CV. A general rule to keep in mind for this section is “If in doubt, leave it out.” If you include an “Interests” section in your CV, a simple, bulleted list will do.
- Bird watching
If required, include references. Be certain that the people you name as references know that you are including them. Two references should be adequate in most cases, although some employers prefer applicants to list three or more. Use the following example to list your own references:
John Doe, Supervisor, Company. Telephone number and email address.
John Doe II, Position, Company. Telephone number and email address.
If no references are requested, leave this section off you CV. Instead, keep a short list of references with you. Provide the list if asked, or transfer the information to your job application. While you do need to have references, it’s no longer common practice to tack them onto the end of your CV.