What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

A CV is an overview of your accomplishments, specifically those pertaining to academia. CVs are important for graduate students or other academic pursuits.  Unlike a resume, CVs are often a few pages. A CV is a document that reflects what one has done in their career, therefore it is always growing. CVs are a scholar's identity.

Parts of a CV

Good CVs include several key parts that help employers learn about you and your experience. They are:

1. Your name and contact information

In the upper left corner write your full name, phone number, and e-mail address. Some include their birthday and nationality as well. Make sure your e-mail is professional and that you use your first and last name. Use the name you wish to use professional setting.

2. An overview of your education 

Of course you should list the colleges you have attended, but also include your GPA if it is above a 3.0 and some of the most important courses you have taken. You may also wish to put academic awards here, such as the Dean's List, if you only have a few.

3. Your academic experience and related employment

Be sure to mention the title of the job and the name of the company you worked for. When describing what you did in the job, be sure to be aware of gapping and parallelism. Gapping is when you use incomplete sentences in order to present information concisely but clearly.

For example, instead of saying "I supervised all aspects of the project, which included planning special events, handling all the money, and holding regular meetings with the staff," say, "Project Manager (2011-2012). Planned events. Budgeted all funds. Held regular staff meetings." Gapping allows you to cut out extra words and allows your potential employer to quickly read your CV.

Parallelism is when you keep the structure of your phrases consistent. For example, you would say "supervised, held, and planned," but you would not say "supervised, held, constructing" because the phrase is not parallel. Be sure to put your work information in chronological order.

4. Your research projects (including conference papers and publications)

As with the other section, be sure to remember gapping and parallelism. Once again, explain exactly what you did. If you attended a conference, name the conference's full title, where it was held, and the paper you presented there.

5. Your departmental and community service

Projects you've done to better your current workplace, academic institution, or community are worth noting on your CV, especially if that experience has taught you skills that are directly applicable to the job or if you've served in that capacity for a long time (which shows dedication and consistency).

6. Your achievements, activities, academic groups, professional affiliations, languages, and/or honors 

Specify your role and accomplishments within these groups, listing them in chronological order. If you have a lot of achievements in one area, you may want to separate that area from the others to indicate that it's special or more important to you. If you're widely accomplished in a lot of areas, you may not have space for every single thing; choose the experiences and roles that are the most relevant to the job for which you're applying and that you've held the longest. For languages, be sure to note your level of expertise (native speaker, intermediate, etc.). 

7. A reference list (either as part of your CV or as a separate page)

By this point, hopefully you sound pretty great to the hiring manager. If that's the case, they're going to be looking for people who can confirm all the wonderful things your CV tells them. The reference page makes it easy for the hiring manager to reach out to your professional contacts and verify that you are, indeed, an amazing candidate.

Sample CV:


Gretchen Smith

123 Maple Street, Porcupine, Vermont 12345


Phone number



Mountain Survival School; Porcupine, VT                                                    Jan. 2019 – present

Master of Arts in Syrup Making

Anticipated graduation: May 2022

GPA: 4.0

Patti’s Homestead Academy; Barkley, KY                                              Aug. 2010 – May 2013

Bachelor of Arts in Homesteading

Member of the Honors College, GPA: 3.5

AMC Wilderness School; Destruction Bay, Canada                                         Jan. – May 2011

Study Abroad Student

Syrup Making Experience

Matt’s Maple Syrup Farm; Porcupine, VT                                                 Jan. 2019 – present

Apprentice Syrup Maker

Assist with daily activities involving care of maple trees and 100-acre property. Duties include:

  • Installing syrup taps into more than 500 maple trees in a season
  • Checking trees for overall health; remove fallen or dead trees, pruning as needed, and cleaning up syrup farm after any storms or foul weather
  • Repairing broken or clogged taps
  • Collecting sap and replacing full receptacles with empty ones
  • Processing sap into syrup and package jarred syrup for customer use
  • Cleaning kitchen area, sap receptacles, general store, etc.
  • Overseeing a team of five junior sap-making interns in the kitchen and field, including tree and property maintenance, sap processing, syrup packaging, and customer relations
  • Conducting syrup sales and interact with customers face-to-face and via phone

Beth’s Homestead & General Store; Beaver Dam, KY                                Dec. 2010 – March 2013

Syrup Salesperson

Held winter position for four seasons. Responsible for customer service in the syrup division. Duties included:

  • Setting quarterly sales record for locally produced maple syrup
  • Leading tours of the maple tree farm and syrup-making areas to individual customers and large field trip groups of 100+ students
  • Overseeing all store opening and closing responsibilities, including cash counting, coupon verification, clean-up, and daily reports

Wilderness Experience

Bob’s Outdoor Excursions; White River, AK                                       Sept. 2013 – Sept. 2016

Trail Guide

Led parties of 3-15 individuals on fishing, whitewater rafting, and pack trips. Duties included:

  • Debriefed clients on wilderness excursion safety and protocol for a variety of outdoor activities, including but not limited to whitewater rafting, hillbilly hand fishing, horseback riding, hiking, and camping
  • Educated clients on local flora and fauna, such as plant foraging and bear safety
  • Oversaw junior guides beginning in my second season as a veteran wilderness guide
  • Conducted all elements of trip preparation (gathering, inspecting, and distributing equipment; training and vetting horses and mules) and clean-up (unloading supplies, processing payments, post-trip animal care, etc.)
  • Navigated using maps and sky for up to two weeks at a time while living in the backcountry with no phones, GPS, or other modern amenities; successfully ensured safety for more than 300 clients over the course of my career, with only one major injury

Camp Scuppernong; Marietta, Georgia                    May – Aug. 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013

Camp Counselor

Led groups of 10-13 year olds on wilderness excursions. Duties included:

  • Conducting courses on wilderness first aid, foraging, shelter-building, fire-making, sewing, and map-reading, as well as providing each of these services to the campers
  • Leading group hikes, swims, and other physical activities
  • Creating and guiding students through teambuilding activities such as scavenger hunts, clue-finding games, and obstacle courses
  • Evaluating camper prowess, providing timely feedback, and working with campers individually to address wilderness safety and performance concerns

Homesteading Experience

Blue Heron Farm; Paducah, KY                                                         March 2017 – Dec. 2018

Groundskeeper & Caretaker

Tended livestock, poultry, and garden area. Duties included:

  • Feeding, watering, and cleaning up after a variety of animals that includes chickens, turkeys, horses, cows, pigs, goats, cats, and dogs
  • Ministering to animals’ basic veterinary needs by giving wormer, injections, and veterinary prescribed medications as needed
  • Planting and harvesting more than two dozen types of fruits, nuts, and vegetables
  • Weeding, fertilizing, and watering the garden to promote healthy plant growth

Brenda B’s Quilt Shop; Burlington, Canada                                             Oct. 2016 – Feb. 2017

Quilt & Candle Maker

Assisted in creating arts and crafts to sell in the shop. Duties included:

  • Gathering, organizing, and ordering all necessary supplies to complete craft projects, as well as maintaining an orderly, easy-to-use workspace
  • Conducting seminars on quilting, crocheting, candle-making, wood-carving, and similar activities for local crafters
  • Teaching shop visitors about topics such as food and recipes, history, carpentry, local crafters’ accomplishments, and antique children’s games
  • Conducting sales transactions and basic shop management tasks such as manning the cash drawer, displaying and pricing items, and taking inventory

Publications & Awards

First place in the annual Porcupine Town Festival Syrup Making Competition (March 2020)

“Homesteading Is Not For the Faint of Heart!” for the Paducah Quarterly magazine, in collaboration with columnist Patti Settler (September 2018)

Outstanding Wilderness Achievement Award for overall excellence in navigation and wilderness safety (AMC Wilderness School, May 2011)

Professional Training & Volunteer Work

Mountain Survival School; Porcupine, VT

Syrup Making Demonstration by Paul Bunyan

Jan. 30, 2020

Matt’s Maple Syrup Farm; Porcupine VT

Monthly Professional Development Training

Jan. 2019 – present

Spring Village Outpost; Burlington, Canada

Assistant Syrup Maker (Volunteer)

Aug. – Nov. 2017

Wilderness Safety Course; Marietta, GA

Three-week safety training series on wilderness first aid, foraging, and wildlife interaction

May 2012