Everything You Need to Know About Starting a CV, With Your Illustrious Captain at the Helm, Jobe!

What’s a CV, you may ask? CV stands for:

curriculum vitae (English pronunciation: /kəˈrɪkjʉləm ˈviːtaɪ/, /ˈwiːtaɪ/, or /ˈvaɪtiː/; C.V.) a written overview of a person’s experience and other qualifications

When you were younger, you were told you needed a resume, and that it could only be a page long. Depending on what job you were trying to get, you had to change what was on the resume to reflect only the most important and relevant information. But now you’re a writer in the writing world. You get to have a CV. Why is that cooler, better, and just infinitely more awesome? Because you get include all the accomplishments that make you shine. And it can be as many pages as you need it to be! This thing is detailed, and it makes you look good. (Mine is currently two pages. TAKE THAT, RESUME!)

There are lots of websites out there that give concise explanations of the differences of the CV vs the resume or explain what to include on the CV. You can always trust Perdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL); their info is always solid. but this one was my favorite:

  1. The Curriculum Vitae is a list of all your achievements until the date you are submitting it, presented in reverse chronological order (i.e. the latest achievements first).
  2. The Curriculum Vitae is ideally two pages in length, though it can sometimes go up to three to five pages.
  3. The Curriculum Vitae would include everything that you have done and can be classified as work outside the home – whether paid or unpaid; hence, it is okay if the Curriculum Vitae contains voluntary and honorary positions and work done in such positions.
  4. The Curriculum Vitae structure is very systematic and is generally drawn in a specific order.
  5. The Curriculum Vitae is normally accompanied by a cover letter, which summarizes what it contains and points out the match of the applicant with the job
  6. A Curriculum Vitae can be written in the following three styles: functional CV, targeted CV, and performance CV.

You can check out basic visuals here, but basically just keep it consistent and don’t vary your font.

I also want to highlight some tips from this cool source:

Your CV may be different than someone else. What’s important is that you keep it up to date.
Always include:
• Education (always first on the CV)
• Honors and Awards
• Professional Experience (Employment)
• Publications and Presentations
• Extracurricular and Volunteer Experience
• Interests

Another important thing to note is that there aren’t set category distinctions. If you have a lot of something (anything) that can be grouped, do so. You might call a heading Presentations. Someone else might call it Lecturer. There’s no wrong way to highlight your features.

So, start your Word doc and structure it out, even if you just have [fill in later] for the content. Make a category for Publications. Make one for Readings. Now, every time you get published, add that publication to your CV. Every time you give a reading, add that too! I save the file name with the date, so there’s no confusion of which is the most recent.

To give an example, my CV has the following headings: Education; Lecturer; Readings; Publications; Interviews; Gallery Representation; Blog; Professional Experience; Grants, Fellowships, Awards, Honors; Technical Abilities; Travel, Foreign Languages; References.

Education always goes first, but the rest of the layout is up to you. I put mine in order of what I do most often / what I think is most important. So lecturing is what I’m really actively focused on, whereas the person reading the CV may not be interested in my technical abilities (unless I know a program they use).

Thanks for reading. I hope it helped. And to all you Inklings out there, keep fighting the good fight.

combing the internet so you don’t have to

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