Expanding Your Resume - The Curriculum Vitae
By their very definition, resumes are supposed to be brief summaries of your
skills and abilities: short, but attention-grabbing. A great resume uses
keywords and catch phrases to highlight your accomplishments and abilities and
if done well, is your ticket to getting you at least as far as an interview.
On a resume, personal details are a big no-no, and anything much longer than two
pages isn't the standard in most cases. Your resume is simply a launch pad into
the Human Resources office and once there, your interview is your opportunity to
share all the details of your education, work history, and experience.
So, with all the emphasis on the "right" resume, is there ever a time when it's
appropriate to share a bit more about yourself as part of the job search process
before the interview? Absolutely!
Enter the Curriculum Vitae
From the Latin for "vital," vitae means a short description of one's life and a
Curriculum Vitae, or CV for short, is pretty much that - a sort of Extended Play
version of your resume, if you will. More biographical in nature, a CV often
includes personal information and may run several pages long. Accomplishments
are detailed, rather than highlighted.
It may seem hard to believe that people actually require CVs, given all the
focus on how writing a great resume is the crucial key in landing a job
interview. In most cases, this still holds true... a great resume is still the
key to getting your foot in the door. But if you ever decide to seek a job in
academia, apply for a fellowship, or apply for work overseas, then developing
your CV is necessary.
Over Here, Over There
In the U.S., the most likely time you'll need to submit a CV is if you apply for
an academic, education, scientific, or research position. You may need to submit
one if you're applying for fellowships or grants as well. Have a list of
accomplishments that includes publications and presentations? A CV is absolutely
essential, especially in the academic and research fields.
If you're seeking work out of the country, submitting a CV is the norm in
British Commonwealth and European countries, as well as the Middle East, Africa,
and Asia (which pretty much covers most of the rest of the world). Although not
necessarily expected in the United States, all that information you've been
taught to keep off of your resume will probably need to go on your CV for an
out-of-country employer, since many of them expect to see more personal details
about you, including where you were born, your date of birth, and marital
status. In some countries, you may even need to include a photo!
So what exactly does a CV entail? For starters, expect it to be more than two
pages long, because you'll be providing a lot more detail about your background
and skills, including your work history, educational and academic background,
teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors,
affiliations, and any other pertinent information, including samples of your
work, if appropriate. If you've been in the workforce for awhile, it's not
unheard of for a CV to be 10 to 15 pages long... or more!