Overview of a Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vitae (CV) is quite critical when seeking opportunities in the academic field and other sectors as well. It plays a central role in the decision-making process among the employers when evaluating your suitability.

Note that writing a CV is sometimes confused with the process of writing a resume. Markedly, although both are quite close, a resume entails a brief summary, while a CV is detailed.

Primarily, a CV entails a detailed document containing your experiences and achievements. It should encompass a comprehensive account of your professional and educational history.

As a student, as you learn how to write an admission letter, you should also hone your CV writing skills.

To begin with, you need to learn how to write a student CV.  Part of this requires you to understand the different things to include in a CV. Usually, example curriculum vitae for students come in handy. They can provide you with good ideas on formats and items to include.


What to Include in a CV

As illustrated in good CV examples for students, there are particular things that should not be left out. Note that such items usually depend on what you are applying for. Nonetheless, a CV should include the below general elements:

1. Personal contact details: A good example curriculum vitae for students should clearly highlight key personal information such as full names, personal address, email address, and phone number.


2. Educational background: Good skills on how to write a student CV requires you to learn how to effectively stipulate your academic qualifications. In this, you should include the names of all the learning institutions you have been to and the dates you attended.

This should be in reverse order, i.e. Masters, Undergraduate, High School, etc.


3. Work experience: You should also list down your respective professional experience in reverse order.  Per se, a professional curriculum vitae example should stipulate the organizations you have worked at.

This should include the job title, the dates you worked at the organizations, responsibilities assigned to, and achievements.


4. Skills: Your CV should clearly list your skills. A professional example curriculum vitae for students should contain all the hard and soft skills acquired over time. This could include basic skills such as foreign language skills, computer skills, and different research skills.


5. Awards and honors: You should also list all the different awards and honors you have received. As highlighted in good CV examples for students, you should include the award’s name, year given, the bestowing organization, and important details like how regular the award is.


6. Professional works: This entails all the publications and presentations you have done. For publications, a good example curriculum vitae for students should contain a full citation, including all authors, publication date, work’s summary, publication volume, respective publication page numbers, and DOI numbers.

In the case of presentations, relevant details to include are title, presentation date, and presentation venue.


7. Professional associations: Your CV should also contain a list of all the professional associations you belong to. Professional CV examples for students should contain important details like organization’s name, location of the organization, and active membership dates.


8. Licenses and certifications: These are equally vital items in a CV. Professional example curriculum vitae for students include important details such as license and certificate names, date earned, and the awarding institutions.


9. Scholarships and Grants: Although sometimes overlooked, you should include details of all your scholarships and grants. Key details entail scholarship or grant name, date awarded, and the awarding institution.

Note that the above details can be organized differently depending on the CV format. These formats may also vary based on the purpose of the CV.


Format of a Curriculum Vitae

Skills on how to write a student CV requires you to appreciate the different curriculum vitae formats. A contemporary example curriculum for students is likely to be in 3 key formats. These formats are as discussed below.


1. Functional Format

This format focuses more on your practical skills and respective awards and honors. A curriculum vitae example under this format should have details on skills immediately after contact information.

Note that more emphasis should be on skills, qualifications, awards, and honors instead of professional experience.

Respective sections should follow each other as illustrated below.

Contact details

Personal qualifications and skills

Awards and honors

Academic background


Publications and presentations

Licenses and certifications

Scholarships and grants

Professional associations


2. Chronological Format

This features as the most common example curriculum vitae for students. Respective templates are usually considered to be under the simple CV examples category. This format is usually designed to highlight your academics and profession.

In this, your academic background and professional experience should appear right after the contact information. Items in a good curriculum vitae example under this category should follow each other as illustrate below.

Contact details

Academic background

Professional experience

Qualifications and skills

Awards and honors

Publications and presentations

Scholarships and grants

Licenses and certifications

Professional associations


3. Combined Format

This format is the least common. Nevertheless, it is could be one the best curriculum vitae examples in some cases. This is because it is quite flexible.

A typical example curriculum vitae for students under this format would include details on professional history, educational background, professional skills, and personal accomplishments.

Information included depends on career goals, level of skills, extent of experience, and the position you are seeking.


Tips of a Good Example Curriculum Vitae for Students 

There are various rules that you could observe to ensure that your CV is top quality. Typically, an example curriculum for students should exhibit the below features.

1. Should be concise: It is important to be as precise as possible. This requires you to compress and summarize relevant details. Remember that the person reading the CV has limited time, and therefore, you should be direct and brief.

Accordingly, ensure that your CV is of the correct length. Such length as demonstrated in simple CV examples should be about 2 pages. On the upper length limit, the CV should not exceed 3 pages.

2. You should be honest: This is another important feature of a good CV. A good example curriculum vitae for students should not be exaggerated or falsified. You should include only the facts that you can prove.

Particularly, it is important to ensure that you include only skills you possess.


3. Should be personalized: A good curriculum vitae example should not be standardized. Although you might use a template, you need to ensure that the CV is molded to suit the particular position you are seeking.

You should therefore pay more emphasis to training, skills, and experiences that are relevant to that position.


4. Should be devoid of grammatical errors: Note that grammatical errors are a put off to the person reviewing your CV. They make you look disorganized, unprofessional, and incompetent.

You should use online tools to ensure that your CV is free of all mistakes. This also requires you to avoid all irrelevant information and colorful language.


5. Should use a clear format: As earlier mentioned, an example curriculum vitae for students should adopt the right format. This is usually the chronological format. Note that format also looks at headings, font size, and margins.

For headings, it is essential to introduce each section with capital and bold headings. While the headings should be between 14 and 18 in font size, the normal text should be between 10 and 12 in size.

The margins should be between 2.5 and 1.27 centimeters.


Example Curriculum Vitae for Students

As noted above, simple CV examples could vary in their format and purpose. Nonetheless, good examples could be as illustrated below.




42 Oak Drive, Center City, Indiana, 46278
Phone: 555-555-5555
Cell: 555-666-6666


Ph.D.History, University of Center City, 2018

Dissertation: “Traveling West: A History of the Railroad, 1850-1900”
Dissertation Advisors: William James (first reader), Tatiana Ayole (second reader)

M.A.History, University of Center City, 2015

Dissertation: “The Golden Spike: The Role of the Railroads in the Industrial Revolution”
Dissertation Advisor: John Murray

B.A., American Studies, Rogers College, 2010

Graduated Summa Cum Laude


Best Dissertation Award, University of Center City, 2018

Received award for best dissertation in the humanities. Three awards are given each year to Ph.D. graduates in humanities, physical sciences, and social & behavioral sciences.

James Doe Award, University of Center City, 2017

Given to the graduate student who earned the highest GPA in their school.

Phi Beta Kappa, Invited Junior Year at Rogers College, 2009

Dean’s List, Rogers College, 2007-2010


“The Role of the Railroad in the Development of Philadelphia, 1840-1860.” Journal of American History and Technology. Vol. 71, no. 8 (Spring 2018): 88-101.

“Book Review: Michael Weston’s Travels through Philadelphia.” Philadelphia History Journal. Vol. 71, no 2 (Fall 2017): 121-123.


Instructor, University of Center City, 2016-2018

  •  American History, 1865-Present
  •  History of Technology

Teaching Assistant, University of Center City, 2014-2016

  • World History
  • Popular Culture in America


“The Rise of the Easton Railroad Company.” History of America Conference. Philadelphia, PA, 2018.

“The Railroad in American Literature.” American Railroad History Conference. Trenton, NJ, 2017.


President, University of Center City Graduate Student Association, 20XX
Conference Organizer, Graduate History Conference, University of Center City, 20XX


Co-organizer, Center City Cares, University of Center City Outreach Program, 20XX


American Historians Organization
Organization of American Technology


English: Native Language
Spanish: Fluent, Advanced Reading and Writing
Mandarin: Novice Speaker


Microsoft Office, WordPress, Google Analytics, Social Media

Source: The Balance Careers




A simple CV sample


Source: Standout CV