What is a CV?

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The letters stand for the Latin phrase “curriculum vitae,” which translates generally into “the progression of one’s career over the course of a lifetime.” This term is used most often in academic and business circles to refer to someone’s professional résumé. This document includes at least the following components, as they relate to the individual: (a) academic degrees earned, listed from the highest ranked to the lowest (Ph.D., M.Ed., BA, for example), with the name of the school and years for each one; (b) academic or official positions held, listed chronologically with the newest at the top, and years and locations for each one; (c) any publications written by the person, including full bibliographic citations, from newest to oldest (and this section could be broken into categories of “articles” and “books,” etc., if applicable); (d) any professional talks or presentations given at conferences or workshops, from newest to oldest; (e) honors and awards earned, from newest to oldest; and (f) memberships of professional organizations, including offices currently or previously held, if applicable. You may find examples of CVs on biographical web pages for administrators and professors at colleges and universities, as well as for high-ranking officials in large businesses and corporations. Unlike a standard or simple résumé, which many would now recommend to limit to just one or two pages in length, a curriculum vitae can be as many pages long as it takes to list one’s accomplishments.

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