CV Review Preparation: What is a CV?

In preparation for HSS Atlanta’s annual CV review, over the next several weeks, our Professionalization Officer, Thomas Darragh, will be sharing a series of blogs about crafting, updating, and getting the most out of your curriculum vitae (CV). If you’re interested in workshopping your CV at HSS, please be sure to sign up for the review by following the link!

To start, he will outline some basics about CVs, explaining why you should have more than one and letting you know what you need to collect to make your first CV. In subsequent posts, he’ll cover building your CV, tailing it to specific jobs, and how to keep your CV up to date. Keep reading for more!


What is a CV? It is best to think of it as your academic résumé.  It contains a list of everything you have done in academia, and it is often the first thing people will see when you apply for a job, a fellowship, or a conference. At its best, a CV will convey the levels of knowledge you possess about different subjects, and it will specify responsibilities you have had in past and current positions.

However, you should not view your CV as a single, unchanging document. You need to customize your CV to the jobs and programs you are applying for, meaning you want to have multiple CVs. You should have one that contains every detail about everything you’ve done. You can then use this master CV to cut and paste for other CVs. You may also find it handy to have a one-page copy and several other generic CVs on hand for various general positions, conferences, and funding opportunities. This way, you can use these as reference points when you need to customize a CV for a specific opportunity.

In creating your master CV, you should collect as much possible information about your academic career as possible. You’ll need to list any degrees, including majors and minors.  You will need an outline of all the presentations you have given, with titles, name of the conferences, and dates. You need to have your publications, a list of any workshops you have been to, and finally, anything else you think you may want to keep track of (such as contact information for your recommendation writers).


In the next blog, we’ll walk you through putting all this information into your master CV and how to use it to make templates for any other CV you might need in the future.

By Thomas Darragh


One thought on “CV Review Preparation: What is a CV?

  1. Pingback: CV Review Preparation: Creating a Master CV | HSS Graduate and Early Career Caucus

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