CV Overview

If you're seeking a faculty, research, clinical, or scientific position, you will need a 'CV' or Curriculum Vitae. A CV is a little more formal in format than a resume, usually two pages (or more, if you are highly experienced). It is a detailed listing that usually includes publications, presentations, professional activities, honors, and additional information. Usually there is no objective statement, but format varies. A general discussion of which format may be appropriate for you can be found at Columbia University, Job Smart, or at the Colorado College Career Center.

European CV's have varying formats according to the Career Services Office at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Each European country has different recruitment practices, but all use CV's instead of resumes. A CV is like a chronological shopping list of what you've achieved rather than a description of your education and work history. The UK CV comes closest to the American resume, but in other European countries, list your achievements using keywords.

Vita or Vitae???

As a student of Latin, I would presume that 'vita' -- the singular for life would be appropriate in describing one's life course as opposed to vitae, a plural form (it is ONE life, no?).

After several emails on the subject, I consulted Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary (1988), which is as good a guide to everyday American English as any. There was no listing for 'curriculum vita' but curriculum vitae was, indeed listed.

Curriculum vitae is the common usage and therefore less likely to elicit questions from potential employers.

If you are interested in a technical explanation, Eric Daniels, a CV Tips reader and Latin Scholar offers:

'It is vitae because 'life' in the phrase 'course of life' (or 'a life's course') is in the genitive singular. If you consult your handy declension tables, you will note that a genitive singular feminine noun from the first declension ends in 'ae' not 'a.'