Converting a CV to a Resume – and Vice-Versa

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a document that is mainly used for academic purposes, including applying for a Ph.D. program, a research position, or a faculty position in higher education. A CV has no page-length requirement.

A resume is document used to apply to the vast majority of jobs and internships in the US, and it is usually one or two pages at most. In many countries outside of the US, the term CV actually means resume. If you are unsure of which document the organization wants, it is best to ask.

If you only have a CV, and need a resume, you’ll want to convert your CV to a shorter format for the specific position that you are targeting.

Let’s look at how you can convert your CV to a compelling one- to two-page resume:

  • First, read the job description and jot down which skills, qualifications, levels of education, and key words are most relevant to the position. Your resume is a more concise overview of your education, experience and qualifications than your CV, and allows you to choose the elements that will best match the job description.
  • Check out some of the CCD resume samples on VMock for formatting and suggested headings. We recommend you use a chronological resume format when first converting your CV.

Mandatory headings for a resume include:

  • Name and Contact information (include your email, phone, LinkedIn, Github when appropriate)
  • Work Experience (chronologically with most recent position first)
  • Education (include all degree programs and study abroad, chronologically, with most recent degree first)
  • Note: if you are still a student, you may put your Education before your Experience

Optional common headings may include:

  • Summary or Highlights of Qualifications
    • Volunteer Experience
    • Extracurricular Organizations (if you are in a leadership role, mention it)
    • Skills (i.e., computer, lab, language, social media, etc.)
    • Certifications (when appropriate for position – i.e., EMT when applying to a medical position)
    • Interests (when related to the targeted position)
  • Convert your academic experience using words and phrases that a non-academic audience will readily understand. Avoid using abbreviations and jargon that is specific to your field.

After you convert your CV to a resume, you can upload it to VMock for 24/7 feedback and/or make an appointment for a 15-minute resume review at the CCD..  In the fall and spring semesters, the CCD offers workshops on resume development. These workshops are listed in the CCD Events Calendar.

Conversely, if you have a resume, and need a CV, here are some tips for conversion to a longer document that has no page limit.

  • Include all mandatory, and any of the optional headings, listed above.
  • After your Name and Contact information, most CVs begin with Education as the first heading and then Work Experience.
  • On your CV, you may also include separate headings and information for:
    • Dissertation
    • Honors, Awards and Recognitions
    • Presentations at Conferences and Exhibits
    • Publications
    • Patents
    • Grants
    • Licenses and Certifications
    • Professional Associations (if you have a leadership role, mention this)
    • Volunteer Work, Community Service
    • Professional and/or Academic References

The CCD offers CV reviews. You can make an individual appointment with a Career Counselor through Handshake at to get your CV reviewed at any time during the year, and at any stage in your CV development!

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