Curricula Vitae

Basic Tips

  • A CV for someone with a master's or doctoral degree is usually two or three pages in length but yours may be longer if you have an extensive publishing record.
  • Choose a standard font (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial) for your CV and use it throughout.
  • Text size should be 10–12-point; use this size throughout the document other than for your name and headings, which can be larger.
  • Information should be well-organized, consistently laid out, and easy to read.
  • Spell out any acronyms you use in your CV the first time you mention them, unless the acronym is widely known (e.g., NASA).
  • Include only information relating to your education, skills, professional interests, and work experience. Do not include photographs of yourself or personal information unrelated to your ability to do the job (e.g., Social Security number, height, weight, general health status, or personal interests).
  • Your spelling and grammar must be flawless.  Seek feedback from your thesis adviser.

Suggested Layout


Include your name, email address, phone number, mailing address, and LinkedIn profile URL if you have one.


  • List your degrees and area(s) of study and graduation date.
  • The official name of this institution is The Pennsylvania State University (not Penn State).
  • If you attend the University Park campus, list University Park, PA—rather than State College—as the location.
  • If you are looking for a faculty position, include your thesis adviser’s name.

Research Experience

For each research position you have held, provide the name of the office or lab, location (including the name of the university or company), relevant dates, and a brief description of your project.

Teaching Experience

This section is especially important if you are looking for a faculty position.  However, if you have teaching experience, include it even if you are looking for a research position since comfort with public speaking is useful to you in any professional setting.  Include the name and location of the institution and specific positions you held, including the name of the course(s) you taught and relevant dates.


List any publications to which you have contributed or been the primary or sole author, including journal articles, book reviews, or books.


List any presentations you have given (either individually or with others) at conferences, lectures, or invited talks. For each listing, provide the title of the presentation or poster, the name of the conference (if applicable), date, and location.

Honors and Awards

Include current or past membership in any honor societies. Specify those in which you took a leadership role (if applicable).  List any fellowships or academic awards you received, either at Penn State or from another source.

Professional Affiliations

List any memberships you hold in professional organizations related to your engineering discipline (e.g., American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)). 


Provide at least three references, along with each person’s name, title, company or university, location, phone number, and email address.  One of your references should be your thesis adviser from graduate school; if you are seeking an academic position, provide additional faculty contacts.  Make sure you check with the people you want to use as references and get their permission before putting them on your list. Provide each reference with a job description and a copy of your CV ahead of time.

Sample Document

See our Sample Job Search Documents for an example of a curriculum vitae.


Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032