Curricula Vitae

A curriculum vitae (CV) is used to apply for faculty positions, some types of research positions, or fellowships. It highlights your educational, research, and teaching accomplishments and includes a summary of your publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations, and other details.


  • A CV is usually comprehensive—at least two or three pages in length but may be longer if you have an extensive work history or publishing record.
  • Choose a standard typeface for your text (e.g., Times New Roman, Calibri), 10–12-point text size, and use it consistently; your name and subheadings can be larger and may be bolded for emphasis and readability.
  • Use bullet points rather than paragraphs for content; in general, each bullet point should be at least five words and no more than three lines long.
  • 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). International students: Do not include your visa status on your CV; however, be prepared to talk about it in an interview.
  • Write in the third person; do not use "I" (e.g., "Worked for three summers at…" rather than "I worked for three summers at…").
  • Make sure your spelling and grammar are flawless.

Suggested Layout


Include your name, Penn State email address (e.g., or other professionally appropriate email address, phone number, and LinkedIn profile URL if you have one.


  • List your most recent degree or anticipated degree (e.g., "M.S. in Electrical Engineering"), graduation date or anticipated date, and cumulative grade point average. List information about any other degrees or qualifications next.
  • The official name of this institution is The Pennsylvania State University and the location of the University Park campus is University Park, PA (not State College).

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(s) and specific positions you held, including the name of the course(s) you taught and relevant dates (e.g., "Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Engineering Design, Fall 20xx").


List any publications to which you have contributed or been the primary or sole author, including journal articles, book reviews, or books. Check with your thesis adviser or a faculty member you’ve worked with if you have any questions about the proper formats for different types of publications.


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, name of conference (if applicable), date, and location.

Honors and Awards

  • Include membership in honor societies or academic or professional organizations. Specify those in which you took a leadership role (if applicable).
  • List any fellowships or academic awards you have 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)). For each affiliation, indicate whether you held a leadership position or were simply a member and your dates of membership.

Finally, prepare a list of references—separate from your CV—to give to employers who request it.

See our Sample Job Search Documents page for links to sample CVs.


Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032