Psi Chi’s Guide to the
Curriculum Vitae and Letters of
Constructing a Curriculum Vitae
What’s a CV?
CV stands for Curriculum Vitae
– Latin: “Course of Life”
Summarizes your academic life:
teaching experience, research
Your CV should differ according to the
position you apply for, but you can
also have a general CV.
CV or Résumé?
– CV: longer, more detailed, but still concise
– Résumé: A page long, less detail, extremely concise
– CV: Applying for international, academic, education, scientific or
research positions or when applying for fellowships or grants
– Résumé: Applying for “jobs”
– CV: Educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching
and research experience, publications, presentations, awards,
honors, affiliations and other details.
– Résumé: Personal information, work experience, educational
experience, other job-related skills
Sections of a CV
Honors, Awards, and Memberships
Name at the top in large letters
– No cell phones!
– Professional answering machine message
– Fax number if applicable
Start with college
– List all attended institutions
– Explain gaps in education in personal statement
State the degree you have / will have
– Use anticipated graduation date if applicable
– Cumulative GPA
– GPA for the last two years
– Psychology GPA
Relevant courses – Highlight the important ones
List all applicable experiences
– Teaching Assistanceships
– Research Assistanceships
Include supervisor, dates of
participation, brief description of
Don’t group the categories together
– List “Presentations,” “Publications,” or
Use APA format, single-spaced
Label items not yet accepted, in
preparation, in progress
Honors and Awards: Dean’s list,
scholarships, any other academic awards
– Psi Chi!
– Psychological Society
– Any other leadership position in organizations
– APA, SEPA
List your volunteer experience according to
the organization (soup kitchen), but be
– People who can attest to your academic prowess
– At least two psychology faculty members
– One internship supervisor if psychology-related
– Limit 1 reference from previous institution if
Consult advisors for specific programs
Other Potential Sections
Objective: (“To obtain the degree necessary to be able to
teach at the university level, and increase my knowledge in the
academic areas that I am most interested in.” )
Teaching Experience: Guest lectures, teaching
Service: Community, academic, professional; volunteering
[This typically falls under Professional Experience]
Grants: RAMP or other research grants received
Foreign Language Proficiencies
Make your CV easy to read
Complete sentences aren’t necessary
Get your CV reviewed by faculty
members, Glema, or Career Services
Write everything down!
Age Ethnic identity
Political affiliation Religious preference
Hobbies Marital status
Sexual orientation Place of birth
Photographs Height, Weight, Health
Excessive Detail Lies
What’s wrong with this?
Joan A. Student
1200 North West St.
Orlando, FL 32729
Phone (cell): (407) 294 – 5555
My name is Joan Student, and I am the ideal candidate for your
Bridgewater High, 1994-2006
Graduated with honors, 3.7 GPA
What’s wrong with this?
I presented at SEPA last year with my friend
Sigmund. It was great!
Dean’s list, Spring 2008
Fastest Drunk Award – Omega Delta Omega
Christian Youth Leadership Award - Orlando, FL
Letters of Recommendation
Graduate programs will require three
letters of recommendation.
The purpose of these letters is to have
someone vouch for your ability to
study at a graduate school level.
Who to ask….
Professors in your major are the ideal
– They can speak to your ability to be in a
graduate program within the same field.
Please note– Often graduate programs
will require at least one of your letters
come from a professor.
So I am going to ask my
When choosing who to ask it is
important to look for a professor who
actually KNOWS who you are.
You cannot ask a professor that only
knows you as that kid in the back of
I don’t know a Professor
what can I do?
Get involved in class!
Help your Professors put a name to
Ask about working on a project with
– See if they are doing research.
You can have other
people write your
Professionals in the
Though professors are best you can
use other people whose standing is
– Your TA
– Graduate Students
Getting the Best
Waive your right to see the letter.
– How can you be sure that the letter is
good if you don’t see it?
Pay attention to the program’s
requirements for recommendations.
Consider the recommender’s attitude,
writing style and qualifications.
Asking for Letters
Prepare a list of recommenders.
Two months out make an appointment
to talk about your goals.
Prepare a packet for each of the
What should be in my
All necessary forms
from each of the
Give clear instructions.
– List out the directions
for each school.
Reminder a few weeks before the
soonest recommendation is due.
– To make it seem not pushy– tell him you
are calling to make sure he has no
questions and that everything is on track.
Week before- call both programs and
recommenders to ensure that they
have received the recommendation.
Follow up Continued
Send each of your
When you get your
acceptance letters and
choose a program, you
can send another
thank-you note telling
of your happy news.