The curriculum vitae is a list of one's entire academic and professional history. Unlike a resume that might be curated to summarize only really relevant work history, the curriculum vitae or CV, is meant to capture a lifetime's work, and it is usually required in academic settings like universities and museums or for jobs abroad. If you're unsure which to use, check the CV vs Resume page.

While every field has slightly different specifications as to what goes into a CV. You may want to check professional websites or associations for guidelines. The College Art Association gives a very detailed guide for artists, museum professionals, and art historians. The following are typical parts of a CV. Remember that these might vary depending on your field.

Typical parts of a CV:

Contact information:

You should include current contact information in a prominent location on your resume. Often this information is included in a header or sidebar depending on the design of your resume.

Information to include:
Your name

Phone number or numbers: Use numbers that prospective employers could use to contact you. For example, you might want to include your cell phone but not a general work phone that multiple people use.

Email address: It's best to use a personal address such as a gmail account. It's also important that the email address look professional. If your current email address is, you might want to consider creating a more professional sounding account before starting your job search.

Mailing address: While a physical mailing address was once considered mandatory, many leave this off resumes for security reasons. However, if you do include an address, make it one where you will continue to receive mail throughout the job search process.

Website URL: If you have a personal website, it's a good idea to include it. Make sure that the website is something you'd like potential employers to actually see though. Removing less than professional content from any personal websites is a very good idea because even if you don't include a URL, employers may find your website.


List all academic degrees first. Give the year completed, the degree, any honors at graduation, the institution, and the city. If you are currently in a program, list the expected date of graduation with the label "expected." You should also list institutions where you completed study abroad or studied without earning a degree.

If you are in a phD program, you should indicate which stage you have completed (e.g. coursework completed). You should also include the title of your dissertation, and if you would like include the title of any master's theses.

Ex (choose one style and stick with it):
2013   PhD (pending), University of California, Los Angeles, CA (expected June 2013)
Dissertation: "The Most Amazing Work of Art Historical Genius"
MFA   2009 Columbia University, New York City, NY
BA summa cum laude, Painting, School of the Art Institute Chicago, Chicago, IL
2010-2011   University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain

Professional Experience

Because a CV is usually used within an academic setting, professional experience on a CV will be higher education teaching positions, research appointments, and curatorial appointments.

Include the dates you held the position, your exact title at the institution, the institution, and the city. You may include other discipline specific details as well. Consult the guidelines in your area at the College Art Association's Standards and Guidelines page.

2011-2013    Teaching Assistant, University of California, Berkeley, CA (Beginning Drawing, Beginning Painting, 2-Dimensional Design)


If you have received any academic awards, research fellowships or grants, you should list the year, the title of the honor, and the institution granting it.

2013    Artist-in-Residence, Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX
2011    Student Travel Grant, College Art Association

Exhibition Record (for artists):

Depending on where you are in your career, this section may be split up in several ways. For early career artists, you may have one list of exhibitions with solo, two-person or group show being indicated somewhere in the entry. For middle and late career artists, the exhibition list should be broken up into sections for solo shows and group shows.

Bibliography (for artists):

List any publications written about your work. As with the exhibition record, this section may be divided in different ways depending on where you are in your career. Use the Chicago Manual of Style to help you format the entries.


Art historians, critics, and artists who write about art should include a publications section if they have published work. As with an exhibition record, this section can be divided in multiple ways. For young scholars, you may simply list all publications. For more accomplished scholars, divide the publications up into books, articles, catalogues, etc. Use the Chicago Manual of Style to help you format the entries. See also the College Art Association's CV guidelines for historians and museum professionals.

Other sections:

There are many, many more sections that you could include in a CV. Such sections might be conference participation, professional organizations, service, and awards. Remember the CV is supposed to capture your entire educational and professional life, so include as much detail as is required by your discipline. Check the College Art Association's guidelines when formatting your CV.

Examples and other guides

The Practical Art World: How to Write an Artist's CV in 10 Steps
Columbia University Center for Career Education: Resumes and CVs for Artists