There are so many models for writing a vita available. Your discipline will, in part, dictate how creative or how standard you’d like the CV to appear visually. The key is that your vita present the information that the department seeks, organized in a clear manner. Remember that less information can sometimes call more attention to what is most important on your vita, so choose wisely.

In addition to samples that Cheryl and I will post as we find them, you can find other examples, along with very helpful critiques and explanations, in the columns written by the “CV doctors,” which are archived at

Obviously, you will want to include your graduate and undergraduate degree experience. Most people include their dissertation title, and perhaps a list of the dissertation committee members. Include any awards and honors you have received; publications; conference presentations; and teaching experience.

One item that deserves special attention is your teaching experience. You may wish to amend the list of the courses you have taught in order to explain the kind of course (first-year writing class; upper-level course for majors) in question, as well as your role (teaching assistant or the primary instructor). See some samples to consider how much information you want to provide, or how little.

Sometimes candidates question whether articles that they have submitted for review should be listed on the vita. This is a question on which people differ, but I think it depends upon how much that “under review” article says about your research. You just don’t want it to look like mere “padding.” Personally, I don’t pay any attention to “under review” publications when I see them on a vita. (Anyone can submit something for review.) I also worry that the item may be rejected before, say, you have an interview. On the other hand, listing publications under review can be a way of further demonstrating your research agenda, particularly if the items under review are especially relevant to the position in question.

Finally, you may have experience that you would like to incorporate into your vita that does not fit neatly into these categories. Perhaps you had employment prior to graduate school you would like to mention; perhaps you worked in administration while finishing your degree. Keep these items succinct, unless you feel they are directly relevant to the job you are applying for. You will probably also want to include a record of any departmental service you have performed while you have been in grad school; again, keep such entries brief. Departments are mainly interested in your research and your teaching experience.