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The Curriculum Vitae: Design Basics for Students. Sherry Luedtke, PharmD Associate Dean, Professional Affairs TTUHSC School of Pharmacy. What’s a CV?. Curricula vitae Latin “course of life” Used in lieu of a resume for international, professional, or academic positions

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The Curriculum Vitae:Design Basics for Students

Sherry Luedtke, PharmD

Associate Dean, Professional Affairs

TTUHSC School of Pharmacy

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What’s a CV?

  • Curricula vitae

    • Latin “course of life”

  • Used in lieu of a resume for international, professional, or academic positions

  • Used for application purposes as well as means for introducing invited speakers

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How is a CV different than a Resume?

  • Longer (2+ pages)

  • Content

    • Summary of academic, teaching, research, publications, honors, and service

  • Purpose

    • Career biography

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Contact information

Professional objective

Professional licenses and certifications


Work experience

Clinical rotation experiences



Research experience

Scholarly activities

Awards and honors


Professional memberships

Community service activities


Contents of a Standard CV

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Contents of Standard CV

  • Complete contact information

    • Use permanent mailing address

    • Consider including campus address, but indicate which is permanent mailing address

    • Include your email address

  • Professional objective

    • The more specific the better

    • Taylor to each position you target

      • Residency versus clinical position

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Contents of Standard CV

  • Professional licenses/certifications

    • Include licensure/certification numbers

  • Education

    • Degree completion dates

    • Major

    • Institution attended

  • Work experience

    • Title of position, dates of employment

    • Name of institution, location

    • Description of experience, responsibilities, and achievements

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Contents of Standard CV

  • Clinical rotation experiences

    • As student list clerkship experiences similar to work experiences

    • List rotation site, preceptor, short description of activities

  • Presentations

    • List titles, audience, dates

    • Include academic presentations to highlight communication skills

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Contents of Standard CVs

  • Publications/Posters

    • List all publications in AMA style

    • Include newsletters, case reports, original research

  • Research experiences

    • List any research experiences (lab technician, data collection experience)

    • Describe research skills developed

  • Scholarly activities

    • List involvement in special projects and activities

    • Examples: DUE projects, data collection role in study, experiences in projects on rotations

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Contents of Standard CV

  • Awards and honors

    • List specific awards, scholarships, recognitions

  • Grants

    • List grant (submitted and funded), funding source, amount, dates

  • Professional memberships

    • List membership in organizations

    • Leadership positions held and committee involvement (dates)

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Contents of Standard CVs

  • Community service activities

    • List/describe volunteer and community service activities

      • Activities with student organizations

      • CAP projects

  • References

    • Generally provided separately

    • Ask before listing someone as reference

    • Available upon request

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Different Versions of CVs

  • Similar to a resume, different versions may be necessary for different positions

  • Professional objective taylored to the position

  • Prioritize key experiences important for the position to be presented early within CV

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Stylistic Considerations

  • Order of contents of CV should reflect individuals strengths and take into consideration experiences necessary for the position

  • Use action words when describing experiences

  • Reverse chronological order

  • Standard 8 ½ X 11 inch bond paper

  • Single side printing, preferably laser

  • Conservative, 12-14 size font throughout

  • Avoid excessive lines, graphics, shading, etc

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Important “Cs” of CVs

  • Clear

    • Well-organized, content flows well

  • Concise

    • Include relevant and necessary information

  • Complete

    • Includes everything you need to show qualifications

  • Consistent

    • Use consistent design, fonts, layout

  • Current

    • Keep up to date, update at least annually

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Important “Don’ts” for CVs

  • Spelling or grammatical errors

    • Proof, proof, proof . . . . then proof again!!

    • Have numerous people review

  • Difficult to read fonts/small font size

    • Minimal 12 pt font, laser printer

    • Standard fonts preferred

    • Think conservative

  • Cheap paper

    • White, cream, gray bond paper

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Important “Don’ts” for CVs

  • Folding, stapling

    • Send in large envelope to companies

    • Consider inserting header (upper right corner) with name

  • “Mass” mailing “to whom it may concern”

    • Target specific individual within a company

  • Weak objective/philosophy

  • Lack cover letter

    • First thing that is seen; need strong letter

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Cover Letters

  • Often more important than CV when mailing information for a position

  • Need to make your letter unique to stand out from the rest

  • Creative/unique letters

    • Show that you have researched the position and/or institution/company

    • Refer to connections that you might have

      • Faculty members, residents

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Cover Letters

  • Cover letters should be addressed to a specific individual

    • Verify correct name spelling, title

  • First paragraph

    • State interest in the position

    • Include several sentences which indicate interest in position and qualifications

    • “After spending a great deal of time working as an intern in a Children’s Hospital, I was interested to learn about the position for a clinical pharmacist at Children Are Us Hospital.”

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Cover Letters

  • Second/third paragraph

    • Refer to CV enclosed and highlight experiences that prepare you for the position

    • Personalize the qualities listed on CV pertinent to the position

    • “The most enjoyable experiences I have had during my clerkships occurred during my Pediatrics rotation. Seeing the smile and sense of accomplishment on the face of the 5 year old newly diagnosed diabetic whom I taught insulin injection technique . . .”

  • Closing statement

    • List contact information if any questions, enthusiasm for position, offer to provide any additional information

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Follow-up/Thank You Letters

  • Decisions for second interviews/hiring may be influenced by your follow-up after an interview

  • Just as important for positions no longer interested in pursuing

    • Thank for time

    • “I appreciate the time you spent with me discussing the position, however the position does not meet my career goals at this time. . .”


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Follow-Up/Thank You Letters

  • Address letter to specific individual(s)

    • Verify correct name spelling, title, etc

  • Avoid generic letters

    • Make unique by referring to discussions/experiences during interview

  • Timeliness

    • Within 1 week of interview

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Follow-Up/Thank You Letters

  • First paragraph

    • Indicate reason for letter/appreciation for interviewers time

    • “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me to discuss the clinical pharmacist position at . . .”

  • Second paragraph

    • Express continued interest in the position, your individual contribution or “fit” with the position, understanding of positions requirements

    • “After our visit, I believe the flexibility and emphasis on clinical practice of the position would fit well with my goals . .”

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Follow-Up/Thank You Letters

  • Third paragraph (optional)

    • Clarify misunderstandings during interview, questions about your qualifications

    • “Although I know that your are looking for someone who has more experience, I feel that my . . .”

  • Closing statement

    • Re-emphasize continued interest and enthusiasm for the position, contact information

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Skills Employers Want

  • Communication skills

    • Highlight in presentations/publications

  • Teamwork/interpersonal skills

    • Highlight group activities in coursework

  • Computer skills

  • Flexibility/adaptability

  • Self-confidence

  • Motivation/initiative

  • Work ethic

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On-line Resource Materials for CVs and Cover Letters

Numerous on-line resources providing examples and templates for CVs and letters:




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On-line Resource Materials for CVs and Cover Letters (cont’d)






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ASHP On-Line Resources (cont’d)

  • Professional Development Book


    • Preparations for Midyear interviews, residencies application process

    • Example CVs, cover letters, etc (pgs 14-15; 32-40

  • Career Development Kit


    • Information on job search, CV writing, interviewing skills, contract negotiation

    • CV writing tips (pg23-36)