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Building a Resume from a CV

Tuesday, July 27, 2021 1:30 PM | Anonymous

Author Aliza Lipman is OPEN's Student Liaison and a graduate student in the Portland State University Applied Psychology Program Community Track. Her main research interest is childhood trauma prevention, and her current research examines trauma experienced by juvenile offender populations. In Spring 2021, she led a discussion with OPEN's student members around converting a CV to a resume for program evaluation. 

Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash

Many graduate students are expected to catalogue their accomplishments in a curriculum vitae (CV) which, in the world of academia, is your ID and passport. For students who intend to work in the applied world, the CV, while expansive, just isn’t what employers are looking for. What employers are looking for is a resume: a document carefully crafted with the listed position and company in mind.

Below is a table showing some of the key differences in goal, content and formatting between a CV and a resume.

 Curriculum Vitae  Resume
  • Gives future employer detailed knowledge of your entire academic career and work history
  • Inclusive of all accomplishments
  • Does not emphasize any particular component
  • Experiences listed in chronological order
  • 2-5 pages in length
  • Tells future employer the ways in which you are qualified and what sets you apart from other applicants
  • Crafted with specific job type or organization in mind
  • Includes recent or relevant academic history and work experience
  • Only includes accomplishments pertinent to the job
  • Approximately 1 page in length


But this doesn't mean you have to start from scratch! A CV is a great document to pull from when making a resume. As we said earlier, it includes all academic accomplishments. The craft is knowing what to pull from the CV and what is superfluous information. 

Here are a few tips for making a resume from a CV:

  1. Read through the job application for buzzwords and key tasks/experiences they are looking for in an employee. 
  2. Search for other available materials about the job or the company including websites and social media accounts.
  3. Scan your CV highlighting or pulling out experiences and skills that are relevant to the job listing and company.
  4. Check the language in your newly formed resume. Try to use similar language to what is used in the job listing.  

Formatting is also important when crafting a resume. Employers expect a resume to:

  • Use a small font like 11 or 12 point
  • Use the past tense for work completed in the past and present tense for current work
  • Avoid first-person when describing actions or accomplishments
  • Use spaces and indentations to aid in legibility
  • Use italics, bold, and underlining to aid in legibility


For more information about building a resume from a CV, see the sites listed below:


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