Curriculum Vita (CV)

Students are to prepare this section along the lines of a professional vita that may include some or all of the elements listed below.

Note that these items are provided only as suggestions. There may be additional sections not listed here that the student could consider adding. Ultimately, each student should think carefully about what components would best serve his or her academic and professional goals. It is also important to think carefully about the most effective organization scheme to present the relevant information. The order in which the sections are listed below is only one of many possible configurations.

  1. Basic Applicant Information: Name and contact information: Mail addresses (work, home, and other); Email (work, home, and other); and Telephone numbers (work, home, mobile, and fax if possible).

  2. Education: This is where you summarize your degree information in reverse chronological order. Include all post-secondary degrees. The first line should be your degree, major, year, institution, e.g., BS Applied Psychology, 2009, Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA. You should then list your concentration and minor(s), the corresponding GPAs, as well as your progress (e.g., Junior, Senior) and name of thesis or dissertation.

  3. Certifications and Training: If you have earned or received any pertinent certifications or special training, this should be listed here.

  4. Experience: In reverse chronological order, list any jobs held both prior to becoming a student and currently. You might consider adding any work-study or volunteer positions held.

  5. Awards, Scholarships, Fellowships, Prizes, and Grants: Students should provide relevant information (dates, descriptions, etc.) of any awards, honors, or special recognitions achieved while earning the degree. Be sure to describe the awards in enough detail that people can understand for what you were being recognized.

  6. Leadership Position: It is especially worthwhile to cite any officer positions held in any school organizations or clubs; instances in which you served as a student representative on a departmental committee; etc. You may also include here any volunteer activities, school organizations, clubs, or athletics in which you were involved.

  7. Skills (Technical, Languages, etc.): In this section you could include summaries of any special training or education you have received that might set you apart from competitors or that might be appealing to graduate programs. For example, programming skills, assessment training or experience, fluency in a second (or multiple) foreign language, etc.

  8. Professional Affiliations: Students are encouraged to acquire membership to appropriate professional organizations. Examples include the American Psychological Association (APA), the Ergonomics Society, and the International Association of Applied Psychology. A more comprehensive list is provided in the appendix (List of Applied Psychology Professional Associations). Note that many organizations have a student-membership option at reduced (or sometimes no) cost.

  9. Publications: Students are strongly encouraged to participate in research activities and should include information about any publications they authored or coauthored (even if they have been submitted but not yet accepted).

  10. Professional Presentations: This section should include professional presentations (e.g., conference papers or posters) or invited talks (special presentations).

  11. Conferences/Professional Meetings Attended: Students can demonstrate active interest in psychology by attending annual meetings, conferences, and workshops of professional associations. Those should be listed here.

  12. References: It is important that students secure commitments from professionals who can provide strong letters of endorsement whether for graduate school or employment. In this section, the student may include reference information (names and contact information of individuals who have agreed to provide references) as well as actual letters of support (if available). An ideal number to strive for is four references: Two academic references (from faculty who know you well), as well as two personal references (such as from employers, supervisors, coaches).

  13. Transcript Summaries: Students may append copies of both their RMU check-sheet and their student engagement transcript (SET) to summarize the courses they have taken, grades earned, and accomplishments achieved while at RMU.

  14. Resume: The resume presents some of the information found in the Curriculum Vita but it is focused on obtaining a job. It would ideally be 1 page long with a typeface that is easily machine readable.

    1. Basic Applicant Information: Name and contact information: Mail addresses (Clearly indicate dates they can reach you at which address.); Email address (Make it be professional sounding and something you check daily.); and Telephone numbers (Identify one as the primary number and anything else as an alternative number. Do not make them guess where to call you.).

    2. Objective (Professional, Vocational, or Research): This should be a one sentence summary of the information you presented in Component One (Personal/Professional Statement). Note that for a job application, this statement should be tailored for the position to which you are applying. You should not have a vague objective like, "I want to help humanity." It should state that your object is exactly what the company is looking for. If you are handing out the same resume to many companies at a job fair, for example, it is best to leave off the objective.

    3. Education: Reverse chronological order. Same as in CV. You might add high school if you have not completed your degree.

    4. Experience: Reverse chronological order. Same as in CV. For each job, describe what were your main job duties and skills utilized. Employers are looking for a continuous history here. You can include volunteer positions if relevant especially if they fill in a gap during which there is no employment record.

    5. Honors, Awards, and Leadership: Combine these sections from the CV.

    6. Professional Activities: Same as in the CV. For each job, describe what were your main job duties and skills utilized.

    7. References Available on Request: Just make this statement. Do not actually list them. Of course this also means that you have obtained commitments from individuals to serve as your references. In the event that you are asked for a list of references, be sure to have a nicely formatted handout that contains all of the relevant contact information for each of your references. It is worthwhile to have copies of these available during interviews.