CV Templates for Domestic and International Job Seekers

You’ll find advice on how to build a CV template for jobs based in the U.S. as well as customization tips for opportunities to work abroad. Use these helpful formatting tips, online tools and downloadable templates to build a CV worthy of any job.
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What is a CV template?

A CV, or curriculum vitae, is a comprehensive overview of your work history, skills, academic achievements and published experience. Far lengthier and more detailed than a standard resume, the CV features sections dedicated to your research and teaching abilities as well as your professional accomplishments. A CV template is a pre-built but unfinished document that you can personalize for your professional needs. We have a number of templates designed for resumes that can easily be customized to your CV needs.

How to Format Your CV Template

Here, you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to format a CV template using our resume builder. Although a CV is far more detailed than a resume, it shares many of the same sections, including Skills, Work History and Education sections.

As our builder doesn’t come with pre-built CV templates, we have added features that allow you to easily add sections to create a CV. If you’d like to try writing one from scratch, you can also visit our CV writing guide.

Build Your CV Foundation

Create the standard resume that our builder automatically generates — we’re going to build on this by adding sections unique to a CV until we have a job-ready document. The builder will ask you to complete the following steps before we can personalize the CV further. The result will be a fully-complete resume ready to customize into CV.

  • Choose your level of experience.
  • Select a template and color scheme.
  • Create a new resume or upload an existing one.
  • Share your contact info.
  • Fill out your work history.
  • Add your education.
  • Showcase six to eight skills.
  • Wrap up your summary statement.
  • Under Extra Sections, click “Affiliations” and “Certifications” and add the relevant information if this applies to you.
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Pro tip: This section can include professional associations, registered memberships or specialized training for your career track like HTML code courses, Scrum or first-aid certifications. You should only include information relevant to the job, rather than every membership that you hold.

Add a CV Section

Once you’re done building a standard resume, you see a preview of your document on the center of your page.

  • 1On the left-hand side, you’ll see a drop-down menu with a Spell Check feature as well as a Resume Sections menu.

  • 2Click on the “Add a section” feature.

  • 3Click “Add Your Own” option and name your section. For this demonstration, we’re going to create a Research Experience section.

  • 4Name the section “Research Experience,” and click NEXT.

  • 5This section will follow the same structure as a general work experience section.

  • 6Choose the bold font option to write your Position Name and the Project Name.

  • 7In regular font, write the name of the lab or academic institution and the date of your project contributions.

  • 8In a bulleted list, add your contributions, responsibilities and end result for the research project in question.

  • 9Repeat this formula for each research project you’ve worked on.

  • 10Click NEXT: FINALIZE and move to the next step.

Repeat the First Two Steps

Click the “Add a section” feature and add new CV sections until your CV is complete! Remember — your CV does not need to include all of the following suggested sections. You should only add new sections if you have the relevant experience or if the job post specifically requires it.

Follow the standard Work History layout (Name of role, name of business or event, location of business or event, dates of role, and a brief description of the role in a bulleted list) for the following CV sections:

  • Research Experience
  • Teaching Experience
  • Conference Presentations

Follow the standard Education layout (name of award/article, name of business/publication, date received/published and location) for the following CV sections:

  • Conference Attendance
  • Honors and Awards
  • Grants or Funding
  • Publications
  • Community Outreach

Follow the standard Skills bullet-list layout for the following CV sections:

  • Research Skills
  • Language Skills
  • Digital Skills
  • Professional Affiliations/Memberships

CV vs. Resume

Although CV and resume formats do share some similarities, they are drastically different. The resume is a shorter, compact document that is highly popular and widely used in the U.S. The CV is longer, more detailed, and is widely used in international job searches, with a few exceptions to some U.S.-based jobs that we’ll detail below.

In addition to the CV, Europe is starting to standardize their application requirements with a government-sanctioned CV known as the Europass, which combines features on the resume and CV. You can find a helpful comparison chart here to help you see the pros and cons of each layout.

Resume
Name
Yes
Personal Information (date of birth, gender, nationality)
Yes
Contact Information
Yes: Phone number, email and general location
Objective or Summary Statement
Yes
Work Experience
Yes
Research Experience
No: Found under Work Experience or Education
Teaching Experience
No: Found under Work Experience
Education
Yes
Skills
Yes
Research Skills
No: Found under Skills
Language Skills
No: Found under Skills
Digital Skills
No: Found under Skills
Conference Presentations
No
Conference Attendance
No
Honors and Awards
No
Grants or Funding
No
Publications
No
Professional Affiliations/ Memberships
No
Community Outreach
No
References
No
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Name
Yes
Personal Information (date of birth, gender, nationality)
No
Contact Information
Yes: Name, residential address, phone number and email address
Objective or Summary Statement
No
Work Experience
Yes
Research Experience
Yes
Teaching Experience
Yes
Education
Yes
Skills
Yes: Labeled Key Skills
Research Skills
Yes
Language Skills
Yes
Digital Skills
Yes
Conference Presentations
Yes: Presentation title, event name and location
Conference Attendance
Yes: Event name and location.
Honors and Awards
Yes: Name of award and date received
Grants or Funding
Yes: Name of grant and date received
Publications
Yes
Professional Affiliations/ Memberships
Yes
Community Outreach
Yes
References
Yes
Europass CV
Name
Yes
Personal Information (date of birth, gender, nationality)
Yes
Contact Information
Yes: Residential address, phone number and email address
Objective or Summary Statement
No
Work Experience
Yes
Research Experience
No: Found under Work Experience or Education
Teaching Experience
No: Found under Work Experience
Education
Yes
Skills
Yes
Research Skills
Yes
Language Skills
Yes: Labeled Personal Skills
Digital Skills
Yes: Labeled Personal Skills
Conference Presentations
No
Conference Attendance
No
Honors and Awards
No
Grants or Funding
No
Publications
No
Professional Affiliations/ Memberships
No
Community Outreach
No
References
No
Name
Yes
Yes
Yes
Personal Information (date of birth, gender, nationality)
No
No
Yes
Contact Information
Yes: Phone number, email and general location
Yes: Name, residential address, phone number and email address
Yes: Residential address, phone number and email address
Objective or Summary Statement
Yes
No
No
Work Experience
Yes
Yes
Yes
Research Experience
No: Found under Work Experience or Education
Yes
No: Found under Work Experience or Education
Teaching Experience
No: Found under Work Experience
Yes
No: Found under Work Experience
Education
Yes
Yes
Yes
Skills
Yes
Yes: Labeled Key Skills
Yes
Research Skills
No: Found under Skills
Yes
Yes
Language Skills
No: Found under Skills
Yes
Yes: Labeled Personal Skills
Digital Skills
No: Found under Skills
Yes
Yes: Labeled Personal Skills
Conference Presentations
No
Yes: Presentation title, event name and location
No
Conference Attendance
No
Yes: Event name and location.
No
Honors and Awards
No
Yes: Name of award and date received
No
Grants or Funding
No
Yes: Name of grant and date received
No
Publications
No
Yes
No
Professional Affiliations/ Memberships
No
Yes
No
Community Outreach
No
Yes
No
References
No
Yes
No

Should You Write a CV?

Although this format is a lengthier application document with greater levels of professional details, the CV is rarely used in the United States. Most job applications require the simpler resume format, but you’ll need a CV if you apply to any job in the following career tracts.

Academics

Careers in traditional academic institutions such as four-year colleges often require a CV, especially if you’ve pursued a competitive tenure-track position. The dedicated teaching experience section, conference presentation and attendance sections, and publication sections provide more information about your academic credentials than a simple one-page resume

Research

Whether you’re applying to a private lab or an academic institution, a CV provides far more context regarding your practical research experience and contributions, as well as a comprehensive bibliography of your published papers or research conclusions. Much like the academic CV above, this format provides hiring managers a greater summary of your experience and qualifications than the standard U.S. resume.

Federal

Unlike the previously mentioned career paths, federal jobs don’t explicitly ask for a CV. These applications ask for federal resumes (https://gogovernment.org/writing-your-federal-resume/), which share a very similar format to CVs, but require many of the same personal details you find on Europass CVs. If you’re applying for a job with the U.S. government, or in law enforcement or embassy work, be sure to include the following sections.

  • Candidate information: name, contact information, citizenship status and veteran status if applicable
  • Professional Profile
  • Work Experience
  • Education

Optional sections include:

  • Job-Related Certifications or Training
  • Security Clearance
  • Language Skills
  • Professional Associations
  • Professional Publications
  • Additional information: awards, leadership activities, public-speaking engagements, volunteer experience

Do I Need a CV Abroad?

We advised you on how to format a standard CV template for the U.S. in the event you need to use one. If you’re interested in working abroad, however, you’ll need to update your CV to include the unique characteristics that each of the following regions requires.

Don’t worry — you won’t have to overhaul your entire CV. Most of these regional changes are limited to a few sections. We’ll only walk you through the sections that need edits — you can leave the rest of your CV as is. Best of luck with your international job search!

Format a CV Template for Europe

France: Based on our studies, both French job seekers and hiring managers prefer colorful layouts with graphs or picto-grams that add creative touches. French CVs tend to lean on customization in order to showcase personality in addition to professional experience. You can adapt your CV work in France by focusing on the following:

  • Document design: Creative use of colors, borders and columns as well as infographics. Documents also lean towards shorter, one-page lengths.
  • Contact information: Include a photo alongside your personal information.

Germany: According to our surveys, German documents tend to be the most detailed of the European-based CVs. This document also borrows aspects from the American resume and requests a tailored summary statement that quickly ties your professional accomplishments to the requirements of an open job.

  • Document design: Write your CV in German or English. Use your best judgment, but if the job requires proficiency in either language, you’re safe using the requested language to prove your skill level. This document also includes a dedicated section for your signature at the bottom of the page.
  • Contact information: Rename this section “Personal Information.” This section is more detailed than a standard CV and includes your name, age, address, phone number, email address, birth date, marriage status, nationality, and your city and country of birth. You should also include a passport-sized photo of yourself.
  • Professional summary: Place near the top or center of the page.

Italy: Italy’s job market is competitive and largely dependent on the economic stability of the region. It is doubly important that you revise your CV to meet the design and content standards expected by most hiring managers in the country.

  • Document design: The CV includes a dedicated section for your signature at the bottom of your document.
  • Contact information: Double-check your address to ensure it follows Italy’s unique format where the ZIP code is written before your province or state. This section should also include links to your professional social media accounts such as LinkedIn and WhatsApp.
  • Language skills: Although language skills are usually an optional skill, this section is required for all Italian-based applications.

Spain: The Spanish market follows a very similar layout to the standard CV we showed you how to make using our builder. However, a Spanish CV does feature a few regional design choices that you need to implement to succeed in their competitive job market. See our advice below:

  • Document design: Simple and minimal templates with little to no use of color. Hiring managers are increasingly interested in shorter-length CVs.
  • Contact information: Include a state-issued identification photo, although casual or personal photos are growing in popularity.
  • References: Personal connections are considered essential to get a job in this competitive job market. Circular pictures perform better with hiring managers than square or rectangular photos.

United Kingdom: The UK CV follows a very unique structure and includes a few differences from the standard CV, including the shuffling of a few sections. The UK requires a professional summary and places employment information near the bottom of the document. This is a rare departure from the standard CV format. If you’re applying to a career in the following fields, update your document to follow the structure below

  • Document design: Simple and minimal with little to no use of color.
  • Contact information: Separate these sections with a visible border or box.
  • Professional summary: Place near the top or center of the page.
  • Skills sections: Highlight unique skills or experiences.
  • Work history: Place this section at the tail end of your document.

Format a CV Template for the Americas

Mexico: CVs in this region lean towards more information and prefer simply designed templates. If you’re applying for a job in this region, you’re better off selecting one of the minimal templates offered in our builder and adding CV sections that relate to your professional history.

  • Document design: Use minimal or serious designs with soft, muted colors. Hiring managers are increasingly interested in shorter-length CVs rather than the standard two- to three-page document.
  • Contact information: Include a professional or passport-style photo alongside your contact information. Circular pictures perform better with hiring managers than square or rectangular photos.

FAQ

How many pages should a CV be?

The average length of a CV should be around two to three pages, although your document might be longer or shorter than this average length. You might have a longer list of publications or more research experience that would make your CV longer. Unlike the resume, which should never exceed two pages unless you have more than 20 years of experience or are applying for an executive position role, the CV doesn’t have strict requirements.

A two to three page CV does make it easier for hiring managers to skim and quickly digest your resume, but you shouldn’t stuff or trim relevant skills, work, academic or research experience to fit that length. You are free to have a shorter CV if you have less experience, or a longer one if the information is crucial to the open position.

What should you not put in a CV?

As you can see, the CV has far more specialized sections than a standard U.S. resume or Europass CV. However, there are a few bits of information and sections that should not put in your CV.

  • Objective or summary statement: This section serves as a brief marketing pitch that makes the argument for the job. Although it’s highly recommended that you include this paragraph in a resume, it’s not required or recommended for a CV.
  • Unrelated work experience: Although a CV does have additional sections dedicated to professional work, academic, research and teaching experience, this does not mean that you should include every job or task you’ve held. Much like the resume, you should only include information that is relevant to an open job’s responsibilities.

What skills should I put on my CV?

Unlike a standard U.S. resume, a CV includes multiple sections that offer you more opportunities to shine. You should include the following skills in your CV sections.

  • Key skills:Include soft skills such as communication, teamwork or people skills to this section as well as hard skills such as Microsoft Office proficiency.
  • Research skills:Include project skills such as data collection, sample management or preservation, and observational skills.
  • Language skills:Include each language that you're familiar with and rate your fluency based on your speaking, reading and writing proficiency.
  • Digital skills: Include technical skills such as knowledge of HTML or programming languages, basic IT skills, or advanced certifications such as Kanban or Scrum.

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