CV stands for curriculum vitae, which translates for Latin as “the course of your life.” Just as it sounds, it documents your continuing journey in education and experience. It is a special type of resume designed for careers in academia as well as research and medical fields. It is more about credentials than a resume; thus, a CV ends up being longer than a resume. In this important document, your educational experience is moved right up to the top where the hiring manager will see it first.

Certifications are also pivotal in a CV. Employers need to know what you are qualified to do, and a certification means that your skills and knowledge have been independently verified. This means less risk in hiring you and then finding out that you can’t actually perform the job.

Another big focus of the CV is publications. Unnecessary at best, bragging at worst, a list of things you have published does not often belong in a regular resume. However, publications can be the elevator that moves you up in particular fields where positions often require continuing research and publication of books, essays, and and scholarly articles. This includes instructors and researchers.

A CV may only need to be changed as your list of publications and awards stack up, so when applying for a new position, a cover letter is necessary to translate your CV into something that directly targets that particular job within that particular company. Good luck in continuing your upward mobility.