CV Workshop

CV Workshop for Art History Grad Students
Presented on Thursday, November 1, 2001
by Sylvia D. Cordero, Assistant Director, Career Services
& Dr. Catherine Puglisi

This workshop consisted of a PowerPoint presentation which reviewed the basics of CV and Resume writing followed by a discussion and review of two examples of grad student CVs.


General Resources:

  1. Rutgers Career Services offers many resources for Grad students working on their CVs:

    • Job search handbooks

    • CV preparation handbooks with examples

    • Books on interviewing, cover letter writing, and job search techniques

    • All books can be consulted at the Career Services library

  2. Career Services Handbooks were forwarded to the department and are available in the Grad Lounge.

  3. Dr. Puglisi and your academic advisor are always available to review and comment on your CV and your cover letters. The Grad Office will also arrange mock interviews for any type of position from academic to curatorial, etc. Dr. Puglisi urges students to utilize this service prior to applying for any position

  4. Career Services also offers "Drop in" times for CV and cover letter reviews and critiques, as well as mock interviews: Mondays and Tuesdays, 1:00 - 3:30 PM

Web Resources include:
(Both Websites offer advice on CV writing )


Resume Basics:

  • More suitable for jobs in the corporate world

  • Generally only one page long

  • Career Services recommends having an "Objective" paragraph at the beginning of your resume

  • "Objective" paragraphs are particularly helpful when applying to large companies so that the employer can put your CV in the right pile - may not be needed when applying for typical AH jobs - consult with Dr. Puglisi or advisor about this

CV Basics:

  • more suitable for positions in academe and museums

  • The CV is a fluid document that demands constant revision - often, a complete overhaul is needed

  • CVs should not be stapled, name and page number should be on each additional page

  • A CV should always be tailored to the job objective, ie: if you're applying for a teaching job, put teaching experience first, have a teaching portfolio available, etc. If you're applying for a museum education job, put museum experience first.

  • A CV is a summary of your professional life - keep fluff to a minimum

  • A CV or Resume is looked at for 16 seconds (average) - make sure you have the important info at the beginning

Revising the CV:

  • Consider a thorough revision of your CV

  • Delete old items that are no longer relevant, edit your professional achievements to project your strongest assets

  • Consult with others about what should be deleted - again, Dr. Puglisi, Career Serveces, friends can help in your editing process

  • Create new categories that reflect new achievements and experiences

  • Try to get critiques from both inside and outside your field - integrate all comments

  • Revise and tailor your CV for each job application - play up the strengths that are relevant to your desired position

  • When editing, always keep in mind your goals and objectives - what represents you best?

CV Style and Content:

  • There is no one style for a CV

  • OK to be creative in your format but always use conservative font (at least 11 pt.) and bond paper - no purple ink, etc.

  • Every CV must contain 3 essential elements:

    • Name and Address (email and phone)

    • Education

    • Relevant Experiences

  • Remember, your style and content should reflect your strengths and achievements - don't distract from your achievements with an overly "creative" or unfamiliar style

  • It is recommended that you have several versions of your CV on the computer so that you can cut and paste according to the requirements of the position for which you are applying


Typical Art History CVs should be formatted according to the following basic rules:

Name, Address, Email, Phone


  • Ph.D., university, location, dates

    • Dissertation title

    • Advisor

    • (GPA NOT needed)

  • M.A. university, location, date

    • Thesis title

  • B.A., major, university, location, date

    • (Could add study abroad experience, etc.)


  • Place highlights and strengths first in order of most recent experience

  • Tailor the order in which you list your experiences according to the job requirements

  • Required info for experiences:

    • Title, dates, institution, location (city/state or city/country)

    • Description of duties

      • Use statements NOT sentences

      • Format with bullets at the beginning of each statement (paragraphs are too much to read)

      • Begin each statement with an action verb

      • Use present tense if still performing in a certain job

      • Use past tense for jobs in the past

Other CV categories may include:

  • Career Highlights, Research Overview, Consulting Experience, Academic Service, Advising, Outreach, Conference Presentations, Workshop Presentations, Invited Addresses, Invited Lectures, Colloquia, Presentations and Publications, Scholarly Publications, Refereed Journal Articles, Editorial Appointments, Book Reviews, Gallery Talks, Keynote Addresses, Areas of Expertise, Graduate Practica, Internships, Specialized Training, Teaching Assistantships, Awards, Grants, Experience Highlights, Travel Experience, Funded Projects, Exhibitions, Research Awards, Teaching Awards, Languages, Professional Memberships, etc….

    • These Categories should be used when needed or when new experiences call for new categories to be added to the CV

    • Most Grad students early in their careers will lump together Gallery Talks and Conference Presentation into one category titled "Symposia and Presentations" - as you gain more experiences, you will want to distinguish between scholarly talks and public lectures such as Gallery Talks.

    • Likewise, all "Publications", for those in early their early careers, will include everything from art reviews on the Web to dictionary entries, etc. Later on, we will need to distinguish between "Refereed Articles" and "Articles" and "Reviews" and "Book Reviews", etc…

    • More experiences call for more specific categories


Recommendation Letters:

  • An on-line reference service offered by Career Services

    • allows students to store letters of recommendation on the web

    • These letters can accessed by employers or sent to employers either electronically or through the mail

    • The advantage of this type of storage system is that students can store general letters of reference from visiting/part-time professors, college professors, or employers that they may not be able to contact five years from now when applying for jobs

    • The system is confidential

    • The fee for is $39 for five years - if you continue to use the system, it will stay active over five years for no additional fee

    • The disadvantage is that the references will typically be of a general nature b/c they are not written for a specific job, ie: once you have a recommendation and put it on file, the next time you use it, it may be outdated

    • Ideally, the best recommendations are those that are tailored to the job

  • Your academic advisor, Dr. Puglisi, and other professors are your best source for recommendations. Some jobs will also require recommendations from past employers. Dr. Puglisi reminds everyone that we should always feel free to ask professors for as many recommendations as necessary.

  • It helps to provide recommenders with stamped, addressed envelopes, and details about the job


  • Often, you may want to provide portfolios with your job application

  • Teaching Portfolios may include copies of student, peer, or professor evaluations, as well as copies of your syllabi and course descriptions; other items may include details about the number of students taught, etc. This type of info can also be included in your cover letter

  • Exhibition Portfolios may include copies of promotional materials, exhibition checklists, catalogue essays, etc. from exhibitions that you have organized