# Undergraduate Research CVs and Résumés

### CV vs. Résumé - What's the Difference?

A curriculum vitae, or CV, is a document that provides a comprehensive overview of your educational background, academic accomplishments, and qualifications, including your research experience, publications, awards, presentations, and honors. CVs are typically used when applying for academic, scientific, or research positions. A CV may also be used for graduate school, fellowship, or grant applications.

Résumés provide a concise (1-2 page) summary of your education, experience, and skill set. Résumés are typically used for non-academic opportunities, such as jobs, internships, or leadership positions.

At the undergraduate level, these documents may overlap, with similar content found in both. As you progress throughout your career, they will diverge as your experience level changes and your materials are tailored to address a particular audience and to match the conventions within your discipline.

Make sure to review the application information provided by the program or opportunity to determine whether a CV or résumé is preferred.

Are you new to research and developing your first résumé? The Center for Career Development has resources to assist you with preparing a résumé that highlights the transferable skills developed through academics, work experiences, volunteer activities, and extracurricular involvement, as well as connecting those transferable skills to the opportunities you are applying for.

### Sections: How to Organize Your Content

The sections on your CV will depend on your experiences and what you want to highlight. For a research-focused undergraduate CV, you can include any of the following sections, modifying the specific section heading to fit your needs:

• Education
• Research Experience
• Publications
• Presentations
• Grants or Fellowships
• Awards or Honors
• Skills (laboratory, technical, computer, design) and Certifications
• Internships (or relevant work experiences)
• Professional Memberships, Professional Affiliations, or Professional Societies
• Leadership, Volunteer Work, Service, Community Involvement, Extracurricular Activities

When determining the order of your sections, consider what content is applicable and relevant to the program or opportunity to which you are applying. A general guideline is to include your most relevant sections first. Within each section, organize your content in reverse chronological order, listing the most recent experiences or content first, and working your way back to older content.

Common Sections: What to Include

Your name is typically in a larger font, one to two sizes larger than the content. Consider using bold so that it stands out.

### Education

Education is typically the first section of an undergraduate CV after your heading. Include the institution name, degree you are completing, your major(s), minor(s), and expected graduation date. If you are writing a thesis, you can also include the title and name(s) of your thesis advisor(s).

Academic honors may be included here as well, though you also have the option of having a separate section to highlight awards and honors.

Including your GPA is optional and will depend on what you are using your CV for. If you are submitting your CV to an opportunity where a GPA is requested, include it. GPA is not commonly included on graduate CVs, an important note to keep in mind as you progress through your academic career and move on to advanced study.

If you studied abroad, you can include the institution name, dates of attendance, and relevant coursework or focus of your studies.

Tip: It is essential that you correctly indicate the degree you are pursuing and your academic major and minor. If you are unsure of how to list your major on your CV (e.g., Psychological Sciences – not Psychology), check with your academic advisor or check your transcript to see how your major is listed. UConn undergraduate degrees include: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Bachelor of Social Work.

#### Example 1

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Bachelor of Arts in History, Minor: Human Rights, expected May 20XX

• Honors Program (20XX-20XX), Dean’s List (Fall 20XX, Spring 20XX), 20XX New England Scholar
• Senior Thesis: Thesis Title
• Thesis Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Husky, Associate Professor, Department of History

#### Example 2

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cell Biology, May 20XX
Bachelor of Arts, Psychological Sciences, May 20XX
Minor: Healthcare Management and Insurance Studies
Honors Scholar and University Honors Laureate, Dean’s List (20XX-20XX, Fall 20XX)

Study Abroad in Florence, Italy, Summer 20XX
Coursework: History of the European Union; Identity and Culture in Italy: A Comparative Approach

Research Experience

Essential information to include for each research experience:

• Affiliations: If you are working under a PI or faculty mentor, or conducting research as part of a lab or research group, you want to provide that information. Include your research mentor/PI’s name and affiliation.
• Dr. Jonathan Husky, Associate Professor, Statistics Department
• ABC Research Group, Biomedical Engineering Department
• Location: Indicate where the research was taking place
• University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
• Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, CT
• Title and Dates: Indicate your role – Research Assistant, Independent Researcher, Laboratory Technician – and your start and end date. For the dates, a month and year format is fine. If you are currently in the role, indicate that.
• Undergraduate Researcher, Summer 20XX (12 weeks, full time)
• Research Assistant, August 20XX-Present (10 hrs/week)
• If you are assisting with a research project funded by an external source (e.g., NSF, NIH), talk with your faculty mentor about the correct way to list that on your resume.
• If you received funding to support your work (e.g., SURF Award, UConn IDEA Grant), include that at the end of your description.

The order of information may vary based on how you are formatting your CV. Regardless of the order, it is essential that you are consistent. For example, if you lead with the project title for one research experience, you should lead with the title in all experiences. If you lead with the lab or research group name, stick with that throughout. Consistency is key.

For each research experience or research project you’ve engaged in, prepare descriptive sentences that explain the research, outlining the project goals and objectives, the steps you took to achieve your research goals, including methods used, and your results. Use action verbs to paint a picture of your research involvement and contributions. When possible, quantify your statements and incorporate scope, context, and purpose.

Descriptions on a CV are typically in paragraph form, though you may opt for bullet points for organization and clarity.

Framework for structuring your descriptive statements:

• Overview of the project (Researched... to determine...; Explored and evaluated... for the purpose of...; Investigated the role of...)
• Key steps you took along the way (Surveyed...; Traveled to... for...; Examined...; Analyzed...; Collaborated with...; Evaluated...; Created...; Acquired and digitized...)
• Results/Outcomes (How did your work add value? What can we learn from your project? Established a correlation between....; Developed prototype of...; Drafted.....; Contributed to...)

### Publications

Publications should be formatted in a manner appropriate for your field of study (e.g., APA, MLA), so your listings may vary from the examples provided below. Use the full citation when published. If accepted but not yet published, you can include “forthcoming” in place of the publication date.

If you are preparing a manuscript, but have not yet submitted your work for publication, or it has not been accepted, consider including that information in the description of your research.

If you have more than one manuscript that has been submitted or under review, but not yet accepted for publication, you might consider using a “Manuscripts under Review” section to highlight those.

#### Examples

Author(s) (in order). Title of Article. Journal Name, Edition/Year of Publication, Pages.

Husky, J. Huskies Forever: Establishing an Alumni Outreach Program. Journal of College Student Success. 20XX; 22(1): 44-48.

Last F, Husky J. Wellness, Motivation, and Healthy Lifestyles in College Students. Journal of College Student Success. Forthcoming, accepted for publication in April 20XX.

### Presentations

Presenting your research at a professional conference or similar event is a valuable experience and one that should be noted on your CV. Presentations can be in their own section, or you can list them with each research experience. Consider having a separate presentations category when you have multiple experiences to include, or if you want to draw attention to your presentations.

#### Examples

Wellness, Motivation, and Healthy Lifestyles in College Students, 10th Annual Conference on Undergraduate Research, June 1, 20XX, Boston, MA.

Frontiers in Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, April 20XX. Husky, Jonathan. “Huskies Forever: Establishing an Alumni Outreach Program” (poster presentation).

“History of Mascots at the University of Connecticut: 1934 to 2014.” Presented at 4th Annual College Sports Symposium. New York, NY, May 20XX (oral presentation).

Husky, Jonathan. (20XX, June XX-XX). Self-Esteem, Motivation, and Healthy Lifestyles in College Students (Poster Session). 10th Annual Conference on Undergraduate Research, Boston, MA.

### Skills and Certifications

Skills and certifications may be combined into one category, or you can divide them into their own categories. Consider including laboratory skills, equipment, technology and software, animal handling, sample preparation and processing, database management, languages, and certifications that are relevant to your academic discipline and goals.

If you have a significant amount of skills in a particular area that you want to draw attention to, consider breaking down your skills into additional categories (see example 2).

#### Example 1

Laboratory: ELISA, Fluorescent microscopy, microdissection, cell culture, Gel Electrophoresis, PCR
Technology: MatLab, Minitab, SPSS, Stata
Certifications: CITI Human Subjects Research Course – Biomedical Research and Social/Behavioral Research, American Red Cross CPR/AED, Pediatric CPR and First Aid
Languages: Fluent in Hindi, Advanced Urdu

#### Example 2

Laboratory Skills

Organic and Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory Techniques
• Crystallization; Fractional, Vacuum, and Steam Distillation; Gravity and Vacuum Filtration; Thin-layer Chromatography, Interpretation of HPLC, NMR, UV/VIS and IR spectra
Biochemistry Laboratory Techniques
• Spectrophotometry; Ion Exchange, Gel Filtration, and Affinity Chromatography; Western Blot Technique; SDS-PAGE
Molecular Biology Laboratory Techniques
• PAGE and Agarose Gel, Fluorescence Spectroscopy, DNA synthesis, PCR, Transcription, Enzymatic Ligation
Materials Science Laboratory Techniques
• Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), Zeta Potential, DNA Functionalized Nanoparticles

### Honors and Awards

Significant honors and awards that are not recognizable outside of UConn should be explained to give you credit for your accomplishments. Consider including a brief description to help readers understand the purpose and scope of the award. As you advance in your career, descriptions of undergraduate awards may be removed, listing only the award name and year.

### CV Formatting and General Tips

• Review your CV with your faculty mentor/PI to assure you are not disclosing confidential research results or information and to assure you are clearly explaining the research project. Faculty mentors can also guide you on the appropriate conventions within your field of study.
• Descriptions on a CV are typically in paragraph form, though you may opt for bullet points for organization and clarity.
• Be truthful – give yourself credit for what you’ve accomplished but do not exaggerate or mislead your role in the research.
• Be careful with acronyms. If it is one that is widely used and recognizable within your field, it is fine to use it. If not, spell it out.
• CVs do not have a page limit. However, that does not mean you should include absolutely everything you have done. You want to strategically edit content and limit your CV to relevant information.
• CVs are formatted in an uncomplicated way. Avoid over-designing your CV. Use bold and italics strategically and minimally. Avoid underlining; this is typically reserved for hyperlinks.
• Use 11-12 point font and 1 inch margins. Your name should be 1-2 pts larger. Section headings can also be larger. Choose an easy-to-read font (e.g., Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman).
• Don’t crowd your content; use space!
• Faculty often include their CVs on their bio page or website. Review these to understand how this document is used and the conventions within your academic discipline.

### The Research Résumé

Your résumé provides potential employers and programs a snapshot of your background, skills, and experiences to help them assess your candidacy. Think of it as a marketing tool that you can use to strategically highlight and emphasize your most relevant background experiences and significant accomplishments.

Résumés are typically shorter than a CV (1-2 pages, depending on your field/industry), focusing on key highlights that are relevant to the opportunity you are seeking. You will need to tailor your résumé for each application or opportunity.

To convert your CV into a résumé, start by identifying the most relevant, applicable content. Copy that content into a new document. From there, you can adjust your formatting to fit your content on one page, possibly two, depending on the field/industry.

When formatting a résumé, you want to condense and tighten your formatting. Consider reducing the spacing between experiences, adjusting the margins to make them smaller (try .75” instead of 1”), and perhaps reducing the font size (10 or 11pt).

Key details about your research experience that are included on your CV need to be included on your résumé. These include your affiliations, PI/faculty mentor’s name, your position or title, and dates affiliated. Consider shortening your descriptions, trimming down to the most pertinent information that helps readers recognize the transferable skills gained through a research experience. Focus on the process and results of your work, aligning the skills you demonstrated and developed to the position you’re applying for. If your descriptions are in paragraph form, consider changing those to a bulleted list, as this is more common on a résumé.

### General Research Résumé Tips

• Review your résumé with your faculty mentor/PI to assure you’re not disclosing confidential research results or information and that you are clearly explaining the research.
• Utilize strong action verbs to describe your research experiences. Contextualize your research experiences and contributions to the project.
• Quantify and qualify – provide numbers and details to help readers get a picture of your research involvement.
• Tailor your résumé to your target audience. Use different versions and/or format for different fields or types of opportunities.
• Make the category headings work for you. Similar to your CV, you can group related experiences together in categories such as Research Experience, Academic Accomplishments, Publications, and Presentations. Don’t feel limited to standard resume categories such as Work Experience or Activities.
• Use the correct tense: present tense for experiences you’re actively engaged in and past tense for those you are no longer engaged in.
• The higher up something is on the page, the more likely it will be read; be strategic about the order in which you present information.
• Format should be easy to read and not cluttered or text-heavy.