How to Write a CV for a Librarian


The curriculum vitae, traditionally used in academic job applications, has become standard in other job fields, such as research, management or teaching. Also called a "CV" or "vita," a curriculum vitae is usually longer than a resume. A resume can be two to three pages, while a curriculum vitae can be as long as 20 pages. Latin for “the course of one’s life or career,” the curriculum vitae provides more detail than a traditional resume. A CV for a librarian can be used to attain a job in an academic setting like a college or in a specialized library. Applications for public, school and corporate libraries usually require a resume.

  • At the top center of the page place the title “Curriculum Vitae.” Write your personal information underneath. Include your current title, position and contact information.

  • List your educational experience with the newest degree listed first. Just like a resume, list your major, the date you received your degree, the school, city and state. You can also list course work if you deem a course important enough. For example, if you are a reference librarian but have taken courses in young adult or children’s literature, include the title of each of these classes.

  • List your library work and related experience. This may include teaching positions at library schools or specific duties such as reference work, database and internet searching and bibliographic instruction.

  • List any special library skills such as cataloging, grant writing or website design.

  • List anything you’ve published that is related to library work. This can include articles, books, presentations and projects. You can also list any committees on which you have served. Since librarians are accustomed to citations, make sure to list your publications according to one style book, such as Chicago, Turabian or the Modern Language Association (MLA).

  • List any library organizations to which you belong such as the American Library Association (ALA).

Tips & Warnings

  • Although there are many different structures to a CV, it is best to highlight your accomplishments. For example, if you have written many articles or book reviews for a publication such as "Library Journal," make sure to put these on the first page before your educational experience.
  • Once you write your curriculum vitae, update it at least every six months and always have it on hand in case a job offer comes up. You can also place it on the Web so anyone can view it at any time.
  • Because CVs generally run several pages, make sure to put your name on the top of each page and a page number at either the top or bottom of the page.
  • Although most CVs don’t include an objective, it’s suggested that you include one if you’re changing careers, according to Susan Ireland in “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Resume.”

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