General Instructions for Preparation of the Curriculum Vitae

Last updated 5/23/2009

Download PDF
of Instructions
pdf logo

These instructions are intended as detailed guidelines for preparing the CV. For easiest preparation, please use CV templates.


The CV, along with letters from internal and external referees and examples of scholarly work, provides the major evidence used during the evaluation of candidates for promotion. Therefore, accurate and complete reporting of contributions and achievements in the CV is essential. Below is some general guidance for preparation of the CV. Additional guidance is provided in each section of the CV.

Chronology of events:

All events in the CV should be chronologic, beginning from the earliest and ending with the most recent. When dates cover a range, (e.g., 2005-2007), order by the first year in the range. For ongoing activities, indicate with a dash (2004- ) or by specifically noting to present (2004 - present). If multiple, non-consecutive years, group as a single item (e.g., 1999-2001, 2004, 2007). For faculty based at affiliated clinical institutions, all dates for postdoctoral training positions, faculty academic appointments and appointments at hospitals/affiliated institutions should include the month and year, e.g., 07/99-06/05.

Definition of local, regional, national and international:

A number of activities and roles in the CV are categorized as local, regional, national or international. These designations are important in the evaluation for promotion as it is expected that the reach of one's influence and activities will broaden with rank. Thus, while many of the activities reported at the time of promotion to assistant professor will be local, it is expected that those under consideration for promotion to professor will participate in a broad range of national and,very often, international activities.

The designations of local, regional, national or international below are based on both the proximity of the activities to the institution at which the candidate was appointed at that time as well as the source of the invitation to speak/teach.

Local activities and roles:

Regional activities and roles:

National roles and activities:

International roles and activities:

-For candidates previously appointed at institutions outside the US, local, regional, national and international contributions are categorized relative to the appointing institution at that time. For example, for an individual holding an appointment at the University of Vienna, talks in Vienna would be considered local, while talks in Boston during the time of that appointment would be considered international.

-For individuals whose primary appointment is at Harvard, but who simultaneously hold nonvoting appointments at other institution(s), presentations at those other institutions and their affiliates should be reported as local contributions.

Each activity, role or achievement should be reported only once in the CV

Guidance about where specific activities should be reported is provided in the CV. If you have additional questions, you may contact the Office for Faculty Affairs by phone (617-432-7112) or e-mail (ofa_promotions@hms.harvard.edu).

If a category does not apply to you, omit it entirely.

Keep in mind that. as part of the evaluation for promotion, your CV may be reviewed by individuals outside your direct field.

Avoid using abbreviations, acronyms and jargon that are not generally known (e.g., names of professional societies).

Include page numbers on the CV for easy reference by reviewers.