Difference Between Resume and Curriculum Vitae

Most job seekers are often confused with the difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae (CV). They both serve the same purpose – job application and the screening of candidates for a particular position, but they differ in a few ways. However, there is a common belief that a CV is used in the UK, whereas a resume is used in the US.

However, the primary differences between a resume and a curriculum vitae (CV) are length, content and what each is used for. Knowing their differences comes in handy as most people use the two interchangeably.

Difference Between Resume and Curriculum Vitae


Difference Between Resume and Curriculum Vitae

In this article, we will try to highlight the differences between these two documents. We will show you where the difference lies and when to use it in some cases.

What is a Resume?

A resume or résumé is a concise document that contains a summary of your career history, skills, and education. A resume may also list relevant professional associations or volunteer work and may include an objective statement that shares your professional goals.

A resume is typically not longer than one page as the intended reader will not dwell on your document for very long. The goal of the resume is to make the candidate stand out from the competition and get an interview invite.

What is a Curriculum Vitae?

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a detailed document that shares not only your career history, but also your education, awards, special honors, grants or scholarships, research or academic projects and publications.

A CV may also include professional coursework, fieldwork, references, description of research projects or dissertations, interests and a personal profile that lists your skills and positive attributes.

Normally, a CV is organized chronologically, making it easy to get an overview of an individual’s working career.

The Difference Between CV and Resume

While there are some similarities between CV and Resume, there are also some salient differences between the two. Here are a few of the key differences between the two documents.

Length: A resume is very concise about one page long with two-pages being the upper limit. A CV has no page limit, it can be any number of pages depending on your career highlights.

Layout: Resumes usually begins with contact information and professional summary. Your experience and education sections follow next. Your resume should end with a skill section. Although you might want to add hobbies and extra section depending on the need. A resume is often tailored to highlight specific skills or experience relevant to the position or industry. Unlike CV, the information in a resume is always mentioned in the reverse chronological order.

For Curriculum Vitae (CV), there is no clear layout. A CV should contain as many achievements and details about your work as possible in the chronological order. A CV is always static and does not change. However, you may add new information to a CV throughout your professional career, but the information will not change based on where you are applying.

Geographical Location: The definition of a CV or a resume changes with respect to the country it is asked for.

In European countries like Denmark, Greece and the UK, the term CV means the same as an American resume. When employers from these countries ask for your CV, they are referring to your resume. This is also applicable to New Zealand.

In Australia, India, and South Africa, the term resume and CV are used interchangeably. A resume is a preferred application document in the United States and Canada. In America and Canada, CV is used either when applying for an academic/research position or searching for a job abroad.

When to Use a Resume or a CV

There might be some situations where you are not sure of which to use between CV and resume. Well, ask yourself the following questions to help determine the best document to use.

  • Nature of the Job: If you are applying for a job in academia, especially as an educator, teaching assistant or researcher at a college or university, then you’ll probably need a CV.
  • Location of the company: Depending on where the company is located, CV may refer to a standard resume, or it may refer to the longer form, highly detailed document explained above. To know which to send, first consider the type of job. If you are in doubt about whether you should send a CV or resume, you can reach ut to the recruiter or hiring manager and ask for clarification.

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