CV vs. Resume: What’s the Difference

If you have been looking for employment, you have probably seen a job listing requesting a resume or a Curriculum Vitae, also referred to as a CV. While the words may be used interchangeably, they are different documents that are used in different situations.

Curriculum Vitae is a Latin term meaning “course of life,” while resume is a French word meaning “summary.” The original meanings of these words give us a better idea of the differences between the two documents.

However, because they are often used interchangeably, it’s tough to know which document you need to submit for any given situation. If you have always wondered what the difference between a resume or a CV is, this short and simple guide is for you.

The Purpose

When you are writing a resume, you are highlighting the important parts of your employment and listing qualifications and skills. When you are compiling your CV, you are giving a detailed account of your academic accomplishments.

Both are meant to impress—one a would-be employer, and one an academic who can approve your application for a specific program or job. While you can use your CV to apply for employment, submitting a resume is a much better idea.

The Length

One of the challenges of resume writing is keeping it brief. Ideally, your resume should be a single page in length, so a hiring manager can quickly see your qualifications. For this reason, you should keep your descriptions short and to the point.

A CV is not a summary; it is a detailed document that gets longer as you progress into academia. You are listing everything you have accomplished so far. At a certain point, CVs are expected to be lengthy.

The Information Included

If you are wondering how to write a resume, you need to include all of the information a hiring manager needs. You should include your contact information, objective, work experience, education, skills, and any other information that is relevant to the position you want.

However, as professional CV writers will tell you, the information you include on a CV is a different story. You should include your contact information, professional profile, and education. You should also include all of your accomplishments, including all publications, awards and honors, grants and fellowships, languages, skills, memberships, and more.

You can also include your non-academic activities.

These Are the Differences Between a CV and a Resume

It’s important to use the right document, so your application is taken seriously. By understanding the differences between a CV and a resume, you can use the right document for your situation.

A CV is a detailed account of your academic accomplishments, while a resume is a summary of your employment. A CV can be lengthy, while a resume should be brief. Use a CV when you are seeking academic positions and use a resume when you are seeking employment.

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