In the U.S., the word CV stands for curriculum vitae, which literally means the course of life in Latin. In other parts of the world, however, it’s commonly known as a résumé (or just resume). These are two different ways to present your qualifications and experience to potential employers, but many job seekers seem to get confused about which one they should use when applying for certain positions and types of jobs. What’s the Difference Between a CV and a Resume?

A resume focuses on professional skills, achievements, and experience

A resume is typically a one- or two-page document that highlights your skills, experience, and achievements. The goal of a resume is to show employers that you have the right skills and experience for the job. It should provide evidence as to why you are a good fit for the position. It will typically highlight your skills, experience, and achievement with bullet points and quantifiable data.

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A CV on the other hand focuses on education, work history (including volunteer work), publications (such as articles written), awards/prizes won, honors/scholarships earned etc.: A CV summarizes all these accomplishments in chronological order.

What's the Difference Between a CV and a Resume?
What’s the Difference Between a CV and a Resume?

On the other hand, a CV emphasizes academic credentials

If you’re applying for a job in academia or another highly competitive field, you’ll need to focus on your CV. This document focuses on your academic credentials and research experience. In contrast, a resume is a briefer document that highlights your skills and experience. It’s typically used when applying for jobs in the private sector. The content will vary depending on the position, but it should generally highlight skills such as communication and time management. You may also include information about volunteer work or extracurricular activities if they are relevant to the position you are seeking.

Most employers prefer CVs to resumes

There are a few key differences between CVs and resumes that employers care about. CVs are usually longer, at 2-3 pages, while resumes are typically only one page. CVs also include more information on your professional accomplishments, publications, and presentations. And while resumes are written in reverse chronological order, CVs can be organized however you see fit.

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Personal information belongs in your profile

If you’re in the United States, your resume should only include your personal information (name, address, phone number, email address, etc.) in your profile. Your curriculum vitae (CV) may include this information as well as other sections, such as Work History, Research Interests, or Publications.

What's the Difference Between a CV and a Resume?
What’s the Difference Between a CV and a Resume?

Cover letters are included in CVs but optional in resumes

A cover letter is a document sent alongside your resume when applying for jobs. It should be used to introduce yourself and briefly explain your suitability for the role you’re applying for. If you have specific skills or qualifications that are relevant, these can also be included in this part of the document.

CVs have very little white space while resumes look spacious

A curriculum vitae, or CV, is a comprehensive overview of your experience, credentials, and accomplishments. CVs are typically used in academic or scientific fields and they include more information than resumes.

Employers don’t read word-for-word resumes or CVs. So make it easy to scan.

Most employers don’t read resumes or CVs word-for-word. They’re more likely to scan them for relevant information. So, it’s important to make your resume or CV easy to scan. Consider dividing your content into these sections: Work Experience, Education, Skills/Interests and Personal Details. Include only pertinent details in each category (e.g., Skills is not needed if you are applying for an education position). Also consider limiting your writing to one page or less with no fewer than three lines per paragraph (if you have less than five years of experience). Finally, be sure to proofread thoroughly before submitting!

What's the Difference Between a CV and a Resume?
What’s the Difference Between a CV and a Resume?

What is a CV?

A curriculum vitae, or CV, is an in-depth look at your professional and academic achievements. CVs are most often used in academia, research, and medicine—not to mention for most jobs outside of the United States. Most countries have their own versions of the CV, but it’s important to know that they are not all created equal. The best way to learn about these differences is by getting hands-on experience from professionals who work in those fields and cultures.

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When do you use each document?

You might be wondering, what is the difference between a CV and a resume? A curriculum vitae (CV) provides a detailed overview of your experience and skills. A resume is a shorter, more concise document that focuses on your relevant skills and experiences. For most employers, resumes will suffice. However, there are some situations when you should submit a CV instead.

Examples of both documents

A resume is a one- or two-page document that summarizes your work experience, skills, and education. A CV (curriculum vitae) is a longer document that includes a complete history of your academic and professional achievements. It’s more detailed than a resume and typically used for applying to jobs outside of North America.

Examples of both documents
Examples of both documents

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