The Difference Between a Resume and a Curriculum Vitae
What Is the difference between a resume and a CV? The primary differences between a resume and a curriculum vitae (CV) are length, what is included, and what each is used for. While both are used in job applications, a resume and a CV are not always interchangeable.
What Is a Curriculum Vitae?
Like a resume, a curriculum vitae (CV) provides a summary of your experience and skills. Typically, CVs are longer than resumes – at least two or three pages.
CVs include information on your academic background, including teaching experience, degrees, research, awards, publications, presentations, and other achievements. CVs are thus much longer than resumes, and include more information, particularly details related to one’s academic background.
A curriculum vitae summary is a one-to-two-page, condensed version of a full curriculum vitae. A CV summary is a way to quickly and concisely convey one’s skills and qualifications. Sometimes large organizations will initially ask for a one-page CV summary when they expect a large pool of applicants.
What Is a Resume?
A resume provides a summary of your education, work history, credentials, and other accomplishments and skills. There are also optional sections, including a resume objective and career summary statement. Resumes are the most common document requested of applicants in job applications.
A resume should be as concise as possible.
Typically, a resume is one page long, although sometimes it can be as long as two pages. Often resumes include bulleted lists to keep information concise.
When to Use a CV
CVs are used almost exclusively in countries outside of the United States. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia, employers may expect to receive a curriculum vitae rather than a resume. Within the United States, people in academia and medicine tend to use CVs rather than resumes.
What to Include in Your Curriculum Vitae
Like a resume, your curriculum vitae should include your name, contact information, education, skills, and experience. In addition to the basics, a CV includes research and teaching experience, publications, grants and fellowships, professional associations and licenses, awards, and other information relevant to the position you are applying for. Start by making a list of all your background information, and then organize it into categories.
CV and Resume Writing Tips
Whether you are writing a CV or a resume, there are a few helpful rules you should follow.
Match your resume or CV to the position. This is most important when writing a resume, but it applies to a CV too. Make sure that you highlight your education, work experience, and skills as they relate to the particular industry or job.
In a CV, for example, if you are applying for a job in education, you might want to put your teaching experience at the top of your CV. In a resume, you might include only the work experience that relates directly to the job you’re applying for. You can also include keywords from the job description in your resume or CV. This will show the employer that you are an ideal fit for the position. Here's how to match your qualifications to a job.
Use a template. You may want to use a template to structure your resume or CV. This will give your document a clear organization, which will help the employer quickly see your qualifications and experience.
Edit, edit, edit. No matter whether you use a CV or resume, you need to thoroughly edit your document. Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
Also make sure your format is uniform – for example, if you use bullet points in one job description, use bullet points in all your job descriptions.
How to Write a Successful Resume
- Choose the right format for your needs. Your industry, experience, and desired role will inform your choice of resume format – e.g. chronological, functional, or combination. See sample resumes, organized by occupation and industry, here.
- Write for both robots and humans. Your resume needs to get past the Applicant Tracking System and grab the attention of the human being on the other end. These resume writing tips will help you craft a document that appeals to both software and the company's Human Resources department.
How to Write a Successful CV
- Know what to include and how to format the information. These sample CVs provide a helpful guide; this piece offers tips for writing your very first CV.
- Choose an appropriate format. Make sure you choose a curriculum vitae format that is appropriate for the position you are applying for. If you are applying for a fellowship, for example, you won't need to include the personal information that may be included in an international CV.
International CVs, unlike CVs submitted to institutions or organizations in the United States, often require that an applicant provide personal information that U.S. law prohibits an employer from soliciting. These details vary by country, but can include one’s date of birth, nationality, marital status, and number of children. Here’s how to structure your international curriculum vitae.