Curriculum Vitae (CV) vs. a Resume

Learn how a CV differs from a Resume

Business people looking at a resume
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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 one’s experience and skills. Typically, CVs are longer than resumes - at least two or three pages.

CVs include information on one’s 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 related to 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 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.

Resumes come in a few types, including chronologicalfunctional, and combination formats. Select a format that best fits the type of job you are applying for.

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.

Within the United States, people in academia and medicine tend to use CVs rather than resumes.

CVs are thus used primarily when applying for international, academic, education, scientific, medical or research positions or when applying for fellowships or grants.

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 application 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

Below are useful sources to help you write a strong resume.

Resume Examples 
See sample resumes organized by occupation and industry.

Top 10 Resume Writing Tips
Get advice for crafting a resume that will perform strongly with both hiring managers and software.

The Different Types of Resumes 
You can structure your resume to be chronological, a functional, combination, or targeted. Find out more information on each option and when it's typically used.  

How to Write a Successful CV

Below are useful sources to help you write a strong CV.

Curriculum Vitae Examples
These sample CVs form a helpful guide of what to include in your CV and how to format it.

Choose an Appropriate Curriculum Vitae 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.

How to Write a Curriculum Vitae
When should job seekers use a curriculum vitae, commonly referred to as CV, rather than a resume? Here are the details on when to use a CV, what to include, and how to write it.

Curriculum Vitae Cover Letters
How to write an effective cover letter to include along with your CV, as well as cover letter samples, how to format a cover letter, and types of cover letters with samples of each.

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