CV Versus Resume: What Are the Major Differences?

CV versus resumeThe words CV (Curriculum Vitae) and resume are often used interchangeably, which leads to job search confusion for many. So when we’re looking at CV versus resume, what are the similarities?

What makes them different? When should you use a CV? And when should you use a resume?

These questions will be answered, and your confusion between the two will finally be lifted.

What are the Similarities Between a CV and a Resume?

CVs and resumes both serve as an overview of your accomplishments, experience and skills and are used to get you an interview. So you can see where the job search confusion comes in. If you look at CVs and resumes from a marketing perspective, they are both advertisements for you and your work. CVs and resumes both serve as promotion tools that show why you’re different from candidates applying for the same role. Like an advertisement, they both include a call-to-action (at a minimum, your name and contact information).

What are the Differences Between a CV and a Resume?

A CV is a comprehensive document that details accomplishments, awards, honors and publications with an academic focus.

A CV usually begins with and emphasizes your education history. Its length is usually two or more pages and includes a complete list of awards and publications. Nothing is cut out for the sake of space. CVs are also considered a “living document” and are updated often. An example of a modern-day CV is your LinkedIn profile. Although it usually emphasizes your work experience over your academic experience, it is updated often, and because there isn’t any concern for space, it includes a full list of your experiences.

A resume is usually one to two pages that highlights your work experience and is tailored to the role you’re applying for.

If a CV is the movie of your life, a resume is your highlight reel or trailer. A resume is usually focused on your professional experience, whereas a CV spotlights your academic experience. Resumes usually lead with work experience, and education is usually placed last. Skills and experience are usually trimmed down to show only the ones that are relevant to the potential role.

Ending Your Job Search Confusion?

As mentioned earlier, the words CV and resume often used interchangeably, but they are used in different situations. CVs are usually used to apply for teaching and research roles, post-doctoral positions, fellowships, and grants. Resumes are usually used to apply for almost any job not in academics. CVs are often used to apply for jobs outside of the United States. But if you’re living in the U.S., more often than not when applying for a job most employers want a resume.

Hope this clears up some of your job search confusion… but if you’re unsure, it never hurts to ask.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Simply Hired.


Simply Hired



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