CV vs. Resume: What is the difference?

CV vs. Resume: What is the difference?

Most people think that the term Curriculum Vitae, or CV, is the UK English version of the term ‘Résumé’. Some of us even use it interchangeably. However, there are some interesting technical differences between the two. CV vs. Resume: Here’s what makes them unique.

CV vs. Resume: What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

Did you know that the term Curriculum Vitae is Latin for Course of Life? The term CV is commonly used in the UK, most Commonwealth countries, South Asia and Ireland. It typically contains only a summary of a person’s employment history, education, qualifications, interests and hobbies outside of work. In some instances, it might also contain personal details like date of birth, marital status, a passport style photo, and details about their most recent salary. It is recommended that the CV should not be more than two A4-size pages. Most people write CVs in third person.

There are three major types of CVs; (a) Chronological – This is the most commonly used format. It lists the person’s education and most recent work history first, which is followed by older work experiences in reverse chronological order. (b) Skills based – This type of CV focuses on stressing the candidate’s skills pertaining to the job that the applicant is applying for. It is useful when you are applying for a job that is not completely related to your current/previous job, and you need to highlight your skills that will be useful at the new role. (c) Academic – These are used in the academic world, most commonly while applying for postgraduate studies. This style is used by candidates to highlight their academic achievements, research and published work. Here are some examples of academic CV.

CV vs. Resume: What is a Resume?

The term résumé, as you might have guessed, is the French term for Summary. In the US and Canada, resume is the most commonly used format for presenting information in regards to a job application. Although, in the academic, scientific and medical fields, CV is still used extensively. A resume typically contains the candidate’s contact information, skill-sets related to the position they are applying for, and relevant work experience in reverse chronological order.

Most employers prefer that the candidate keep their resume as close to one page as possible. You might think that one page is not enough to list all your major skills and accomplishments, but keep in mind that employers get a lot of resumes, and they are interested in seeing something that catches their attention about your skills and most recent experience that will help them decide whether to continue with the application or not. Also, most employers are usually interested in the past 4-5 years of your work experience. A good middle ground is to list your most relevant skills and experience on the resume, and mention that you will be happy to provide more details if required. Find out which resume buzzwords to avoid.

There are three major types of resumes; (a) Chronological – This is the most commonly used format which starts by listing your work experience in reverse order. Details include your position, title and daily responsibilities. You should also highlight your major accomplishments at the role. An education section in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent degree follows the work experience. (b) Functional – This type of resume focuses on highlighting your skills (technical, vocal, etc.), rather than work experience. Which one to use depends on the kind of position you are applying for, and what about your background you would like to highlight. Here are some examples of resumes.

These are some differences between a CV and Resume. Is there anything that’s missing in this article? Please feel free to share below.