Curriculum vitae vs. resume: what is the difference? Read the following article and decide what the whole deal with resume vs. CV is all about!

Curriculum Vitae Vs Resume

You are applying for a job and are asked to write a resume. The previous place you applied to requested a curriculum vitae. And, you’re confused now! These terms are interchangeable but definitely not the same. A common misconception is that both these are exactly identical but the truth is a little different. Before getting into the differences, let’s look at the similarities. Both are written for the same purpose i.e. in order to seek employment – both are used to screen applicants and call them back for an interview. The position could be faculty based or a research post or a leadership placement for an organization. Depending on the job you are applying to, you are asked to write a resume or curriculum vitae (simply called a CV). A curriculum vitae is not just a fancy word for a resume! A resume is a document that contains a summary of a person’s job, experience and qualifications while a CV is a document that focuses largely on publications and accomplishments along with the information in a resume. The important point here is to learn the principle and concept of writing each of them. To get a good idea on the exact differences between the two, explore this article further!
Resume Vs CV
Typically the length of a resume is approximately two pages or shorter. But, in case of curriculum vitae, the information can be more than two pages as it is detailed in description. Therefore, a resume is shorter than a CV. It is said that resumes take about one minute to be reviewed by employers! But the length depends upon the country of applying. In some countries, even a CV is not more than two pages and a resume should be complete in a single page.

In a CV, the contents are more elaborate which means that it includes name, contact information, educational qualifications, work experiences, previous achievements, skills and awards. Alternate courses, teaching and research work and presentations given are also enlisted. Honors and other affiliations may or may not be written. In the case of a resume, only the name, contact, education and work related skills are listed. Attention is drawn towards experience. The focus of a resume and CV is different, while the former is precise, the latter is descriptive.
Although the general purpose remains the same; CVs are generally written when applications for academic, scientific and educational posts, such as fellowships and grants, are submitted. In a CV, you don’t necessarily have to include job objectives. A resume on the other hand, is for any job applications. The most acceptable form of an application is a resume as it forms the skeletal basis for an in-depth discussion, in case the candidate is selected later on.
Main Features Of A Resume
  • A precise and brief document showcasing work experience, qualifications, achievements and skills.
  • One page long or maximum two.
  • Information must be relevant to the job.
  • Highlights the main aspects of your life.
  • It can be written as a chronological resume, a functional resume or a combination of both.
Main Features Of A CV
  • A list of achievements which are up to date in reverse chronological order.
  • Two pages or more. The length of CVs is debatable as sometimes PhD students give in research proposals that are more than eight pages long. An extensive CV can also have almost 20 pages of experience!
  • All positions, voluntary work, titles of job achieved, honors in any subjects and any sort of work with or without pay is mentioned.
  • Always accompanied by a cover letter and has details explaining significance to the job.
  • It can be written as a functional, targeted or performance CV.
These are some of the ways to frame a resume or a CV and it is very important to keep the purpose and requirements in mind. They come in handy for jobs not only because they explain your credentials but also help you market your skills whenever required. Make it a habit to keep updating your statements before submitting and check to see that the focus or relevance of the resume/CV is not lost.

More in Resume Writing Tips