CV vs Resume: What Is the Difference between Them?

CV vs Resume: What Is the Difference between Them?

Many people have, of course, heard the terms “CV” and “resume,” but far from everyone understands the differences between the two. However, this doesn’t mean that these words mean exactly the same. Let’s dig deeper into the question to understand what is the difference between a CV and a resume. We will briefly describe each of the documents - its purpose, format, and features - so that you can comprehend when you need to prepare a CV instead of a resume. CV vs resume - what's the difference?

CV - Distinctive Features & Writing Standards

To be precise, the abbreviation “CV,” aka a curriculum vitae, implies the preparation of a much longer document than just a traditional resume. It commonly requires you to indicate all your specialties obtained earlier, list all the companies or organizations you have worked at, and thorough descriptions of all the positions you occupied. What is more, a quality CV objective is to cover a list of duties that you had to fulfill within years of your work. Therefore, as opposed to the resume, which is typically one- or two-page length, the CV may well be tangibly voluminous and take up several pages. It is to describe your life in detail.

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Being a detailed statement of your work history, a CV document is a very descriptive overview. It can include as many details as you see fit it. For example, in the block on additional education, you can mention all the courses, seminars, conferences, and other advanced training activities that you have taken. Besides, you can also indicate the initial data of your diplomas and certificates; academia or university you graduate from. It would be a good idea to mention online seminars and webinars you have listened to.

All in all, you are to cover the following information in your CV application:

  • education/ academic background;
  • working experience;
  • skills;
  • courses taken;
  • seminars/ lectures attended;
  • certificates obtained;
  • honors, if any;
  • awards achieved;
  • scientific presentations made, if any;
  • teaching experience, if any;
  • list of scientific publications.

CVs should describe education in detail. The indication of the dates and names of educational institutions will be not enough. You are to describe what kind of social activity you were doing at this time, what grants you received, what scientific and student communities you were in.

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When you are asked to send a CV before an interview, it means that the employer is interested in your candidacy as a whole. He wants to know where you studied, worked, what education you acquired. The CV does not need to focus on something specific (as opposed to a resume). You can send one CV to two different positions, and this will not be a mistake at all.

Resume - Distinctive Features & Writing Standards

A resume is a target document, which can even be called a marketing tool for your career. A resume does not just talk about you; it provides information closely related to the vacancy and the needs of the employer. So it should be position tailored, unlike a CV, which is rather static. For example, a human resources manager does not need to read a list of all courses you have taken - he is only concerned about the ones directly related to the vacancy. Therefore, resume writing requires extensive research.

The same goes to work experience. Suppose that you are applying for the position of IT Administrator. In this case, it is unlikely that the employer will be interested in the fact that you have been working as a sales manager within two years. Accordingly, you don’t need to include this information in your resume, specify only relevant data only.

In other words, resumes should reflect the key points: your strengths, advantages, and achievements. Each word you use in it should make sense; otherwise, there is no need for using it.

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What to Include on a Resume:

  1. Your Contact Information;
  2. Resume Summary (Resume Objective);
  3. Your Work Experience;
  4. Education (College or a University);
  5. Your Skills;
  6. Extra Sections (Courses, Publications, Certificates, Awards, Conferences, Your Facebook Page etc.).

General Features That Make CV vs Resume Different

Due to a different function and writing type, the two documents feature specific characteristics:

  1. The difference in volume - The standard volume of a resume is up to 2 pages; however, it is better to fit the content into a single page. In its turn, a CV has no volume limits; this document can be up to 10 pages or even longer. So a resume is a way shorter.
  2. The difference in style - a resume is more a marketing tool, whereas a CV is a kind of bibliography.
  3. Brevity - your resume should focus on the main points, skills, and achievements, whereas a CV is to cover every detail referring to your education and working experience. The last paragraph in the resume would look cumbersome. A company can expect that a resume is a “brief summary” of your skills and accomplishments. Respectively, they expect to see succinct, concise, and catchy formulations.

No matter if you are writing a CR, cover letter or a resume, please, make sure about including your personal and contact information so that a company could get in touch with you. In case it includes no clear contact details, your chances of you obtaining the job are minimal. Having references in your résumé is another benefit. You can also search for and check work samples and follow any of them you like. Apply to the position smartly.

Usage preferences around the world

A resume is the preferred application document in the USA as well as Canada. Americans and Canadians would only use a CV when applying for a job abroad or if searching for an academic or research oriented position.

In the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand, a CV is used in all contexts and resumes aren’t used at all. The CV prevails in mainland Europe and there is even a European Union CV format available for download.

In Australia, India and South Africa, the terms resume and CV are used interchangeably. The term resume is used more for jobs in the private sector and CV is more commonplace when applying for public service positions.

In Germany, the CV is more commonly known as a Lebenslauf (true to the latin origins) and is only one of many application documents the poor German job seekers must produce to get an interview.

Experts Say

We hope that the above tips and information about cv vs resume are useful for you and there will be no problem for you to start preparing a winning CV and resume. Submit your applications for jobs and rest assured about getting hired. In case you need a professional help to be 100% sure to land your dream job, we will create a winning summary for you, no matter if you are from Europe, Canada, Latin America, or New Zealand.