What's The Difference Between A CV And A Resume?

Freedom Writers

CV vs Resume - Understanding the Key Differences!

CV vs Resume - Understanding the Key Differences!
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When applying for jobs, you may be unsure whether to submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV). While they share similarities, there are also distinct differences between CVs and resumes you should understand.

A resume concisely lists your professional background and qualifications for a job in 1-2 pages. It highlights your most relevant skills and experience. Resumes are commonly used in the United States and Canada.

A CV is a longer, more detailed synopsis of your career. It can span 2 or more pages and includes your education, publications, awards, research, affiliations, and other achievements. CVs tend to be used for academic, medical, scientific or research positions.

1. Formatting and Content

A resume often excludes personal details like date of birth. CVs frequently include this information. Resumes generally cover your last 10-15 years of experience, listing only positions relevant to the targeted job. CVs have a more extensive career history, including roles unrelated to the application.

While resumes are typically one page, CVs can run much longer due to their comprehensive detail. Resumes also use brief, punchy statements to describe roles and skills. CVs tend to use full sentences and paragraphs for an in-depth overview.

2. When to Use Each

In the United States, resumes are the standard document for most job applications. Exceptions are in academic fields, where CVs highlight published research and specialized knowledge.

In Europe, CVs are far more widely used across industries and career levels. Job seekers often need to submit a CV and cover letter. The CV provides an overview and the cover letter highlights qualifications for the specific role.

3. Key Differences:

  • Length : resumes are 1-2 pages vs. CVs at 2+ pages
  • Content : resumes focus on most relevant roles/skills while CVs cover your full career history and achievements
  • Personal details : resumes exclude info like age and marital status which CVs include
  • Style : resumes use short statements and bullets while CVs have full sentences and paragraphs

4. Customizing Your Documents

When applying for jobs, have both an up-to-date resume and CV ready. This allows you to customize your application to what employers expect. If you only have one document, adapt it to match whether a resume or CV is requested.

The goal of both documents is convincing employers you are qualified. Understanding their differences allows you to tailor your professional story for each opportunity. With preparation, you can submit effective applications regardless of whether a resume or CV is required.

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