CV vs. Resume in a Nutshell


Client, in today’s email:

What exactly is the difference between a resume and CV? My husband and both were discussing this, but are not 100% sure.”


What a great question to share here, too! I’m sure they aren’t the only ones wondering this!

Here’s the differences between a CV (“curriculum vitae”) and a standard job search RESUME:


CV = FULL career history, no length limitations.

In the US, CV’s are used more often only for certain types of work, in certain fields (academia, science/research fields, sometimes legal work, etc.), and either a version of a CV (or a longer resume) Sort of depends but this is more common.

The focus is also more on your official earned credentials, like degrees and certifications.

Sometimes it would be required to list EVERYTHING (every training (can you imagine??), etc.  which is more common for highly scientific fields where the presentations and research/publications are very important to the profession).   


Resume = a 2 page document (max)

Resumes generally focuses only on the last 10-15 years of experience, and value your skills gained at work (though your education credentials are also included and important, they are not AS weighted as they are on a CV)


Purpose:  Full career data Showcase last 10-15 years career experience
Length: Whatever it takes 2 pages max
Focus:  Official Credentials Job-based Skills


The expected/standard format tends to be different too.

One example: CV’s listing Education up top for all, whereas only new grads list their Ed first on a resume, then it moves to the bottom in favor of listing their professional experience as more important later in their career.

A standard resume is expected in business environments where a full career CV would be overkill. The exception can be, however, for C-level business people, CEO, CFO, etc. where the company wants a more in depth career track info shared for those leadership positions, but even then, these are really formatted and approached more like just a long resume (vs. a traditional CV)

The more important thing is to always submit the style that is requested in the job ad (IF specified, that is) If it’s not, you make your best guess based on these guidelines. 

AND, just to keep in interesting, internationally, CV is commonly used as as synonym for resume, HA!



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