What’s the Difference Between a CV and a Resume?

By Team StaffingForce on November 15, 2017

AdobeStock_126100424.jpegWhen it comes to preparing for job applications, usually the first thing that comes to mind is writing a resume. But, what about a CV? Should you also be writing a CV? What is a CV? And, what’s the difference between a CV and a resume? Let’s take a closer look:

The Resume

The key goal of a resume is to make an individual stand out among their competition. It is typically a concise one page document that highlights your most recent and relevant experience and is highly adaptable to any position being applied for. In fact, a resume should always be tailored to the specifics of each job position. You should use a resume to:  

  • Emphasize skills
  • Apply for a position in industry, non-profit and public sector
  • Highlight experience and skills in no more than two pages, with an additional page for publications and/or poster presentations when relevant
  • Apply after one year of industry experience. (Then, lead with your work experience and place the education section at or near the end, depending on your qualifications)

The CV

A CV, or Curriculum Vitae, is an in-depth document that is usually laid out over two or more pages. They are extremely detailed about achievements (after all, Curriculum Vitae does mean ‘course of life’). A CV covers your education as well as all other accomplishments, like awards, honors, publications, etc.

These documents tend to be organized chronologically to provide an overview of an individual’s full working career. A CV is static unlike a resume; it does not change for different positions. Rather, differences are tailored in the cover letter. A CV is used to:   

  • Emphasize academic accomplishments
  • Apply for positions in academia, fellowships and grants
  • Give a chronological overview, beginning with education, and can include names of advisors and your dissertation title or summary.
  • Evaluate merit/tenure review and sabbatical leave

Your chosen industry, career track or specific position will ultimately help you determine which format is necessary for a given application, but it’s never a bad idea to have both prepared ahead of time.