The Difference Between a Resume and a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Should you send a resume or a curriculum vitae (CV) when applying for a job? Both can be used for job application but there are differences between these two documents. There are times that hiring managers request a CV instead of a resume. In some countries like the UK and New Zealand, CV is used primarily. Resume is common for job applications in the United States and Canada. In most Asian countries, a resume is preferred when applying for private sector positions while CV is for public service jobs. But generally, there are key distinctions that can help you decide on which one to use in your particular situation. 

CV vs. Resume: Which One Should You Use?

What is a CV?

CV came from the Latin word, “curriculum vitae” which means “course of life”. Its length has no limit because it states in-depth information about your entire career history. It’s a detailed overview of your education, awards, honors, publications, and other accomplishments. This also contains personal data such as civil status, birthdate, and nationality. The purposes of CV are for grants, research fellowship, academic roles, scientific jobs, etc. CVs are lengthier than resumes because the former is a comprehensive document which also covers an applicant’s older work history. The records are organized chronologically to include the entire career information. The CV’s layout changes as you add more achievements. 

What is a resume?

Resume or résumé is a French term which means “to sum up”. It summarizes skills, work experience, education, credentials, and accomplishments to target a specific job. The length should only be one to two pages long. So those details that are not relevant to the target job should only be given little to no space on a resume. It should be brief enough to contain just the essential details, providing headhunters with a brief overview of the candidate’s qualifications. That’s why it’s called a summary of your professional qualifications. A resume can be in chronological (emphasizing work history), functional (highlighting skills and qualifications), or combination format (mix of the first and second types) depending on an applicant’s situation and purpose. The layout is tailored to each position to match the requirements of the job advertisement.

When to Use a Resume and a CV

The answer depends on what type of job you’re applying for. If you are applying for nonacademic ones such as engineering or administrative roles, use a resume

But if you’re applying for faculty positions in government or academia, CV is preferred for these jobs. Generally, CV is used to apply for roles where research work or teaching experience is highly important.

Overall, the main differences between a resume and a CV are length, content, and purpose. The last one is the first thing you should know before you decide on what document to use in your application. To answer this, identify the requirements of the role you want to pursue and read the entire job posting. Be detail-oriented in your job search to determine which document to prepare for your application.

Find these tips useful? We have more career advice, workplace tips, and job search tips on our blog. If you’re looking for jobs in the Philippines or abroad, sign up now and start applying!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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