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

The biggest difference between a CV and a resume is length. CV stands for curriculum vitae which means ‘the course of one’s life’ whereas the word résumé derives from French and means ‘to summarize’.

Resumes are more common and it’s important to know how to write an effective resume if you are in the job application process.

While both are used is job applications, they are not always interchangeable. When you see a job advert it is important that you follow the instructions to the letter, for this reason it is important to know the difference between a resume and a CV.

What is a resume?

A resume, or résumé, provides a concise overview of a candidate’s experience and qualifications. It is normally a single-page document and is designed to make an individual stand out from the competition.

They should be adapted for each job a person applies for, if someone doesn’t do this they are putting themselves at a disadvantage.

When applying for a job, the candidate should carefully read the job description, identify the key skills and demands of the job and then tailor their resume to match the job. It is important to include the same keywords from the job description.

Unlike CVs, a resume isn’t always ordered chronologically. There are a number of resume formats including functional and combination resumes.
Professional resumes also shouldn’t include information about the candidate’s entire career, only work experience from the last 10-15 years and/or highly relevant experience from before that period.

For students or those with limited experience this isn’t always possible. There’s a different approach for writing student resumes and entry-level resumes.

This format of presenting your academic knowledge and professional experience is most commonly used in the United States.

What is a CV?

A CV is a multiple-page document which provides detailed information about work experience, education, achievements, presentations, honors and awards, research, and other accomplishments.

They are normally structured chronologically and are aimed at providing a full overview of a candidate’s working career. A CV is static and isn’t altered for different job roles.

Difference between CV and resume

The accompanying cover letter explains why the individual is suited for the position.

CVs grow over time as more experience and achievements are added.

What are the main differences between resumes and CVs?

There are three main differences between CVs and resumes: length, purpose, and format.

Futhermore, here you have a summary of the basic characteristics of each one so you can compare them at a glance.

CV Main Characteristics

Multiple pages
Detailed history of work an education
Static, isn’t tailored for each job
Chronological format

Resume Main Characteristics

Single page (sometimes two)
Concise summary of relevant experience
Adapted and tailored for each application
Flexible format, whichever suits the candidate best