Understanding the difference between a CV and a resume is often not a priority for job seekers. The two are even used interchangeably by some employers, who aren’t aware of the distinction themselves.
As an active job seeker, you might have noticed that some jobs require a CV, while others prefer a resume. But by the time you’ve completed all your job applications, you’ll be left scratching your head, always asking yourself whether to upload a CV instead of a resume or vice versa.
A CV (short for the Latin word curriculum vitae, meaning the course of life) is a document that lists your career history and focuses on your academic qualifications, awards, grants, scholarships, and honors.
It can also include fieldwork, dissertations, research projects, publications, and professional references. Typically, a CV should be in chronological order with regard to your educational journey.
A resume is a document that summarizes your academic qualifications, skills, and career history. It is also a document that showcases your professional associations, any volunteer work you’ve done, and an objective statement that talks about your professional goals. Essentially, a resume is a summary or an abstract of your professional growth.
Most people list experiences in reverse chronological order on their resume starting with their most recent job. However, if you’re a fresh graduate with little professional history, you can start your resume by listing your education and relevant internship experience.
You need to be aware of some critical distinctions between a resume and a CV to make sure you send the right document the next time you apply for a job. Here are some:
Resumes need to be as concise as possible—ideally not more than two pages. While, on the other hand, a CV can run for several pages detailing every major event in your career path.
People in academia often use CVs. You can draft a CV if you’re applying for or have graduated from a doctoral or master’s program. You can also choose a CV if you’re a researcher or a professor at an academic institution.
A CV is static. You do not take information out of this document; it only grows as you grow in your professional career.
However, a resume can be tailored to the job and industry that you’re applying for. You can add and subtract information from your resume as per your professional development.
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