CV vs. Resume: What’s the Difference?

The key component of every jobseeker’s portfolio is a resume … or is it a curriculum vitae (CV)? It’s not always easy to distinguish between these two similar, yet distinctly different ways of presenting your professional background. While a resume may be the go-to “calling card” for many candidates to send out to recruiters and hiring managers during a job search, the reality is that certain employers, fields or locations may prefer or require a CV.

What Is a CV?

When companies ask for a CV, they’re looking for more extensive information and details about your professional background — in particular, about your credentials. These credentials should always include your education, degrees earned, professional training and industry-specific certifications. Depending on your line of work, job level and years of experience, your CV might additionally include sections about your publications, honors and awards, grants and fellowships, professional memberships and associations, speaking engagements and conference presentations, research projects, licenses and patents, teaching experience, volunteering and other business affiliations. CVs also include basic information such as your contact information, skills and job experience.

What Is the Difference Between a CV and Resume?

When you’re considering your approach to CV vs. resume, you must have a clear idea of the differences between these two documents, as well as when it’s most appropriate to use each. David Wiacek, a New York-based executive resume writer and founder of Career Fixer, notes that the more detailed approach of a curriculum vitae reflects the word’s meaning: course of life. He notes that CVs in many countries often include very detailed information about the candidate, even sometimes including birth date, marital status and photos.

“Whereas a resume is a synopsis or targeted snapshot of your professional life that is tailored to a particular job, a CV tends to be a more comprehensive document that captures everything and the kitchen sink: not just work experience and education, but all of a candidate’s credentials, licenses, public speaking engagements, exhibits and installations (for artists), publications and so on,” Wiacek said.

With that in mind, one key distinction is that while a CV focuses on your professional credentials, a resume hones in on your skills or competencies. Another difference is that the bulk of a resume generally consists of a sequential list of your job experience — starting with your current or most recent position — with shorter sections on your competencies and education. A CV, on the other hand, contains a greater variety of subsections detailing various types of certifications, publications, awards, affiliations and training. A CV is also usually longer than a resume, and routinely stretches for three to five pages, while a resume is often expected to be limited to one page for junior-level candidates and two pages for senior-level candidates.

[See: The 25 Best Jobs of 2021.]

If you’re unsure whether to submit a CV or a resume, be sure to look closely at the job listing or ask your recruiter. Some employers and industries will specify that candidates should submit a CV instead of a resume or vice versa. Certain research-based fields, such as health care or teaching, may prefer or require CVs, not resumes. Resumes, according to Wiacek, are typically used to apply to for industry roles outside of academia (think: for-profit, corporate, nonprofit or even government jobs).

Wiacek advised candidates to always refer to the instructions when applying online. “If the instructions do not specify which type of document is required, chances are they expect a simple resume,” he explained. “But do your research — don’t leave a great job prospect up to mere chance.”

See the different components of a sample resume and a sample CV below.

[See: 25 Best Jobs That Pay $100K.]

Sample CV

Contact Information: First name, last name, phone number, email address, mailing address, website or LinkedIn URL.

Education:

— Schools attended.

— Graduation dates.

— Degrees obtained.

— Other professional training

Research Interests: List areas of research focus.

Professional Experience: For each position you’ve held, starting with your current or most recent position, list the following:

— Company name.

— Your job title.

— Dates of employment.

— Responsibilities.

Field Work Experience: List by project name, location and date.

Publications: List article/book title, journal/publication name and date of publication.

Grants/Fellowships: List name of grant or fellowship and date received.

Honors/Awards: List name of honor or award and date received.

Professional Memberships/Associations: List name of organization and dates of membership.

Other Professional Affiliations: List name of organization and dates of membership.

[See: 15 Best Remote Working Jobs.]

Sample Resume

Contact Information: First name, last name, phone number, email address, mailing address, website or LinkedIn URL.

Summary statement: Briefly describe what position you are targeting and what specialized skills you offer. Your availability/when you can start.

Work Experience: For each position you’ve held, starting with your current or most recent position, list the following:

— Company name.

— Your job title.

— Dates of employment.

— Responsibilities.

Education:

— Schools attended.

— Graduation dates.

— Degrees obtained.

— Other professional training.

Professional Memberships/Affiliations, Volunteering (Optional): List names of organizations and dates of memberships and dates you volunteered.

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CV vs. Resume: What’s the Difference? originally appeared on usnews.com

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