“What’s the difference between a CV and Resume?”

Short answer: The length and purpose.

Long answer: Read the rest of this blog!


To be very honest, this is a list of differences that could go on and on, seeing as it depends on a variety of factors. However, there are a few key differences that separate a Curriculum Vitae from a Resume, and we will merely touch upon the most crucial ones!


Starting off with introducing the Resume, let us understand the hows, whys and whats of this document that could potentially land you a job! To ensure that it doesn’t cost you one, you should consider taking a look at this blog on the 5 absolute don’ts of a professional resume.

You’re welcome.  


What is a resume?

In the simplest terms, a resume is generally a one or two-page long document that includes a concise list of an applicant’s work experience, education and skills. It is essentially meant to provide the employer with a summary of your qualifications, as opposed to a complete picture.


How long should it be?

A highly customizable document, it is usually recommended that a resume not exceed one page. Since it is meant to be simply an overview of your qualifications, you should attempt to keep it concise, without including too many details.


What should it include?

Your resume is meant to highlight your qualifications, skills and achievements. Unlike a CV, the information in your resume can be shuffled to suit the job you’re applying for. It’s all about keeping it brief and targeted, and doesn’t necessarily have to be in chronological order.

Your resume will therefore include your name, contact details, a professional snapshot, your past work experience (in order of relevance/date), qualifications, any additional projects, core competencies, etc. There are various formats for resumes, and it is best to do a bit of research before picking a layout best suited to your line of work.


Where is it used?

A resume is mostly used in the US and Canada while applying for jobs. In countries like Australia, India and South Africa, resumes are used as an interchangeable term with CVs. However, a common pattern of sending in resumes while applying for private jobs has been observed.


Next, we take a look at the great document known as the Curriculum Vitae, or CV.


What is a CV?

A CV (Curriculum Vitæ, which means course of life in Latin) stays true to its word origin (for wackier word origins that will astound you, read here! LINK WORD ORIGINS BLOG) by being a not so brief document containing details on everything from your education to other achievements. They highlight your work experience and qualifications in great detail, and are quite static.


How long should it be?

CVs are usually two pages or more, and contains the same sections as a resume, just with more detail.


What should it include?

Your Curriculum Vitae is a comprehensive list of your entire educational as well as professional background. Alongside stating your work experience, qualifications and everything that you put on your resume, it includes more details and is supposed to give your employer a clear idea of who you are.


A CV is supposed to be in chronological order, and is usually static unlike a resume, which is much more flexible. You can, of course, shuffle some achievements and qualifications to suit the job in question – but the major changes are always limited to your Cover Letter.


Where is it used?

CVs are generally used while applying for grants, or academic applications. In European countries, these are used almost exclusively irrespective of the application, whereas in countries that use resumes, a CV isn’t mandatory unless it’s a public service job.


The next time you apply for a job, don’t send a resume in place of a CV instead. Depending on your qualifications and the kind of job you’re applying for, pick the right document and get started right away!


Of course, if you need someone to take a second look at a document this crucial – our editors at PaperTrue would be happy to do it for you.