November 22, 2022

Difference between a CV and a Resume - how to write each and when to use them

CV vs. Resume - So simple to write, yet we get confused about which details to include and which not. Understanding the difference between a CV and a Resume will make things clearer

Need some help writing your CV and/or Resume? But wait, isn’t that kind of the same? It seems so simple and yet most don’t even know the difference between the two. So, let’s find out their differences, how to properly write each and when to use them. For more tips and advice on anything and everything you need to know about finding the best job and applying for it, follow Vanilla HR!

CV - Curriculum Vitae

First of all, there are differences throughout the world in what a CV is. In Europe and New Zealand, it is the equivalent of a resume, which we’ll explain soon, but in the States, a CV is a detailed document that describes the whole course of your career. It is usually longer than a few pages and it describes in full detail your accomplishments. It is usually used for academic purposes and academic placement. The layout is a bit different than a resume and it contains more information about your education, professional career, publications, honours and other achievements. There are plenty of templates you can find online and just insert your info, but these are the things you can and should incorporate into your CV: 1. Contact Info 2. Personal Profile 3. Education 4. Professional Academic Appointments 5. Books and/or book chapters 6. Peer-Reviewed Publications and other publications 7. Awards and honours 8. Grants and Fellowships 9. Conferences 10. Teaching Experience 11. Research experience, Lab Experience 12. Graduate Fieldwork 13. Non-Academic Activities 14. Languages and skills 15. Memberships 16. References


As mentioned before, depending on the region, a Resume can be an equivalent to a CV if you are in Europe or New Zealand. But back in the States it is a totally different document. Different but complementary, and unlike a CV, a Resume is used for finding a job. It is usually a 1 to two page document containing all important info and key facts about your education, experience, skills and background. The word resume comes from a French word, meaning to sum up, which what a resume is- a brief overview of a candidate’s work history. And once again, you can find templates for writing a resume, but what one must contain is the following info: 1. Contact Info including Job Title 2. Resume summary or Resume Objectives 3. Work experience 4. Education 5. Skills 6. Additional Sections (Awards, Courses, Licenses and Certificates, Interests…)

It is important for you to distinguish the two because in case of a job hunt it will give you a better chance of landing the job. Poorly written Resumes are often not even considered. Now that we got that clear, you are ready to write your first CV and/or Resume, or improve your old one. Purpose, Length and layout- the three main differences. Good luck with your next job or academic accomplishment and remember to check out Vanilla HR for more tips!

Next step is learn What not to do in an interview

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