Resume Vs. CV

One reason for the confusion is because some people – both job seekers and hiring managers make the mistake of using the words CV and resume interchangeably. Though they have a lot in common, they’re also two distinctly different documents. So, what is a CV? And how does it compare to a resume? These are two questions you may encounter during a job search.

What is a CV?

A CV (short for curriculum vitae, Latin for “course of life”) is an in-depth look that maps out the whole course of your career. Essentially it’s a biography of your career that provides a full history of not only your work experience but also your higher education and academic accomplishments. CVs often include these sections:

  • Employment history
  • Skills
  • Degrees
  • GPAs
  • Academic awards
  • College courses taken
  • Theses or dissertations
  • Research experience
  • Teaching experience
  • Fieldwork
  • Published works
  • Licenses
  • Certifications
  • Presentations and lectures
  • Grants and scholarships

When are CVs used?

CVs are most commonly used for job hiring in academia, such as researcher, professor, or teacher positions. CVs typically begin with your education, which may include the name of your academic advisor and the title of your dissertation if you wrote one. Because CVs offer a complete picture of your career credentials and academic history, they tend to be two to six pages – or longer depending on your level of experience.

In contrast, most resumes are only one to two pages. Generally, your CV grows over your lifetime. Most CVs are written in chronological order. Resumes, meanwhile, tend to have more flexibility. Whether an employer asks for a CV or a resume can also depend on where in the world you live. In India, New Zealand, Australia, most European countries, and the UK, and Ireland, CVs are used in all contexts; the word “resume” is rarely used in these regions.

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