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The Difference Between A Resume And A CV

Getting a job is not always an easy task. It takes a lot of effort made in the right direction and at the right time. Quite often, the first document prepared during the job search is either a resume or a CV. But aren’t these two the same? Is there any difference between the two? Well, yes, they are two different documents that are often mistakenly used as interchangeable.


A resume is a concise document, not longer than one or at the max, two pages.  It aims to provide an overview of your academic as well as professional credentials, so that your profile stands out from the competition without the need to dwell on your document for too long.


You can customize your resume according to the job requirements; it doesn’t have to be ordered chronologically or cover your entire career details. You can list the information in a resume according to your requirement and tailor it as per the job post.


A CV, on the other hand, is an in-depth document that is normally lengthy, extending over two or more pages. It contains a detailed description of your academic and professional details, achievements and accomplishments.


The entire career details of an individual are listed in a chronological order. In all, it’s more like a career biography where every professional detail matters, even publications, awards, honors etc. A CV is static. It doesn’t change for different job positions; however, the cover letter varies!


As stated above, a resume and a CV mainly differ on the basis of three broad categories – the length, the purpose and the designed structure. To sum it up, a CV intends to record the complete record of your career history while a resume records a brief summary of your skill set and accomplishments.


How to Know When to Use a Resume and When to Use a CV?


Though you now know the basic difference between a resume and a CV, you might be still confused as to when should you use a resume and when should you use a CV. Well, every job post itself specifies what it requires. There is no reason for guessing here! When you apply for a job, it clearly states as to what is required for the job application.

In case it’s not mentioned, you can either ask them directly if they would prefer a resume or a CV, or you can follow the general rule which says that a resume is the preferred application document in the US and Canada while in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, a CV is the prominent document. Curriculum Vitae are mainly used while applying for an international, academic, research, medical and scientific positions.

Though a CV in these fields might be shorter or more specifically targeted, however,  it will be longer than a typical resume.


In general, your resume would include your name and contact information. You will also tailor your education, work experience, and skill set.  While on the other hand, a CV would include your name, contact information and a detailed description of your achievements, accomplishments, and professional experience.


In case your CV stretches out to more than 3 pages, you need not worry. Employers and Hiring Managers will focus on the part they require and consider your candidature accordingly.


A good resume or CV requires much more than just experience. It is your best opportunity to explain how you will benefit the employer.  You should provide a professional resume from experts who develop the kind of profile employers are searching for. A high impact professional resume or CV can help you obtain interviews and increase your chances of working in your desired industry!


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