How Is a CV Different From a Resume? The Complete Guide

The above is a picture of  Resume on a desk with a laptop.

How Is a CV Different From a Resume? The Complete Guide

id you know that the unemployment rate in the United States is 11.1%? It’s only getting worse due to the ongoing pandemic.

If you have no employment right now, know that you aren’t alone. Lots of people go through your struggles, especially when job hunting. Sometimes, simple things like knowing the difference between curriculum vitae and resume can affect your efforts.

How is a CV different from a resume?

Don’t panic; we’ll explain both right here. Read on to find out more:

What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

Curriculum Vitae is a Latin term that stands for “course of life.” In the context of employment, a CV is a document that describes the entirety of your career in its glorious detail. It’s an in-depth look, meaning it usually spans 2-3 pages but can go beyond 10 if your career history gets long enough.

This document can go through lengths to showcase your achievements both in your career and educational background. Some of these include awards and related certifications that make you a more attractive prospect.

Contents and Order of a Curriculum Vitae

Your CV’s content should be in reverse-chronological order. Separate it by section while starting with your academic achievements and education. Follow these up with your professional experience while grouping them by sub-headers to make it easy to read.

Here are the categories you should consider. Take note, you must follow these by order, but skip anything unrelated to you:

  • Name and Contact info
  • Educational background
  • Teaching background
  • Research background
  • Employment experience
  • Accomplishments

Under the educational background header, you must enumerate your held degrees and where you earned them. It should summarize your academic background. The caveat is that it should have more details compared to a resume, meaning you must include your focus areas and academic achievements.

For your employment experience, put all relevant work-related skills. For each employment position you held, enumerate your notable accomplishments.

Length of a Curriculum Vitae

CVs are a comprehensive chronological representation of your life as a professional. As said before, these documents are at least 2-3 pages long. But take note, you aren’t limited by a maximum length when writing a curriculum vitae.

It’s also in your best interest to make it as long as possible. That way, you can properly encapsulate your entire education and career experience.

What is a Resume?

Resume comes from the French term résumé, meaning “to sum up.” It’s a short and concise document you use when applying for a job. Take note, most employers will tell you when to bring a CV, but they will most likely ask for your resume first.

A good way to understand the concept of a resume is to compare it with a marketing flyer. This focuses mainly on all the experience you gained from working on previous jobs related to the one you’re applying now.

It means doing your utmost to captivate the attention of hiring managers or human resource professionals. That way, you’ll get considered for a job interview. It’s why you must prioritize its ease of scanning while giving enough details to make you stand out from the competition.

Content and Order of a Resume

Your resume’s content should be in reverse-chronological order. Start it off with your most recent work position, following it with your past held jobs. In most cases, you should list your education and achievements at the end.

The rule won’t apply if you’re new to the field. Take note, it isn’t important to include your entire work career. An effective resume only includes relevant information specific to the career path you’re applying for.

Here are sections you must use for your resume, arranged in order:

  • Name and contact info
  • Summary paragraph (optional)
  • Work experience
  • Educational background

For work experience, list both the location of your employer and how long you worked for them. Highlight the relevant work skills and accomplishments you achieved by working in each job position. Don’t dwell too much in your educational background and only list your schools and the degrees you earned.

You also have optional sections if it helps you become more attractive as an applicant. For example, you can dedicate a section for related certifications and licenses. If you’re applying for a charitable organization, list your volunteer experience.

Length of a Resume

A resume only has one or two pages. You only aim to list work experience relevant to your current job application. If your recruiter can’t find the information they need within a few seconds, you’re likely to get dismissed.

How Is a CV Different From a Resume Internationally?

The comparisons made above apply to the United States and Canada. If you’re one of the 10.5 million older Americans looking for a job regardless of location, you must consider these international differences. That way, if you apply for a job abroad, you won’t feel stumped by the sheer variations.

Don't hesitate to read professionals guides to improve your resume building skills. Learn to overcome the difficulties of finding a job by getting noticed better by employers.

1. Europe Uses CV to Describe a U.S. Resume

Europe and New Zealand use the term CV to define a short document used for job applications. It means they don’t acknowledge the term “resume” in these regions. The good news is that only region-specific variations exist for CVs, meaning you can write them using an American resume’s style.

2. Australia and South Africa Uses CV and Resume Interchangeably

This means it will refer to a document with 1-2 pages that summarizes your relevant job accomplishments.

3. South Asian Employers Require a Biodata

This document replaces the resume. It details an employee’s more personal data like date of birth, gender, marital status, and more. You’ll see them more when working in Bangladesh and India.

Discover More Employment Tips Today!

These are the things you must consider if you want to answer the question, “how is a CV different from a resume?” Use this to guide you when you’re applying for a new job.

Do you need help in building a resume? You don’t have to lose sleep trying to figure it out! Feel free to contact us today and let us help you out.