Differences between CV and Resume

Difference between CV and ResumeDifferences between CV and Resume

When we want to apply for a job, a question that often pops up our mind is whether to apply with Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume. Though these words are used interchangeably in modern times, we find some distinct differences between CV and Resume.

Let us find the main differences between Curriculum Vitae (CV) and Resume (Résumé) in the following table for an easy understanding.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) Resume
Origin of the word and meaning
Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a Latin word meaning

“The course of life”.

Resume or Résumé is a French word meaning


Curriculum Vitae 

/kəˌrɪk.jə.ləm ˈviː.taɪ/

Resume or Résumé


Format / Layout
  • CV has a minimalist style and does not have many design elements.
  • In CV, the content is organized by only section headings.
  • CVs follow only Chronological Order:(Technically speaking, Reverse Chronological Order)
  • Work experience is highlighted in order of date, with the most recent position at the top.
  • A resume looks more attractive with the needed design elements. 
  • In the Resume, the content is organized by section headings and followed by bullet points.
  • A Resume follows any of the 3 types of formats: 
  • Chronological(Work experience is highlighted)
  • Functional:   (Skills are highlighted)
  • Hybrid or Combinational Order(Mixed of both the above)
Content / Length
  • CV is longer in nature:
  • CV is a comprehensive universal document that remains unaltered but can be updated with the latest achievements.
  • It is usually around 2-8 pages.
  • It is intended to focus on the full record of Academic and Professional Career  
  • including – Achievements, Projects, Research Papers, Publications, Recognition and Awards.
  • The Resume is shorter in nature:
  • A resume is a summary that requires customizing every specific position applied for.
  • It is usually around 1-2 pages.
  • It is intended to focus on Professional Achievements including – Relevant Experience and Targeted Skills.
When to use / Purpose
The CV is mainly used for academic purposes, such as applying for grants, fellowships, a Ph.D., or joining the staff of a university. The resume, on the other hand, is used for regular jobs in non-academic sectors like software and others. 
What to include
  • Name in Full
  • Professional Title
  • Contact Information 
  • Research Objective
  • Research Interests
  • Personal Profile or Personal Statement
  • Education Details
  • Publications (both academic papers and books)
  • Teaching or Lecturing Experience
  • Research / Lab / Field Experience
  • Conferences and Courses
  • Non-Academic Activities
  • Awards and Honours
  • Grants and Fellowships
  • Languages and Skills
  • Memberships and Certificates
  • References
  • Name in Full
  • Job Title you are applying for
  • Contact Information
  • Resume Summary or Objective
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Relevant Skills
  • Languages and Proficiency
  • Relevant certifications and Interests (if any)

These are the major noticeable differences between a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a Resume. 

Now let us see which format is generally used in different countries.

The UK, Ireland, New Zealand and parts of Europe:

These countrymen use the term CV in all contexts. They don’t use the term “resume” at all. 

South Africa, Australia and India:

In these countries, people often use the terms CV and Resume interchangeably. The term Resume is commonly used more for private-sector jobs and CV is for public/government service positions.

The U.S., and Canada:

For Americans and Canadians, the preferred application document is  Resume. They use CVs when they apply for an academic or research-oriented position.  A resume and a CV are two different types of documents for these countrymen.

Also Refer to:

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