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The Difference Between a Resume and CV

One of the most common questions I am constantly asked by clients is “What’s the difference between a resume and CV?” Both documents are utilized as a depiction of a candidate’s work and education history, so in short, the answer would technically be “There is not much difference between the two documents other than a few certain things.” However, below I will give you a comparison between a resume and curriculum vitae (CV) so you will be well prepared during your job search.

Below are the definitions of each document:

Resume: A concise presentation of one’s professional or work experience and qualifications often submitted to a potential employer prior to an interview or with an application. A typical resume is a document that contains a summary of relevant job experience and education which an employer uses to screen applicants. The resume is comparable to a CV that would be used in other countries. However, in the U.S., Canada, and Australia a resume would more than likely be considerably shorter in length.

Curriculum Vitae (CV): A CV provides an overview (usually more in-depth depending on one’s personal background) of a candidate’s academic/education history. Like a resume, the CV is usually the first thing a potential employer encounters about a candidate prior to an interview. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a CV is shorter and contains only a summary of the job seeker’s employment, qualifications, and some personal information. In the United States and Canada, a CV is used in academic, medical, or scientific careers as a replacement for a resume and can be much more comprehensive depending on the candidate’s experience and educational background.

So as you can see, there is not much difference between a resume and CV at all other than they are called different things and one might be longer than the other depending on the targeted industry or a job seeker’s personal background. Also, in many cases, a resume will be named a CV in other countries, but the document is essentially utilized for the same exact purpose as a resume.