Learn About the Differences Between a Resume and CV
Have you ever wondered why some employers request resumes while others use CVs? Some may use these two terms interchangeably, but there are clear differences between the two.
Let’s set the record straight by exploring the differences between resumes and CVs.
What Is a Resume?
A resume, also known as a résumé, is a brief overview of an applicant’s experiences and accomplishments. It’s usually only one page long, so recruiters can quickly assess a candidate’s qualifications. It doesn’t have to include all of the candidate’s previous experiences and accomplishments, only those that are relevant to the position at hand. Therefore, candidates often adjust their resumes based on the job for which they are applying. They may incorporate keywords based on the job description or corporate culture to boost their chances of employment.
It also includes basic information about the candidate, including their address, phone number, and email address as well as their social media handles or website, if applicable.
What Is a CV?
A CV, or curriculum vitæ, which is Latin for “course of life”, covers the entire career of the applicant including all of their previous experiences, skills and accomplishments. A CV can be more than one page, giving recruiters a chance to review the applicant’s qualifications in detail. Applicants will typically include more thorough descriptions of their previous experiences including publications, awards, honors, and other notable achievements.
Just like a resume, a CV will include the applicant’s contact information as well.
Differences Between the Two
As you can see, a CV offers a much more thorough review of an applicant’s qualifications. It encompasses their entire career, not just the experiences and skills relevant to the position at hand. A CV will remain constant, changing only if the applicant needs to add new experiences, skills, and accomplishments, while a resume may change with every job for which the candidate applies.
A CV is also chronological, while resumes may not follow a specific format. Candidates are free to move around their experiences on a resume as they see fit, so certain titles and skills stand out to the reader. Again, resumes need to be concise, so the applicant only has a short window of opportunity to make the right impression.
When to Use Each
Here in the U.S., applicants typically use a resume when applying for a job. They will only use a CV if they are applying to an academic or research-based position such as those at universities, publications, and other prestigious organizations. The same is true for applicants in Canada.
Yet, applicants in the U.K., Ireland, and New Zealand will only use a CV; resumes aren’t used at all. Across mainland Europe, CVs are most common.
However, in Australia, India, and South Africa, applicants use these two terms interchangeably. The resume is often used for jobs in the private sector, while CVs are generally used for jobs in the public sector.
If an applicant is applying for a job overseas, it’s best to use the country’s preferred format. So, if an applicant in Europe were applying for a job in the U.S., they would use a resume, but recruiters will often accept both.
This should clear up any questions you have about resumes, CVs, and when to use each. For more HR tips and information, attend a recruitment convention to hear from a range of talent acquisition professionals.