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Resume vs CV: The Difference - Should I Use CV or Resume?

When it comes to applying for a job or seeking a new opportunity, having a well-crafted and informative document is essential. This document showcases a candidate's skills, experience, and qualifications to potential employers. The two most commonly used names for this text in the job market are a resume and a CV (curriculum vitae). While both are important, they have distinct differences that job seekers need to understand.

What is a Resume?

A resume is a short document that tells an employer about your work and education history. It's usually one or two pages long and is customized for the position you want. Its goal is to show the employer that you are a good fit for the job by highlighting your qualifications.

A good resume should have your contact information, a brief summary of your work experience, your education history, your job experience, your skills, and any achievements you have had. It should be easy to read and have clear sections to show off your strengths. Keep in mind that it’s not a full story of your life, but a quick overview of your work history.

What is a CV?

A CV is a very detailed document that gives a lot of information about a person's education and work history. It's used mostly for jobs in academics or research. A CV is different from a resume because it shows everything a person has done, such as the papers they've written, speeches they've given, and teaching experience they've had.

A CV can be quite long, and it has many parts. Some of them include education, research, and teaching experience, any papers or speeches the person has given, awards they've won, and any professional organizations they belong to. The aim of a CV is to show everything about a person's academic and work history, so the reader can see their complete qualifications.

Length and Formatting Differences

One big difference between a resume and a CV is how long they are and how they look. The former document is usually just one or two pages long, but the latter can be many pages long. A CV has more information about the person's education and work history than the other document, which just gives a quick summary.

The way they look is also different. A resume is usually organized with the most recent work experience listed first. It should be easy to read and have bullet points and clear headings. A CV can be organized in different ways, depending on the person's experience. It should be well-organized and easy to follow, with clear headings and sections to make it easy to read.

Content Differences

While the length and formatting of the two documents may differ, the content is where the most significant differences lie. In this section, we'll explore the content differences between the two.


Both documents should include the candidate's educational background. However, a CV goes into more detail, listing all of the degrees the candidate has earned, including the degree type, institution, and graduation date. In contrast, a resume may only list the most recent degree or the degree that is most relevant to the position being applied for.

Work Experience

Both a resume and a CV have a section about work experience, but they show different amounts of information. A resume usually lists the most recent work experience first. It includes the job title, the name of the company, how long the person worked there, and a short description of their responsibilities and accomplishments.

On the other hand, a CV includes a long list of all the work experience a person has had, including any teaching or research experience. For each position, it goes into a lot of detail about what the person’s responsibilities were. So a CV is much more detailed and gives a full picture of the person's work history.

Skills and Accomplishments

A resume should highlight the candidate's relevant skills and accomplishments. It should focus on how the candidate's skills and experience make them a strong fit for the position they are applying for. A CV may also include a section on skills and accomplishments, but it is typically less detailed than its counterpart.

Publications and Presentations

When you are applying for academic or research jobs, it's a good idea to include a section in your CV about your publications and presentations. These are important accomplishments that show your expertise and experience in your field.

In this part, you need to write down the names of all the papers you have published or presented, along with the date and place where you did it. However, when you create a resume or a document about your work experience, you don't need to include this part unless the job you are applying for specifically asks for it.


A resume usually has a part that says you can give references if someone asks for them. A CV, on the other hand, has a list of references with their contact details. However, it's important to ask permission from the people you want to put on your CV before you list them as your references.

Which One Should You Use?

Deciding whether to use a resume or a CV depends on the position being applied for and the industry. In general, the former is used for non-academic positions, while the latter is used for academic and research positions. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and candidates should always check the job posting or consult with a career counselor to determine which document is appropriate.

When applying for a job or seeking a new opportunity, having a well-written document is crucial. This is where resume writers can help. Job seekers should understand the difference between the two documents. A resume is a brief summary of a candidate's work and educational background, while a CV provides a detailed overview of a candidate's academic and professional history. The differences between the two are their length, formatting, and content. It is important to understand these differences to decide which document to use and how to tailor it to the specific job or opportunity.

Having a good resume or CV can greatly increase your chances of getting hired for your dream job or getting into your top-choice school. It's important to make sure that no matter which document you choose, it is well-written and shows off your skills and experience in the best possible way. You can get help from a career counselor or look at the job posting to make sure you're submitting the right document for the position you want.

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