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CV vs resume: don’t confuse them

For many folks, there’s no any difference between a CV and a resume. Well, one can have a long and happy life being unaware of this difference, but if you’re a potential applicant that’s another situation. We’d like to devote the entire review to this crucial nuance, so a question “CV vs resume” could be finally resolved for you.

From this particular review you can learn:

  • What a CV stands for outside the United States
  • The whole difference between these things
  • What to insert on both documents and how and when to utilize them

Defining a resume

In simple words, a resume can be defined as a concise document, no more than two pages in length, utilized by job seekers to provide potential employers with a brief overview of their work history.By the way, translated from French the term “resume” stands for“to sum up.” That’s what you’re expected to do when applying for a particular position.

Explaining the very essence of a Curriculum Vitae

A Curriculum Vitae or a CV for short appears to be a record of the applicant’s professional and academic achievements. While a resume is something very brief, a CV suggests going into details when illustrating the applicant’s virtues, so it’s initially more spacious.

A CV is often employed when it comes to applying for an academic job, grant, research position or scholarship. As for the length of a CV, that’s usually subject to the applicant’s actual experience. By the way, in the international context, a CV often stands for the same stuff as a resume in America. It feels like CV vs resume is getting clearer to you, doesn’t it?

CV vs resume: what’s the real difference?

Well, it’s high time to answer the main question. In America, the key difference between a resume and a CV is rooted in the very purpose of the documents. When it comes to applying for most jobs a resume will undoubtedly suffice, but research or academic positions will require a CV. Other differences include layout, length and the data provided.

CV vs resume: length

  • The ideal CV doesn’t suggest any page limits. It can vary from a double-digit page to several pages.
  • A two-page upper limit for one page – that’s what many folks consider to be an ideal resume length.


Resumes normally provide contact information in addition to your objective and a resume summary. Next sections are devoted to your experience and education. Finally, you’re expected to provide a skills section. As for extra sections, you can add them if they’re really required.

With little experience or even a complete lack of it, you might be willing to put your education first. Sure, you can do this, but keep in mind that professionals with decent experience usually enjoy greater chances to get accepted.

Ensure your data is presented in the reverse-chronological order.So, here you’re expected to start with your most recent position and degree.

Your resume needs to be rounded out with a skills section. You’re free to add hobbies, although it’s an optional point to most US resumes. It’s up to you to have your resume tailored to match the data in the job description.

Your resume should provide your responsibilities, jobs, relevant skills and certainly education, but avoid including every position ever occupied by you and every skill you’ve mastered throughout your professional career.

As for a CV, there’s no clear layout. Perhaps, it makes sense to look through examples of CVs to have a general idea of it. Make use of the CVs of folks who have already applied to similar jobs.

Aside from that, you require utilizing the resources available to you at your educational institution in case of applying for an academic post. For instance, guidelines for cover letters and CVs are provided by Harvard University’s Office of Career Services.Your CV needs to come with as many details and achievements as for your work as required.

Perhaps, it seems to you that just a concise overview of your education and work experience would suffice, but it’s not so.Instead, Your CV requires including your work history, education, publications, skills, awards, public speaking engagements as well as interests.

Checklist for your US resume

When applying for a position in the United States you need to provide the following:

  • Skills
  • Contact information
  • Experience and work history
  • Objectives
  • A resume summary
  • Interests and hobbies

Well, you’re also eager to learn what to include if you’re concerned with getting a research or academic position in America. In this case it should contain everything done by you to date. That’s a considerable amount on information if you’ve been in the field for a decent term.

Here’s a list of important things you can add to your academicCV:

  • Teaching experience
  • Publications and bibliography
  • References
  • Exhibitions
  • Brief biography and contact information
  • Lab and research experience
  • Certifications and professional licenses
  • Areas of academic interest
  • Interests, hobbies as well as extracurricular activities
  • Dissertations and descriptions of theses
  • Qualifications and educations
  • Graduate fieldwork
  • Honors and awards
  • Training and professional development courses
  • Grants, scholarships, assistantships and fellowships
  • Memberships
  • International experiences and study abroad
  • Achievements, responsibilities and employment history
  • Lectures, presentations as well as other public speaking engagements
  • A list of skills, including computer, technical and language ones

CVs and resumes for working abroad

If you’re all geared up to getting a job abroad you need to realize that the term “CV” features different meanings in other countries.

The term “CV” has much common with the US “resume” in the European Union. As follows from this get ready to deal exactly with a CV in a local sense of it when trying to apply for a position in Great Britain, Denmark or France, for example.Moreover, you’re even free to use the same layouts and templates as you’d utilize for your US resume. By the way, it also applies to New Zealand.

One of the considerable differences you might come across is that some European employers are eager to see pictures on your CV.

For instance, in such European countries as Greece, Germany, Poland, Portugal or Italy you may add your photo. Both Polish andGerman employers would like to see your pictures, while it’s optional in Portugal.

Obviously, there’s no a great difference between US and EU resumes. To avert a fatal mistake you only require checking out CV requirements of the required country. It’s because you'll discover tiny differences across nations. For instance, European employers are used to seeing hobbies on a CV, while British ones would require your references.

In other countries the American interpretation of a CV dominates.For instance, an Indian employer might require your resume or a CV. When asking for a CV such employers are eager to see a record of your education, training, work history, activities, accomplishments as well as publications. By the way, US resume templates and formats are generally welcome in many European countries.

In some cases, it’s possible to make use of your US resume with slight changes. Perhaps, it might have sense to have your CVtranslated.

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No matter whether you’re a newbie in the niche or you boast years of experience and deep expertise, we’re the only service you can100% trust when it comes to getting the job of your dream. We’ll assist you in making crucial decisions as for your layout. We’ll advise you what to include to fully meet your potential employer's requirements. As an extra option you can order a follow up letter or career coaching. Call us today to get accepted tomorrow!

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