Explained: Difference Between CV And Resume

A citizen of UK will apply for a job with a CV. An American forwards a resume with his job application. Nevertheless, an Australian applies with both. A lot of people do not know the difference between a CV and a resume. Here we learn the difference between a CV and a resume and where and how they are used.

What is a CV?


The Latin translation of the term Curriculum Vitae (CV) means the course of life. Hence a CV can be described as a detailed and in-depth document that narrates the details of the candidate’s achievements. A CV is much more than a career biography. A CV would generally cover the education, complete summary of previous work experience, publications, awards and honors received and other details that will throw enough light on the candidate’s caliber and accomplishments. Chronological arrangement of details is necessary for a CV. Anyone looking at a CV will gain a fair picture of the candidate’s full working career. A CV is a static document. It does not change according to the position to which the subject is applying for. The difference is however effected by the candidate in the covering letter.

What is a resume?

A resume can be described as a concise document that is usually short and runs for not more than a page. A resume is intended for a recipient who will not be dwelling on your document for so long. The most important objective of a resume is to let the candidate stand out from the competition. A resume is usually adapted to the position applied for. The candidate is expected to tailor the resume to suit the position for which he makes the application. A resume need not cover the whole of your career. It is need not follow a chronological order.

The main differences between a CV and resume

  • The major difference between a CV and resume are their purpose, layout and length. A CV is a highly descriptive document about the subject’s career and it can run for more than two or three pages. A resume is the summary of the candidate’s skills and experience.
  • A resume is tailored to the position applied for whereas a CV is a static document that remains unaltered for any position.
  • A CV is expected to follow a chronological order of the subject’s education, other experiences and work. A resume on the other hand can be shuffled in a way suiting the purpose of the applicant.
Resumes and CVs across the globe

  • Resumes are highly preferred as application documents in the US and Canada. An American and a Canadian will use a CV only while applying for some positions abroad or while seeking a potion connected to academic research.
  • CV is the most preferred application document in UK, New Zealand and Ireland. In these countries, CVs are used for all kinds of application purposes and resumes are hardly in use in these countries.
  • In India, South Africa and Australia, the terms CV and resumes are used interchangeably. Usually an application for a private sector enterprise calls for a resume and an application for a public sector establishment calls for a CV in these countries.
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