CV vs. Resume – What’s the Difference?

How is a CV different from a resume?
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CVs and resumes are no strangers for job seekers. Alas, employers always ask for those two no matter the position they offer.


Is there a difference between a CV and a resume? Which one is more important? Read on to find out the answers.

What is a CV?

A CV is short for Curriculum Vitae — Latin for ‘course of life’. A CV is a full record of your academic and career history.


For a good CV, be sure to write your name, contact information, academic background, skills, professional experiences, and other achievements. You can add more information to match specific job advertisements.         


Due to being verbose, a CV can span to 4 pages.  A longer than 4 pages CV is rare but not impossible. A person with an extensive record of education, career, and achievements may have such a long CV.

What is a resume?

A resume is a summary of a CV so it’s much more concise. To make it easy for the eyes to scan, a resume often uses bulleted lists to highlight the points.


You can fit your whole resume in a single page. In fact, many employers prefer it that way. If your resume is too long, it will end up on the burn pile. That said, as your career grows, you may eventually end up with a two-page resume and that’s alright.


What is the major difference between a CV and a resume?

The length is the most apparent difference. You can put anything remotely relevant to your job search in a CV. Some people even list ALL the workshops and conferences they had ever attended in it.


The other difference is in the order of the list of education and achievements. A CV covers everything in chronological order. For a resume, you can shuffle things around to match the job position you’re applying to.


The most important difference you need to know is the focus. A CV is a broad statement of your life whereas a resume is specifically tailored for a specific post. When you apply for a job a Full Stack Developer, for instance, you should only list the work experience that’s related for that position.

Is one better than the other?

No, they both have their purposes. It all comes to what your employer asks and what kind of job you apply to. If it’s a job in an academic field, focus on your CV then elaborate on your research, teaching experiences, grants, and publications. If it’s technical, focus on the resume and trim everything that’s not related to the position.


In the US, employers mostly ask for a resume. So if you’re not sure which one to send, just send the resume as it’s more concise than a CV. In European countries, however, both CV and resume are considered one and the same. So if you’re applying for a job there, send in your CV.

Edit and proofread your CV and resume

Regardless of which document you about to send to your future employer, be sure to edit and proofread the document thoroughly. Misspellings and bad grammars could be the very thing that’s keeping you from your dream job.


Should you need help with the proofreading, take advantage of the online spelling and grammar tool. It can pick up mistakes in your document faster than your tired eyes.