Understanding the Differences between CV and Resumé

Know the differences between a CV and a Resume and get your applications right henceforth


Many people (myself included) did not fully grasp the concept of CV and Resume and we often mix them up whereas what is required if often different.

Higlighted below are simple explanations and breakdown of the differences.

A CV is a summary of your skills, experience, and education however, it contains more detail and is often longer than 2 pages. CVs are the required documents to apply for graduate school, scientific research, and academic positions.

Resume summaries your work experience, education, skills and achievements for a prospective employer. It is usually required as part of a job application.


Consider one to two pages if you have under 10 years of professional experience. Senior executives or academics may like to have resumes that are three pages or more.

Clear difference between CV and resume Use CV for school applications or anything in academia mostly, Resume for job applications

CV Resume
CV vs Resume

What is a CV Used For?

Admission to graduate school Research and consulting positions in a variety of settings Fellowships or grants International jobs Teaching, research, and upper-level administrative positions in higher education Academic departmental and tenure reviews.

Professional association leadership positions Speaking engagements Publishing and editorial review boards School administration positions Independent consulting.

Things to Remember When Writing a CV Lead with your strengths – the layout needs to be clear and logical, placing the most important items at the beginning. Keep your audience in mind. Include information which is relevant to the position to which you are applying.

List all information in reverse chronological order, from most recent to least recent. Make it organized and attractive. Keep the structure of your phrases and/or sentences consistent throughout your document (parallelism) Label categories clearly. Update your CV frequently.

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For your resume which you use mainly for job applications, bear this in mind: Personal Details: The essential personal details to include are your full name and contact information – this is usually both your phone number and email address.

Career Objective or Summary: If you’re a recent school or university leaver without much professional experience, begin your resume or CV with a career objective in a short sentence or two.

If you’ve gained experience in the workforce, a career objective is less necessary, however you may want to replace it with a career summary, describing your professional profile in a short sentence or two.

Work Experience: List your most recent jobs including the title of your position, name and location of organization, and dates of employment. In point form under each job, give a brief overview of your role, responsibilities and achievements, weaving in the skills required.

Under work experience (since work can be paid or voluntary), feel free to tailor your volunteer & internships experiences in a way that fits the job position you are applying for (use your verbs and write professionally). Internships and volunteer work can also be mentioned here.

Education: List your most recent educational experiences first. Include your qualifications, institutions you studied at, graduation dates and other specializations. Mention any special awards and other educational achievements.

Additional Information: You may like to create headings such as ‘Skills’, ‘Strengths’ or ‘Interests’ & list information that would be relevant to the job you’re applying for. Information that illustrates your proficiency in languages, computer programs should be included here.

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References: A referee can be a former manager or tutor at university – just make sure you ask their permission before listing their name, position, company and contact details. It is not necessary to write this on your resume except they request for it.

What to exclude in your resume: Personal details such your religion, age or marital status. Every job you’ve ever had, especially when it isn’t relevant to the job you’re currently applying for.


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