April 5, 2016

CV or Resume? Which One Do You Need?

Now that you’ve found the perfect job listing. It’s time to get your job application ready to send off. But wait. Do you need a CV or resume? Well that’s a very good question.

Job Candidate Seated Across From Two Job Interviewers

Many people think that a CV and a resume are interchangeable, but they are most definitely different. They serve different purposes, provide different information, and vary in length. It’s important to know the differences now before it costs you the job.

The Ultimate Resume Checklist

Basically a resume is your personal highlight reel while a CV is a detailed summary of everything you’ve ever done, but let’s take a closer look at the differences between a CV and a resume:

Resume – A resume is a summary of your professional achievements. It provides a concise overview of what you are capable of by highlighting your experience, skills, certifications, and education. Resumes are typically:

  • Written to help you land a specific job
  • Approximately 1-page in length
  • Part of the resume/cover letter combo package
  • Customized for every job listing
  • Generally preferred in North America
  • Do not include references
  • Can be written in functional or chronological order
  • Used for any type of job

CV aka Curriculum Vitae – The CV literally means “course of life” in Latin. CVs provide a detailed, in-depth look at your life accomplishments by highlighting your academic and professional achievements. CVs are typically:

  • Written once and then update frequently
  • As long as they need to be – usually multiple pages
  • Follow a chronological order
  • More common outside of the United States
  • The same for every job
  • Focused on academic achievements – degrees, projects, responsibilities, grants, awards, honors, publications, memberships
  • Do include references
  • Better for academic, research, and education job openings

The goal of both a CV or resume is to help you land the job. It’s your responsibility to send the hiring manager the CV or resume that they want to see. If you send the wrong one, your application will most likely end up in the trash.

It’s a good idea to have both a resume and CV ready to go. Then you can pick the one that the job description asks for. Are you ready to find the perfect job listing for you?

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About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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