The difference between a CV (Curriculum Vitae) and a resume can be difficult to grasp. Though some countries use these terms interchangeably, CVs are considered different from resumes in the US. If you want to make sure you submit the correct document when applying to a school or a job, you should keep the differences in mind.
And if you find that some employers and schools request CVs while some prefer resumes, you may want to prepare both types of documents.
What Separates a Resume from a CV
One difference between a CV and a resume is the length of the document. A resume should be kept to one or two pages maximum, while a CV is often longer.
Not surprisingly, this means a CV usually provides greater detail than a resume. When you write a CV, you should include not only your educational background and job experience, but also any awards, research experience and publications you have.
You can even list courses you have taken that may improve your chances of getting the job or being accepted by a school.
Since a CV covers more ground, you should not have to change it for every position you apply for. This is one difference between a CV and a resume, since it’s often advised to alter your resume depending on the position, only listing relevant jobs and skills.
When you submit a CV, as with a resume, you typically include a cover letter that’s modified for each particular position.
When to Use a CV vs. a Resume
The standard job application in the US calls for a resume. Most employers specifically request this document, but if they do not, you can either ask or safely assume a resume is what they want. However, some do request a CV instead, which is why you may want to have one prepared during your job search.
However, if you are applying for an academic job, such as a teaching position, you will likely use a CV. The same goes for research positions or jobs in the scientific field, since you are expected to list any research experience you have and presentations you have done. Resumes simply do not have the room for these details.
Another situation in which you will use a CV is when you apply for grants or fellowships. You can also use a CV when you apply for graduate school.
In general, any time you would benefit from listing more than just your basic work experience and education, you should likely use a CV. If you are part of any impressive associations, have published or presented work, or have a long list of honors, you should have a CV prepared.
You may end up needing both a CV and a resume prepared. Understand the differences between a CV and a resume to give yourself the best chance of success – whether you’re applying for a job or for admission to graduate school.