Resume vs CV

  Before we begin our discussion of Resume vs CV, lets mention something that might be happening to us on our job search journey, and always keep asking our self why? why?. Why do you always send an application to almost every job opening, and never been shortlisted for an interview?. Trust me the document you use might be the reason. You might be using a CV, in place of a Resume or Vice versa. Their is a difference between a Resume and CV as we are going to see in our discussion, hence hang on tight.

 The use of these two documents range from region to region. eg In the US, Middle East and Canada, a Resume the popularly used document. The British, New Zealand, and parts of Africa, only the CV is used. In Australia, India, south Africa and other parts of Africa a CV and Resume are used Interchangeably.

 There are a few differences between CV and Resume. Our discussion is going to focus on straightening them out. We are also going to see where in the world you are likely to use each document. Lastly we are going to look at scenario that will call for Resume, and not CV or vice versa. Lets kick start our discussion by explaining the difference between the two documents.

What is the difference between a CV and Resume.

 The CV and Resume have three major Difference. The length of each document, what to include in each, finally when to use a resume and not a CV or the other way round. Note we use both for job application but not always interchangeable.

What is a Curriculum Vitae

A CV or in full Curriculum Vitae, is a document that contains an in-depth level of details about your academic background, and all achievements in your entire career. The document is usually organized chronologically, with full education and working experience. A CV will remain the same even when applying for different positions. The only thing that will change is the cover letter.

What to Include In a CV.

 Like we’ve just stated, a CV will include all Degrees acquired, All research made, awards etc. Lets Discuss them in a chronological order.

  • Name & Contact Info: Provide your Name, Contact information of your current employer and your personal contacts will work just fine. Make sure the information you provide can be used to reach you.
  • Working Experience: List down all the organizations you’ve worked for, and all the experience acquired. Include things like leadership,Management or any other you feel appropriate.
  • Education Background: Include a list of all attained Degrees, all the training you have attended, and successful career projects done.
  • Honors & Awards:  List down all the honors and awards bestowed to you in the career journey. This is where you list down all your honors.
  • Publication and Presentations: If In your career path you had the chance to conduct any training or public presentations,  this is where you list them down.
  • Reference: Provide the contact information of people who can write you recommendation letter, testifying that the information you’ve provided is authentic.

 Lets now Jump into the Resume part, explain what exactly its is what to include an most important when to use.

What is a Resume?

A Resume is a concise document, containing a summary of your education background and working experience. In my own perspective, I would define it as a document containing a summary of your CV.

 My advice to any job seeker, is to adapt the Resume for every job opening they apply for. Remember our discussion onResume Writing Tips ?”. We talked about the Hiring manager average application review time being seconds. This document is going to help you stand out from the crowd or competition.

Another flexibility feature that comes with the Resume , is that you can tailor it to match the needs of a specific post. Its a highly customable document, and you don’t have to cover your whole career history.

What to Include in a Resume.

 By now am sure you will definitely choose the Resume way when applying for your next job. This is because its short concise and gives a summary of who you are. What should be the building blocks of a Resume?. lets go ahead and list them down.

  • Contact Information: The contact information will basically include. Your full Name and all other details the hiring manager might require to reach you. That is electronically or physically.
  • Work Experience: Give a brief or Summary of the organizations you’ve worked for, and skills acquired. Note in a Resume the experience has to match the position you’re applying for.
  • Education Background: Just state briefly the education certificates you have attained, and all trainings attended. Again make sure they are relevant to the position.
  • Reference: A list of three people who can testify by recommendation, the information to the best of their knowledge is authentic.
When to use a CV/Resume.

 The question is, when do I use a Resume or when do I use a CV ?. When applying for most none academic jobs, eg; Accounting, Engineering, Hospitality, etc. I recommend using a Resume. Why?. Because, your skills will be what interests the employer. The employer needs to look at your document, and quickly identify you with the qualities he or she is looking for.

When applying for a faculty, Research or Academic position, a CV is Recommended. This is because your research productivity, or Academic experience will be given first preference. Such positions require someone with an in-depth knowledge and experience. Hence a CV will be your only option.

Resume vs CV writing Tips.

Whether your writing a resume or CV, there are a  few helpful rules everyone should follow. The main reason you will be writing any of the document, is getting shortlisted for an interview. So make sure:

  • Match your Resume/CV to the Position: This is the golden rule while writing a resume, but should also apply to the CV. What you list down in any document, should relate to the position your applying for. eg, Lets assume you’re applying for a job in Education. Put your Teaching experience at the top most of your CV. With a Resume, only include work experience you have that relates to teaching.
  • Use Premium Templates: Talking of premium templates, I don’t mean you should purchase one. Use a format that clearly organizes your information. That way the Hiring manager can quickly and easily see your qualifications and experience.
  • Review before submit: Before hitting the submit button, or dropping your document to the organization. Make sure you thoroughly review your document. Correct all the spelling and grammatical errors. Ensure that bulletin and headings are uniform, in the entire document. Remember we earlier talked about first impression? If its good and catchy to your eyes, it will be to the Hiring manager.


That brings us to the end of our discussion on Resume Vs CV. Hope you’ve learn’t something new. Like I always say your opinion is most welcome. Reach us via the comment section below and share your opinion.

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