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Difference between CV and Resume

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John Milovich
John Milovich
ScamFighter Expert
Former college customer turned freelance writer, shares insider insights on the essay industry.

When you apply for a job, a graduate school, or an internship, you will be probably asked to send your CV or a resume. In simple words, it is a document where you describe your education and work experience backward (starting from the most recent place), show your professional skills and achievements. You may think: “But if there are two names, they cannot be the same thing”. Bingo! ScamFighter will help you to sort out this issue and clarify how they are different.

The Difference between a CV and a Resume

One notion can be described with different words in different countries. At the same time, one word can describe different notions. That’s why we should mention that the current section of the article refers to the concepts accepted in the USA. So, let’s begin. There are three main differences between a resume and a CV: 

  • Length

A resume is a summary of your working experience and valuable skills up to one page long, while the length of a CV is restricted by what you have to include only. 

  • Purpose

A resume is required when you apply for most jobs. You will be asked to provide a recruiter with a CV if you want to get an academic or research position. Besides, you highlight only the facts important for the vacancy on your resume. A curriculum vitae stays the same. 

  • Layout

Depending on the type (chronological, functional, targeted, combination), your experiences are not always listed chronologically. A CV keeps the reverse-chronological order anyway. If you are not sure how your resume or CV should look like, look for a template that is common in your field.

Resume vs CV around the World

In Canada, a CV and a resume are used for the same purpose as in the USA. However, these terms stand for one thing and used interchangeably in Quebec. A CV is just another word for a resume in New Zealand and in the countries of the European Union as well. But do not forget to include your photo on your CV/resume when applying for a job in the EU. Also, there is a couple of other distinguishing features: European recruiters expect to see your hobbies on a CV, HR managers in the UK prefer to see your references. The American meaning of the term “CV” is kept in other parts of the world.

If we have not mentioned the country where you are looking a job or an educational opportunity, you can just ask a recruiter or an admission officer what kind of document is required.

How to Write a CV

If you are applying for a job in an educational sector, internship, or a graduate school, you will probably need a CV. The general template is described in our infographics below.

How to Write a Resume for a Job

In order to create a successful resume, tailor your document to the particular job position. Make a connection between the skills you obtain and the vacancy requirements. Think of how you will prove that you possess mentioned advantages during an interview. Also, we recommend to use formal language and keep formatting unified (spaces, bullet points, the font). Your resume should look professional.

What to Put on a Resume

Start a resume with your identification information: your name, telephone number, postal address, and email address are placed at the top of a paper.

A resume objective is optionally put at the top of a document after your contacts. It describes what kind of career you are seeking and what skills supported by experiences you have that make you an ideal candidate. It is typically no longer than one or two sentences.

The major part of a resume consists of your work experience. Put here your jobs and internships. Each item includes such information:

  • the name of the company;
  • dates of employment;
  • the position;
  • three significant tasks, achievements, or skills gained at a place of employment. Do not use phrases such as “duties include” and “responsible for”.

In the education section, list the degrees you have received with the name of an institution, where it is located, and the date of graduation. Include your honors, projects, and publications if applicable.

The skills section is optional. You can include software in which you are proficient, foreign languages you know, and any other skills related to the position you apply for.

Put your hobbies and interests on your resume if they have a connection to the job.

If you are a student with no employment history, include your volunteer experience, list your GPA, major/minor fields of education, participation in sports teams and clubs.

We hope now are 100% sure which document you need. Watch the video below to reinforce your knowledge and sum up the difference between a CV and a resume: