CV versus Resume: The Main Differences Between a Resume and CV (2023)

cv vs resume

Curriculum Vitae (CV) vs Resume

You’ve probably stumbled across the term Curriculum Vitae (CV) a time or two when discussing or working on your resume. But what is it and how is it different from a resume?

We have the answers along with what you should be using during your next job application.

Questions Answered (Updated 2023)

  • What is the difference between cv and resume?
  • CV and resume definitions
  • When should I use them?
  • Tips when writing a resume and cv

Difference Between a Curriculum Vitae and Resume (CV vs Resume)

Generally speaking, the main difference between a resume and a CV is the length and level of detail. Resumes are shorter and more concise, while CVs are longer and include more detailed information.

A resume is a shorter document that summarizes your professional experience and skills. It is typically one to two pages long and is used to apply for jobs in the United States. A resume should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for and highlight your most relevant experience and skills.

A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a longer and more detailed document that provides a comprehensive overview of your professional and educational history. It is typically used in academic or research fields, or for jobs outside of the United States. CVs are often longer than resumes, and can be as long as several pages. They include detailed information about your education, research experience, publications, presentations, and other achievements. CVs also typically include a list of references.

What is a Resume?

Resumes provide potential employers with a summary of your work experience, skills, education, credentials, and other accomplishments.

Resumes are the most common document requested on a job application.

Resumes tend to be one page in length, but they can extend beyond when the applicant has a longer list of past jobs based on years worked.

Resumes doesn’t have to cover your whole career; it is a highly customizable document based on the position you are applying for.

Resumes are typically laid out in one of three formats: chronological, functional, or a combination of both.

Resume Writing Tips

  • Start by choosing the right resume format. Sticking to a functional and chronological combination is always a safe bet.
  • Write for both robots and humans, because your resume will need to pass through an applicant tracking system (ATS) before catching the interviewer’s attention. The ATS, aka robot, is looking for certain keywords, so make sure to include these which will in turn boost the chances your resume makes the cut.
  • An ATS that reads resumes is able to quickly eliminate 75% of the applicants ( You don’t want to be part of this bunch that gets eliminated, so be sure to include what is needed in order to pass the inspection.

What is a CV (Curriculum Vitae)?

Many say it’s simply another name for a resume, but the curriculum vitae (CV) greatly differs from its counterpart.

A CV provides a detailed summary of your skills and experiences (focusing heavily on your educational background).

A CV is typically longer than an average resume, with 2 to 3 pages being the normal length.

A CV is static and doesn’t change for different positions.

A CV tends to be organized chronologically, with more detail than a resume, including accomplishments, such as awards, honors and publications.

A CV is used almost exclusively in countries outside of the United States. Within the United States, candidates in medicine, education, or international-type roles will often use a CV rather than a resume.

CV Writing Tips

  • Like the resume, your CV should include your name, contact information, educational background, skills, and past experience.
  • It should also include research, teaching experience, licenses, publications, professional associations, awards, and other information relevant to the position you’re applying to.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are a resume and CV the Same Thing?

On the surface, look similar, but dig deeper and you’ll see that’s not the case. While there are many distinctions between the two, the primary differentiators deal with length, layout, and how they are used.

Is a Resume or CV Better?

As for which to use or which one is better, simply choose the format that is most accepted and common wherever you are applying.

If you are seeking employment in the US or Canada, chances are, you are going to use a resume. However, if you are going abroad to Europe, the CV will be the preferred choice.

Can I use a CV instead of a resume?

If you are not sure which type of document to use, it is generally a good idea to follow the guidelines provided by the employer. If they have not specified a preference, you can choose to use a resume or a CV depending on your own preferences and the nature of the job you are applying for.

Wrapping Up | curriculum vitae vs resume

It is important to demonstrate that you are a candidate worth considering. To do this, you must include relevant information on whichever document you choose to use (either a resume or a CV).

Make sure to match the information you include with the position you’re applying to by mimicking the skills under the “Must Have” or “Required” section of the job posting. This will show you’re an ideal fit for the role.

Regardless of your decision to use a CV or resume, make sure to edit and proofread for mistakes. Grammatical errors can be the difference between an offer and a rejection.

To recap, here are some of the characteristics of each

Resume Notes
  • Short document (generally 1-2 pages)
  • Primarily used within the US
  • Targeted list of skills and achievements
  • Highly customizable
  • Summary and experience at the top

CV (Curriculum Vitae) Notes                        
  • Longer document (generally 3+ pages)
  • More detailed than a resume
  • Emphasizes academic accomplishments
  • Primarily used outside the US
  • Static document, intended to be a full record of your career
  • Education at the top

There you have it – a Curriculum Vitae vs Resume! Next time someone asks, “What is a CV?” or claims it’s “just another name for a resume,” you’ll know the answer.

Best of luck in your job search!

Title: CV vs Resume | Same Thing, Right? (Definitions, Differences, Tips)

Category: theDocuments

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Author: Reid is a contributor to theJub. He’s an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author. | Author Profile

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