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  • Writer's pictureSelena Martin

Resume vs. CV

Many people ask me what the difference is between a CV (curriculum vitae) and a resume. This article will shed some light on this subject matter and give the reader a clear, brief overview on these differences. If you are looking for work it is crucial that you are well aware of which type of resume is used in the country you are job searching in. Handing out a resume when the employer was expecting a CV can eliminate your application from the selection process.

Did you know that the Latin meaning of curriculum vitae is 'the course of my life'? This simple definition highlights the purpose of a CV which is to provide a high level of detail about your career history. This includes your achievements, publications, honors as well as awards. Your CV is an exhaustive list of your accomplishments. In most CV's, job seekers lead with their education.

Because a CV requires more detail - it is not unusual for a senior professional to have a CV that is 4+ pages long.

However, for a new grad, it is acceptable to have a 1-2 page documents. CV's are often used in the UK, New Zealand, Asia and the European Union.

Resumes are used more in Canada, Australia and the USA. You will often hear people make reference to this document as a CV or resume, however, the key difference here is that employers are looking for a more concise document.

A resume should be no longer than 2 pages. It is a highly customizable document that only needs to contain information that is relevant for the job. It is not necessary to lead with your education or to have an exhaustive list of everything you have achieved.

If it is NOT relevant to the position you are applying for - it is acceptable to omit information in a resume .

In a competitive economy, a customized resume saves the reader (the employer) time as it only outlines how the applicant meets the qualifications for that specific job.

I hope you found this summary helpful in understanding the differences between a resume versus a curriculum vitae. If you are still confused and want some support understanding which is the best option for you

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