Differences between a CV and a resume


What is the difference between a CV and a Resume?

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What Is a CV?

A Curriculum Vitae—the full form of CV, is the Latin for “course of life” and it refers to a comprehensive document that describes in-depth, the entire professional and academic history. It ranges from two pages to 15 pages if it is necessitated. A Curriculum Vitae contains details about; professional career, education, awards, honours, publications, among others.

The CV is only used for academic applications—research fellowships, grants, academic jobs, etc. in the US and Canada. Every CV should include the following:

  • Education
  • Professional Academic Appointments
  • Research Objective/Personal Statement/Professional Profile
  • Books and Book Chapters
  • Teaching Experience
  • Non-academic activities
  • Grants and Fellowships
  • Peer-Reviewed Publications
  • Memberships
  • Research Experience/Graduate Fieldwork/Lab Experience
  • Conferences
  • References
  • Contact Information.

What Is a Resume?

The noun “resume” is a French word that means “to sum up”. The use of the resume is to give recruiters a brief overview of an applicant’s work history. Resumes are tailored to suit a particular job that is being applied for and about one or two pages long. This is the document used in job applications in the US and the Canada. Every resume should include the following:

  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Resume Summary or Resume Objective
  • Skills
  • Contact Information
  • Additional Sections (Certifications, Awards, Publications, Conferences, etc.)

Are CVs and Resumes Used in This Context Globally?

In certain international communities like the Europe (UK, Ireland and other European countries) and in New Zealand, the only term used is CV and it refers to a short targeted document optimised to apply for particular jobs. They do not use “resume”.

In other countries like Ghana, the two terms are used interchangeably.

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