One of the most common questions we get from job hunters is, "What's the difference between a CV and a resume?" Though the two terms are used interchangeably abroad, in the US, they have very different purposes and formats.
Most simply, resumes are required by companies and CVs are required by academic and medical institutions. A resume shows how competent you are to take on a specific set of responsibilities at a company. A curriculum vitae shows how qualified you are to be seen as an expert (or expert-in-training) on a specific topic in academia, specialty in the medical field, etc.
Key Differences Between CVs and Resumes
Both resumes and CVs are tools meant to show why someone should hire you. A resume is meant to give recruiters and employers a quick run-down of your qualifications for a specific job so they can decide whether or not to interview you. A CV is meant to give grant or hiring managers a detailed chronology of your academic and professional accomplishments so they can determine whether you have the necessary experience and qualifications to receive a grant or succeed in a specific medical or academic role.
A resume typically includes a professional summary, list of core competencies, your education history, and bulleted descriptions of your recent and relevant professional experience, listed in reverse chronological order. A CV also includes a professional summary, list of relevant skills and qualifications, and work experience, but it is longer than a resume, with additional sections detailing academic achievements, research, publications, and more.
While brevity is valued in resumes, there are no set guidelines for length for CVs. A resume should be no more than two pages and should provide recruiters and employers with a quick snapshot of your skills and qualifications for a specific job. A curriculum vitae has a different purpose—to present ALL of your relevant academic and professional achievements and accolades that will make you a good fit for an academic teaching or research position—so it can be longer, even up to 10 pages depending on your experience.
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