The Difference Between a CV and a Resume

What is CV? What is Resume? What is the difference between CV and resume? Where and when should you submit CV, and when is it the right time to use resume? This article would clear all your doubts and confusion about the difference between resume and academic Curriculum vitae (CV). By the end of this article, you can distinguish between academic CV and resume. This article would also empower you to avoid them (resume and academic CV) to use interchangeably in different positions.  

To successfully obtain a new position, realization of the difference between a resume and academic CV is significantly important. Before going after another position, experts ought to deliberately consider which document would best fit the circumstance. It is vastly important to place the right thing at the right place. Let’s start with learning the basics of CV and resume.



An overview of CV and Resume

Curriculum vitae (CV) as its name reflects, it is explaining someone’s course of life, especially those most relevant to the realm of academia. Generally, it is providing complete information about academic qualification, work history, skills, projects, publications, achievements, and awards. CV is widely used to worldwide scholastic, examination and training positions. The resume is the short version of CV and it is mostly used in applications for jobs. By looking at the word resume which itself giving the meaning of summing up and summary. Therefore, a resume should be highly customizable, short and concise which is highlighting the overview of your work experience along with few other things. Academic CV is a detailed and in-depth document as compared to a resume. Additional, academic CV may also contain any effective personality trait which makes your application stand out. A good resume should be emphasized more on skills and tailored to a specific job and position.


The major differences between a CV and a resume

Some of the obvious differences between academic CV and resume are discussed here.


1. Length: what are the page limits for CV and resume?

As touched upon briefly above, the major difference between academic CV and resume is the number of pages. An academic CV is generally used for research positions, postgraduate admissions, and scholarships. Therefore, it must include all the necessary information related to academics background including publications, teaching and research experience. Overall, a CV doesn’t have a page limit, the length of the academic CV is subjective, and totally depends upon the background  of a person’s achievements and work history.

On the other hand, resume is used for the job in an industry and organization. Therefore, it a resume summarizes relevant skills and work experience. Ideally, the resume should not be more than 2 pages with much focused on the experiences and skills. Join Anne, Recruiter’s marketing whiz responded on “How long should be your resume?” for fresh graduates and less experienced applicants, the ideal length of the resume is one page. She also added, if you’re experienced and having an experience of more than 7 years, then you can also include the second page in your resume, which attracts the recruiters. She further clarified, your resume can be more than 3 pages of you have an experience of more than a decade.       


2. Content and details: what should you include in CV vs resume?

Another significant difference between the academic CV and resume is the information it contains. Academic CV contains all the information about the applicant’s academic background and achievements. It is generally evaluated by the academic scholars, make sure that it is fulfilling all the requirements of the academic position, admission or scholarship. The key features of an academic CV are complete academic background, professional’s experiences, publications, academic awards, research experiences, poster presentations, any leadership or voluntarily activity that is directly or indirectly relating to the applied position, and responsibilities in academia.

Conversely, the resume of the applicant should only contains information relating to educational background with more focus on relevant experiences and skills. Since resume is less stringent and focuses more on how applicant will be beneficial for the organization. The central elements of resume are education, work experience, skills, and professional experience. It is advised by the experts that always tailored your resume following the applied position.

 3. Purpose: where are you applying?       

The academic CV and resume have different purpose, and cannot be used interchangeably. In an academic position, research and scientific facility, the academic CV is generally demanded. The purpose of academic CV is to know about the applicant’s abilities and experiences in academia. The academic CV not only gives the overall visualization of your abilities in the world of higher learning but also make you the ideal applicant for the position because you’re submitting the right document at the right place.     

Normally, if the position is industry and organization related, a resume is submitted. For instance, if an individual is going after a job as a medical attendant or electrical engineer, a resume would be the most appropriate document. Since the resume contains more information about skills and experiences, that’s why recruiters and hiring managers try to envision the applicant’s strengths and skills in the working environment.

4. Formatting and style: what is appropriate template for CV and resume?

Formatting style is another way to distinguish between an academic CV and a resume. Academic CV is generally describing the academic background and achievements. It should be all-inclusive and comprehensive. It has many sections such as academic background (education), publications, research and teaching experiences, etc. An academic CV is different than a resume that’s why don’t use bullet points. Your CV should be readable, clear, concise and well structured. 

The reason for a resume is to give a hiring manager with a short review of the applicant’s work history. It is recommended to have a one-page resume. Not necessarily, but it can be made fancy with bullets points and some graphics as well. If you want to construct a job-winning resume, try to encapsulate every relevant information in an effective fancy way.

5. Geography: how the regions define use term CV and resume? 

In different parts of the world, there are just minor region-specific contrasts. You should be very clear in mind when to utilize which document.

In most of the European countries, they demand CV for both academic and non-academic positions. The term CV there is just the extended version of the resume including academic information, professional experiences, and skills, etc. Whereas in America and Canada, CV is used for teaching and research-oriented positions. In Asian and some African countries, the word CV and resume are considered synonyms.   

On the other hand, in the US and Canada, resume is extensively used and demanded for the industry and non-academic positions which they recommend it should be concise and following the job add.  


Something bonus for you

The wall street journal conducted an interview with recruiters and hiring managers on how they evaluate the resume for job. Most of the companies used application tracking software (ATS), which look for the specific keywords in the resume. One recruiter shared an example if they posted a job for statisticians, and the applicant called himself a numerical modeler, however, how good he is in his work, he will not be going to pass by the ATS. Therefore, it is highly recommended that to always modify your resume with the job, and try to use the same keywords in your resume as posted on the job advertisement. 

Thanks for reading our article. We suggest you to read our another article How to Make Your Academic CV Stand Out for Scholarships for step-by-step guidelinesDon’t forget to share this article with your friends. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in comments.