Difference between Resume and CV | Resume Sample | CV Template

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Higher education institutions and employers mostly demand a curriculum vitae rather than a resume. It is vital to note that the two are different in various aspects.  A resume is a one or two paged summary of individual qualifications, experience and educational background with intention of demonstrating fitness in a given position or field.  The main focus of a resume is directed on individual’s strongest qualifications that support and helps them to fit a general or specific provision of the material.

A Curriculum Vita is used for the academic audience instead of a resume.  It primarily summarizes your experience and academic qualifications in relation to an academic interest.  Candidates with a Ph.D. have a two to four-page length because of their limited experience.  Over time, it develops into a lengthy and comprehensive statement giving detailed activities as well as professional qualifications.  It is possible to create a two page tightly drawn document version or a complete version tailored to suit different needs.

Various audiences tend to seek CV files that are tailored to suit different specific purposes and audience instead of a resume.  Such examples where a CV for the job can be used include:

  • A Ph.D. holder in Organic Chemistry aiming for a research scientist position in a pharmaceutical company
  • A Ph.D. in Economics looking for a slot in the Commerce Department.

Sometimes you can be unsure if sending your CV template is the right thing or not. It is vital to scrutinize whether it is important by understanding whether you are sending your documents PhDs or if the Ph.D. is relevant for the named position.  Also, ask yourself if your scholarship is related to the given position and if yes, then a CV for the scholarship is the most appropriate document to use as it provides more about your academic background compared to a resume.

Writing a Curriculum Vitae as compared to a Resume

As stated earlier, a CV is a summary of the academic and educational background of an individual. The purpose of a CV is to show credentials for a fellowship, grants or an academic position.  The length can range from two to four pages bearing in mind that different fields calls for different standards and therefore essential to ask your department for a feedback on the CV.

When applying for an educational position, you are asked to submit a CV for interview along with other documents such as a statement of teaching interests, dissertation abstract and a statement of research interests. Your main objective is to get into an interview with the search committee.

What is included in your CV?

There are two important categories that your Curriculum vitae should include namely: the primary and supplementary materials.  The primary materials should touch on individual applicant personal information, dissertation, awards, and honors, education,  research and experience, fellowships and grants, languages, teaching experience, presentations and publications, references, relevant professional experience as well as other things such as association, conferences, and memberships.

The supplementary materials consist of dissertation abstract, course lists, statement of scholarly and research, cover letter and statement of teaching interest.

The Primary Materials for Curriculum Vitae

1.Personal information

The applicant’s name should appear at the top of every page. The first page should include your name, address, contact numbers, and emails address. The page numbers should appear on all pages with an exception of the first one. Communication with the potential employer/ an employer should be on a professional level and therefore consider using real names on your email as well as professional automatic replies. It should be the case with phone messages too.

2. Education Background

You should write about your education in a reverse chronological order listing your degrees, institutions you studied in and the date awarded. It is also important to list the date when you expect to get a degree for your current program.  Also, you are expected to list your thesis title and the name of your advisor.  When creating your CV file, at this level, you should be guided by the requirements of the job, your strength, and your discipline conventions.

3. Grants/Fellowships, patents, honors, and awards

You can put awards and honors at the top of your CV template but if you have a few, you can omit or put later. Here, you are supposed to list all the fellowships, patents, awards, research-related grants and dissertation-related grants.  If you are a scientist, you can create a research grants section separately and write it later in your CV.

4. Research Experience

Scientists should explain their undergraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral research in this section.  You should include the relevant techniques and substance employed listing the names of the projects, professors, institutions, and dates. Notably, you can outline any contribution you made which can be appended to a statement of research interests.

5. Teaching experience

This section solely depends on the institution you are targeting as well as your individual strength as an applicant.  The primary information should be the institutions you taught, the period and what you were teaching. You should also include your titles at that time.

6. Presentations and publications

The strength of your publication record determines the placement of this section. A substantial presentation and publication record can be first but if it’s too short or lengthy, it can be placed at the end of your vita or have extra pages. You can divide this category as follows:

  • Papers and presentations where you include locations, dates and representation titles.
  • Publications where you can divide into various categories such as abstracts, books, reviews among other relevant publications if you have them. You are recommended to use standard bibliography form for your publications.
  • Abstracts which should not be listed with papers as it gives a padding impression.

7. Relevant professional experience

This section can be used to list any relevant experience related to administration such as tutoring, committee work and conference organizing, research and teaching.

Ever wondered why a Brit applies with a CV and an American with a resume? And why does an Aussie apply with both? There are a few differences between the two types of application documents and this article will straighten out your queries as well as tell you where in the world you are likely to use which document. Let me kick off the bonanza by introducing the contender in the blue corner…


A CV (Curriculum Vitæ, which means course of life in Latin) is an in-depth document that can be laid out over two or more pages and it contains a high level of detail about your achievements, a great deal more than just a career biography. The CV covers your education as well as any other accomplishments like publications, awards, honours etc.

The document tends to be organised chronologically and should make it easy to get an overview of an individual’s full working career. A CV is static and doesn’t change for different positions, the difference would be in the cover letter.


A resume, or résumé, is a concise document typically not longer than one page as the intended the reader will not dwell on your document for very long. The goal of a resume is to make an individual stand out from the competition.

The job seeker should adapt the resume to every position they apply for. It is in the applicant’s interest to change the resume from one job application to another and to tailor it to the needs of the specific post. A resume doesn’t have to be ordered chronologically, doesn’t have to cover your whole career like and is a highly customisable document.


As stated, three major differences between CVs and resumes are the length, the purpose and the layout. A resume is a brief summary of your skills and experience over one or two pages, a CV is more detailed and can stretch well beyond two pages. The resume will be tailored to each position whereas the CV will stay put and any changes will be in the cover letter.

A CV has a clear chronological order listing the whole career of the individual whereas a resume’s information can be shuffled around to best suit the applicant. I would say the main difference between a resume and a CV is that a CV is intended to be a full record of your career history and a resume is a brief, targeted list of skills and achievements.

Let’s revise:

CV – long, covers your entire career, static
Resume – short, no particular format rule, highly customisable

Usage around the world:

A resume is the preferred application document in the US and Canada. Americans and Canadians would only use a CV when applying for a job abroad or if searching for an academic or research oriented position.

In the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, a CV is used in all contexts and resumes aren’t used at all. The CV prevails in mainland Europe and there is even a European Union CV format available for download.

In Germany, the CV is more commonly known as a Lebenslauf (true to the latin origins) and is only one of many application document the poor German job seekers must produce to get an interview.

In Australia, India and South Africa, the terms resume and CV are used interchangeably. The term resume is used more for jobs in the private sector and CV is more commonplace when applying for public service positions.


What Is the Difference Between a Resume and a CV?

The primary differences between a resume and a curriculum vitae (CV) are length, what is included, and what each is used for. While both are used in job applications, a resume and a CV are not always interchangeable.

What Is a Curriculum Vitae?

Like a resume, a curriculum vitae (CV) provides a summary of one’s experience and skills. Typically, CVs are longer than resumes – at least two or three pages.

CVs include information on one’s academic background, including teaching experience, degrees, research, awards, publications, presentations, and other achievements. CVs are thus much longer than resumes, and include more information, particularly related to academic background.

curriculum vitae summary is a one-to-two-page, condensed version of a full curriculum vitae. A CV summary is a way to quickly and concisely convey one’s skills and qualifications. Sometimes large organizations will ask for a one-page CV summary when they expect a large pool of applicants.

What Is a Resume?

resume provides a summary of your education, work history, credentials, and other accomplishments and skills. There are also optional sections, including a resume objective and career summary statement. Resumes are the most common document requested of applicants in job applications.

A resume should be as concise as possible.

Typically, a resume is one page long, although sometimes it can be as long as two pages. Often resumes include bulleted lists to keep information concise.

Resumes come in a few types, including chronological, functional, and combination formats. Select a format that best fits the type of job you are applying for.

When to Use a CV

CVs are used almost exclusively in countries outside of the United States. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia, employers may expect to receive a curriculum vitae.

Within the United States, people in academia and medicine tend to use CVs rather than resumes.

CVs are thus used primarily when applying for international, academic, education, scientific, medical or research positions or when applying for fellowships or grants.

What to Include in Your Curriculum Vitae

Like a resume, your curriculum vitae should include your name, contact information, education, skills and experience.

In addition to the basics, a CV includes research and teaching experience, publications, grants and fellowships, professional associations and licenses, awards and other information relevant to the position you are applying for.

Start by making a list of all your background information, and then organize it into categories.

CV and Resume Writing Tips

Whether you are writing a CV or a resume, there are a few helpful rules you should follow.

Match your resume or CV to the position. This is most important when writing a resume, but it applies to a CV too. Make sure that you highlight your education, work experience, and skills as they relate to the particular industry or job.

In a CV, for example, if you are applying for a job in education, you might want to put your teaching experience at the top of your CV. In a resume, you might include only the work experience that relates directly to the job you’re applying for.

You can also include keywords from the job description in your resume or CV. This will show the employer that you are an ideal fit for the position. Here’s how to match your qualifications to a job.

Use a template. You may want to use a template to structure your resume or CV. This will give your application a clear organization, which will help the employer quickly see your qualifications and experience.

Edit, edit, edit. No matter whether you use a CV or resume, you need to thoroughly edit your document. Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors.

Also make sure your format is uniform – for example, if you use bullet points in one job description, use bullet points in all your job descriptions.

How to Write a Successful Resume

  • Choose the right format for your needs. Your industry, experience, and desired role will inform your choice of resume format – e.g. chronological, functional, or combination. See sample resumes organized by occupation and industry, here.
  • Write for both robots and humans. Your resume needs to get past the Applicant Tracking System and grab the attention of the human being on the other end. These resume writing tips will help you craft a document that appeals to both software and HR.

How to Write a Successful CV

  • Know what to include and how to format the information. These sample CVs form a helpful guide; this piece offers tips for writing your very first CV.
  • Choose an appropriate format. Make sure you choose a curriculum vitae format that is appropriate for the position you are applying for. If you are applying for a fellowship, for example, you won’t need to include the personal information that may be included in an international CV.