Curriculum Vitae vs. Resume

When to use which

What is Curriculum Vitae vs. Resume?

As a job applicant, especially as a new one, it is important to know the difference(s) between a curriculum vitae vs. resume and when to appropriately use one or the other. Preparing and submitting the correct document is crucial to the success of a job application. The job application document represents an important first step in starting a successful and fulfilling career.

Curriculum Vitae vs. Resume

Breaking down Curriculum Vitae vs. Resume

A curriculum vitae is a document that is used by an individual when applying for a job, containing information that is pertinent to the person’s qualifications for the job, such as his educational background, professional experience, and academic accomplishments. It usually consists of about two to three pages but includes a shorter and more condensed form called a curriculum vitae summary. It is more often used by individuals with published works and research.

A resume, on the other hand, is a document created for the same purpose but that contains fewer pages, and the information included is not as detailed as its counterpart. Therefore, it is also not as long as the curriculum vitae, but still includes the individual’s work history, educational background, skills, career objectives, and other personal information.

When to use a Curriculum Vitae vs. Resume

Admittedly, even knowing the differences and similarities between the two documents, deciding which one to use for what still seems to be difficult. So here are some points to remember:

  1. Anyone who is from the US and Canada knows that most employers and recruiters require a resume. After all, not everyone wants to spend the time delving into a three-page curriculum vitae when they can ask questions during the interview itself. Anyone applying for a job in the US and Canada is expected to submit a resume.
  2. Most European countries, such as the UK and Ireland, use the curriculum vitae extensively, taking the European Union CV format as a template. New Zealand also prefers to use it more than the resume.
  3. Australia, South Africa, and India adhere to a different set of “rules” on the use of the two documents, citing that the curriculum vitae and the resume can be used interchangeably. However, it is common to find in these countries that the CV is used when applying for a job in the private sector and the resume for jobs in public service.


Tips when Writing a Curriculum Vitae vs. Resume

A successful application starts with a good curriculum vitae or a resume, each of which starts with following the helpful tips for writing them.

1. Create a template

Whether it is one’s first time to write a resume or not, the benefits of using a template cannot be undermined. It serves as a guide for organizing the details and information in the document, making it sight-friendly to the employer or recruiter.

2. Use information relevant to the job

It would be a total waste of time to write information on the resume or CV that is not congruent to the position desired. So, applicants should stick to including only extra informational items that are significant to the job, such as teaching certificates obtained locally and internationally if applying for a teaching job.

3. Review and revise

In order for the document to be the best representation of one’s skills and experiences, it should be reviewed and revised multiple times.

Final thoughts

Documents such as the curriculum vitae and resume can either make or break a job application. It is the first step to selling oneself and should, therefore, be created with a lot of thought and effort.

More resources

CFI is the official provider of the Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program, designed to transform anyone into a world-class financial analyst. To keep learning and advancing your career, we highly recommend the additional resources below:

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