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Resume VS Curriculum Vitae - What's the Difference?

Updated Jul 13, 2021

by Staff Writer

2 minutes read

Curriculum Vitae or Resume?

A lot of people don’t know the difference between the two and when to use them.

However, there is a difference. Look into what you’re trying to pursue and then hop on over to our guideline to know when and how to use one or the other.

In our pursuit for future employment or opportunities, we often need to submit either a Resume or CV (Curriculum Vitae) as an introduction of ourselves and to showcase in writing the qualities, skills, and achievements we possess.

The first impression is what lasts and your CV or Resume very often represents this, honestly, it is quite essential for your progress to make a lasting one.

Resume VS Curriculum Vitae - What's the Difference?

What is the Difference?

A resume is a short document that is mostly about one to two pages in length outlining critical parts of your professional career, your educational history, and the skills you possess that increase your ability to perform or yield results.

While on the other hand, a Curriculum Vitae is a longer introductory document that could be about three pages long and if necessary up to ten or more pages in length.

A CV unlike a resume contains more intricate details about your education, your professional experience, and any awards and achievements you may have obtained.

In fact, Curriculum Vitae means “course of life” in Latin which in itself summarises the document.

What does a Resume include?

While each resume differs depending on your educational background, professional history, the industry you find interest in, and the position you are aiming for, there are key sections that need to be included on your resume.

  • Name, Job title, and contact details
  • Job objective
  • Education
  • Summary of your career or work experience
  • Personal Attributes
  • Skills and industry training

What does a CV include?

Your course of life entails a lot more information about you. Here’s what not to leave out when writing your CV for a better opportunity at getting an interview, landing that job, or better yet getting that scholarship.

  • Name and contact details
  • A personal profile or statement
  • Job or research objective
  • Education
  • Professional experience
  • Hard and soft skills
  • Computer Skills
  • Awards and achievements
  • Languages
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Memberships and affiliations
  • References

When to use a Resume or CV?

A Resume is mostly used for applying for a job.

The aim is to keep it short and simple yet effective while indicating the key aspects of your educational and professional experience.

It is also advantageous to customise your resume to the position you are specifically applying for, highlighting the aspects of your experience to match the job.

This will help you pass the applicant tracking systems used by hiring managers for scheming applications.

A Curriculum Vitae is mostly used by scholars or researchers when applying for academic jobs, mainly teaching, research, or administrative positions at institutions or organisations.

However, in South Africa, a CV is often used by CEOs and executives applying for top-ranked positions. Obviously, you would want to outline your professional skills and work experience in a detailed format.

Now that you are aware of the difference between a Resume and a CV, it should be much easier to put your best foot forward when pursuing either a non-academic or academic appointment.