CV vs Resume — What’s The Difference?

Resume or CV? The question often vague your mind. Let’s understand the main differences between these two in the simplest manner. Get clear understanding and learn the difference points.

Understanding CV vs resume helps us in selecting the right one while applying for a job .

While both CVs and resumes serve the purpose of showcasing an individual’s qualifications and experiences, they differ in their format, length, and usage.

In this article, we’ll delve into the details of CVs and resumes, explore what to include in each document, discuss their differences, provide examples, and offer valuable writing tips.

By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of when and how to use a CV or resume effectively.

What is a CV (Curriculum Vitae)?

what is a cv

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a comprehensive document that presents an individual’s academic achievements, research contributions, professional experience, and skills.

It is commonly used in academic and research-oriented fields, such as academia, science, medicine, and engineering.

Unlike a resume, a CV is more detailed, allowing individuals to provide an in-depth overview of their qualifications.

When creating a CV, it’s essential to include various sections to ensure a comprehensive representation of your background.

These sections typically include personal information, a professional summary or objective, education details, work experience, skills, research publications and presentations, awards and honors, professional affiliations, and references.

Including all relevant information, you provide a complete picture of your expertise and accomplishments.

What to Include in a CV:

When compiling a CV, it’s important to include the following sections:

what to include in a cv

Personal Information and Contact Details:

  • Full name
  • Contact number
  • Email address
  • Mailing address

Professional Summary or Objective:

  • A brief overview of your career goals or professional interests
  • Highlight key strengths and areas of expertise

Education and Academic Qualifications:

  • List all educational institutions attended
  • Include degrees earned, dates of study, and majors
  • Mention any relevant coursework or academic projects

Work Experience and Employment History:

  • Provide a detailed account of your previous work experience
  • Include job titles, company names, dates of employment, and job responsibilities
  • Emphasize achievements and measurable outcomes

Skills and Competencies:

  • Enumerate relevant skills and competencies
  • Categorize them based on technical, transferable, or soft skills
  • Include language proficiencies and computer skills

Research Publications and Presentations:

  • List any research papers, articles, or presentations you have authored or contributed to
  • Include publication titles, conference names, and dates

Awards, Honors, and Certifications:

  • Mention any awards, scholarships, or honors you have received
  • Include relevant certifications or licenses

Professional Affiliations and Memberships:

  • Specify any professional organizations or associations you are a part of
  • Highlight leadership roles or active involvement


  • Optional section where you can provide the names and contact information of individuals who can vouch for your qualifications and character
  • Make sure to obtain permission from the references beforehand


Remember to organize the sections in a logical manner, starting with personal information and ending with references if included. Additionally, follow appropriate formatting guidelines, such as using clear headings, bullet points, and consistent styling to enhance readability.

What is a Resume?

what is a resume

What is a Resume? This question strikes your mind often. Unlike a CV, a resume is a concise document that presents an individual’s relevant skills, experiences, and qualifications.

Resumes are widely used in non-academic and business sectors, such as corporate environments, sales, marketing, and creative industries.

The primary purpose of a resume is to capture the attention of potential employers quickly and demonstrate the candidate’s suitability for a specific job role.

When crafting a resume, it’s important to keep it succinct and focused on the most relevant information. This means tailoring your resume to match the requirements of the job you’re applying for.

The goal is to highlight your most impactful achievements and transferable skills to make a strong impression on hiring managers.

What to Include on a Resume:

When preparing a resume, include the following sections:

Contact Information and Header:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • LinkedIn profile (if applicable)

Professional Summary or Profile:

  • A brief statement summarizing your career objectives and key qualifications
  • Tailor this section to align with the job you’re applying for

Work Experience and Employment History:

  • List your previous job roles in reverse chronological order
  • Include job titles, company names, dates of employment, and key responsibilities and achievements
  • Use action verbs and quantify your achievements where possible

Education and Relevant Coursework:

  • Include your educational background, starting with the most recent degree
  • Provide the name of the institution, degree obtained, dates of study, and any relevant coursework or projects

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Highlight key skills and competencies relevant to the job
  • Categorize them based on technical, transferable, or soft skills

Achievements and Accomplishments:

  • Showcase notable achievements, such as exceeding targets, receiving awards, or completing challenging projects
  • Focus on quantifiable results and emphasize their impact

Certifications and Licenses:

  • Specify any relevant certifications or licenses you have obtained
  • Include the certification name, issuing organization, and date of completion

Volunteer Work and Extracurricular Activities:

  • Mention any volunteer experiences or involvement in community organizations
  • Highlight transferable skills gained through these activities

References Upon Request:

  • Including references on a resume is optional.
  • Instead, state that references can be provided upon request

Similar to a CV, ensure that your resume is well-organized, uses clear headings, and employs consistent formatting. Use bullet points to convey information concisely and make it easy for recruiters to scan.

Difference Between CV vs Resume:

difference between cv vs resume

The main differences between a CV and a resume can be summarized as follows:

1.Length and Level of Detail:

  • CVs are typically longer and more detailed, while resumes are concise and focused on relevant information.

2.Purpose and Target Audience:

  • CVs are used primarily in academia, research, and scientific fields, targeting employers interested in a comprehensive overview of an individual’s qualifications.
  • Resumes are used in business sectors, aiming to capture the attention of employers and showcase the candidate’s suitability for a specific job role.

3.Use in Different Countries and Industries:

  • The usage and expectations of CVs and resumes vary across countries and industries. For example, CVs are more common in European countries, while resumes are prevalent in the United States.

4.When to Use a CV or Resume:

  • Use a CV when applying for academic positions, research grants, fellowships, or when specifically requested by employers.
  • Use a resume when applying for non-academic jobs, internships, or entry-level positions in business sectors.
  • Understanding these differences is crucial to ensure you submit the appropriate document for each application, increasing your chances of securing job opportunities.

CV vs Resume Format:

CVs and resumes writing differ in their format and structure. Here are the key distinctions:

Structural Differences:

  • CVs tend to follow a chronological order, listing information in reverse chronological order within each section.
  • Resumes, on the other hand, typically have a reverse-chronological format but can also be organized based on skills or functional experience.

Chronological, Functional, and Combination Formats:

  • Chronological format emphasizes work experience, listing job roles and responsibilities in reverse chronological order.
  • Functional format focuses on skills and achievements rather than specific job roles.
  • Combination format combines elements of both chronological and functional formats, highlighting relevant skills and experiences while maintaining a clear work history.

When choosing the format for your CV or resume, consider your specific circumstances and the industry norms. Select a format that best skills and qualifications and appeals to potential employers.

CV vs Resume Examples:

To provide a visual representation of the differences between a CV and a resume, let’s compare two examples:

cv vs resume examples
In the CV example, there is more emphasis on academic qualifications, research publications, and professional affiliations. On the other hand, the resume example focuses on work experience, achievements, and relevant skills.

By comparing these examples, you can see the distinct structure and content differences between a CV and a resume.

CV and Resume Writing Tips:

Here are some valuable tips to consider when writing your CV or resume:

Make your CV or Resume to the Job Description:

  • Analyze the job requirements and adapt your document accordingly.
  • Highlight relevant skills, experiences, and qualifications that match the job description.

Showcase Relevant Skills and Experiences:

  • Prioritize the most relevant information and present it prominently.
  • To show your influence, use action verbs and specific numbers to describe your activities.

Use Action Verbs and Quantifiable Achievements:

  • Instead of passive language, use action verbs to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Whenever possible, include quantifiable data to demonstrate the results you achieved.

Proofread and Edit for Clarity and Accuracy:

  • Ensure there are no grammatical errors or typos in your CV or resume.
  • Clarity and consistency may be checked by reading it aloud or having someone else read it through.

Seek Feedback and Professional Assistance:

  • Ask for feedback from trusted colleagues, mentors, or career advisors.
  • Consider professional resume writing services for expert guidance and optimization.

By following these tips, you can create a compelling CV or resume that effectively showcases your qualifications and increases your chances of landing interviews.

Resume vs CV (International Differences):

It’s important to recognize that there are variations in terminology and usage regarding CVs and resumes across different countries. Some differences to be aware of include:

1.Variations in Terminology:

  • In countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia, the term “resume” is commonly used, while “CV” is more prevalent in European countries.

2.Different Expectations and Conventions:

  • Different countries have varying expectations regarding the content, structure, and length of CVs and resumes.
  • Research country-specific guidelines and adapt your document accordingly if applying internationally.
  • Understanding these international differences is essential if you’re considering job opportunities in different countries or industries.
  • Be mindful of local conventions and adapt your CV or resume accordingly to ensure it aligns with the expectations of your target audience.

Bottom Line!

Understanding the difference between a CV and a resume is crucial for job seekers.

Remember to seek feedback, proofread diligently, and stay updated on international differences if you’re considering opportunities abroad.

Get yourself an exceptional CV and resume from Careers Writing and read our blogs to know how you can craft a professional one.