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The Difference Between a CV and a Resume

Leestijd: 4 min · Door Academic Positions

What is a CV? Is it just another word for a resume or is it something else entirely? 

In non-academic environments, the terms CV and resume are used almost interchangeably to refer to the same type of document. However, there are several differences between an academic CV and a resume, including the information they contain, how they’re organized, and when they’re used. 

Uses

You will be asked to submit a CV when applying for academic jobs, grants, and fellowships. If you are applying for a job outside of the academic sector, you will be expected to submit a resume. 

Purpose

A CV provides the reader with your full professional and educational history that includes every job, award, publication, successful grant application, and conference presentation from your career. A resume, on the other hand, shows the hiring committee how you are qualified for their job. A resume does not list every job you’ve ever had, but rather includes only recent work experience that is relevant for the position you’re applying for. 

Appearance

CVs have a minimalist style and no design elements. The content is organized by section headings. When it comes to a resume, style and content are important. A resume should look nice and have more white space than a CV. The content of a resume is organized by section headings and then bullet points, which rarely appear on CVs. 

Length

Unless otherwise specified, a CV doesn’t have a page limit. As you progress in your career, your CV will get longer. A resume is different and should always be between one to two pages long. 

Scope

A CV is a comprehensive list of your academic achievements, research, and teaching. Because it should provide a full history, a CV is not usually tailored to the job you’re applying to. A resume, on the other hand, is an overview of the work experience and skills that you have which make you a good fit for the job you’re applying for. It is tailored for each application and briefly describes the relevant jobs you’ve had and your responsibilities and achievements in each position.

Layout

A CV includes sections for your education, academic employment, publications, awards, grants and fellowships, invited talks, conferences, teaching experience, research experience, service and leadership, professional affiliations, and references. A resume often begins with a profile section that includes a summary of your qualifications. It is followed by sections for relevant work experience, education, awards, and hobbies. These are the typical sections found in a resume, however, depending on the industry and position, candidates might also include sections for language skills, volunteer work, or professional certifications/affiliations. 

Organization

CVs are organized in reverse chronological order, with the most recent jobs, publications, and awards coming before older ones. Resumes can also be organized in reverse chronological order, but they can also be “functional” (also called “skills-based”). This means that the resume is organized by the specific skills and experience that the job seeker has that are relevant for the position, rather than by work experience. A functional resume is often used by those who are changing careers, have gaps in their employment history, or have work experience that’s not directly related to the job they’re applying to. 

Now that you know the differences between a CV and resume, make sure you use the one that’s best suited to the type of job you’re applying for. 

Door Academic Positions · Published 2020-01-16

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