CV vs Resume - 5+ Key Differences [w/ Examples] (2023)

You’ve probably heard of the Curriculum Vitae (CV) more than once. In some cases, it’s used as a synonym for the resume. In others, it seems like it’s something completely different.

So, which is it? What’s a CV, anyway? Is it any different than a resume? If so, how?

In this article, we’re going to answer all those questions and more:
  1. What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)? [+ real-life example]
  2. What is a resume? [+ real-life example]
  3. What are the differences between a CV and a resume?
  4. How’s a CV different in the US and the EU?

CV vs Resume - 5+ Key Differences [w/ Examples] (1)

What is a CV? [+ Real-Life Example]

The term CV is an abbreviation of the Latin word Curriculum Vitae, which is literally translated to “the course of your life”.

A CV is a very in-depth document that describes your career journey step-by-step, including all sorts of personal information. You can look at the CV as a comprehensive description of everything you have ever done, all the achievements you are proud of, and all the publications that bear your name.

You need to update your CV every time you accomplish something new academically or professionally. Meaning, whenever you get a new job, publish something new, obtain a new certificate, and so on.

(Video) The Resume That Got Me Into Google (software engineer resume tips)

There is no rule of thumb on how long a CV should be - depending on the amount of experience, it can range from 2 to 8 pages.

What to Include on a CV
  1. Full name
  2. Contact information
  3. Professional title, resume summary, or resume objective
  4. Research interests
  5. Education
  6. Publications (both academic papers and books)
  7. Teaching or lecturing experience
  8. Work experience
  9. Conferences and courses
  10. Skills
  11. Certificates
  12. Languages
  13. Grants of fellowships
  14. References

Real-Life CV Example

Want to see how a CV looks like in practice? Check out a real-life sample below.

Elizabeth Smith is a marketing professional with a specialization in online marketing. She’s applying to become a professor at a university.

CV vs Resume - 5+ Key Differences [w/ Examples] (2)

In Elizabeth’s CV, you can see a summarized snapshot of her life: everything she has studied, all the conferences she has been to, the skills she obtained, and a list of her publications.

Since she’s applying for a job in a university, Elizabeth mentions her academic achievements and interests first, and professional experiences later.

Want to create an awesome CV, but don’t want to spend hours playing around with the formatting & layout? We’ve got you covered! Use one of the 8 Novorésumé CV templates.

(Video) How to Write a CV | 4 Common Mistakes

What is a Resume? [+ Real-Life Example]

A resume is a short, straight-to-the-point, document created for the purpose of applying to a specific job.

Unlike the CV, you should try to keep a resume as short as possible. In 99% of the cases, you’d want to keep your resume to 1-page max. If you have 15+ years of experience, or really believe that the extra information you can mention can add value to your application, you can make it 2 pages tops.

In a resume, you only mention the aspects of your work experience and skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. A good resume highlights specific contributions you have made in your previous work and showcases how your different skills can be useful for the position you are applying to.

The resume is usually accompanied by the submission of a cover letter which states your intent for applying to the job. The cover letter builds upon the skills and experience you have touched upon in your resume, explaining how they’re going to help you excel at the job you’re applying for.

Making a resume and continuously updating it can be a hassle. Want a modern-looking resume done in less than 5 minutes? Try our online resume builder. It’s free, and you can select amongst 8+ templates.

What to Include on a Resume
  1. Full name
  2. Your job title, or the name of the position you’re applying for
  3. Contact information
  4. Resume summary or objective
  5. Work experience
  6. Education
  7. Relevant skills
  8. Languages and proficiency
  9. Relevant certifications and interests (if any)

Want to learn more about what you can mention in each of these sections? Check out our guide on what to put on a resume.

(Video) How to make resume how to make my resume and what do you mean by resume

Real-Life Resume Example

To get a better idea of what a resume looks like, check out the example below.

In this case, Elizabeth Smith is applying for a job as a marketing specialist, not a professor.

CV vs Resume - 5+ Key Differences [w/ Examples] (3)

Create Your Resume Now

Unlike Elizabeth’s CV, her resume is significantly shorter and more to-the-point. She only mentions relevant work experiences, skills, certifications, and education. After all, the hiring manager cares about her skills as a marketer, not her academic achievements.

The ordering of information is also a bit different. In Jane’s CV, she mentions her academic experiences first and then moves on to work. Here, it’s the other way around, with minimal emphasis on Jane’s academic successes.

Want to get started with your resume, but don’t know how? Check out the Novorésumé guide on How to Make a Resume. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about making a resume, one step at a time.

(Video) Ex-Bain Consultant Reviews Resumes in 5 Minutes!

CV vs. Resume - What’s the Difference

Now that you have a clear idea about what’s a CV and what’s a resume, here’s a complete list of the differences between the curriculum vitae (CV) and resume:

  • Length - The first and most notable difference between a CV and a Resume is how long each one of them is. A resume is kept short and brief (usually 1 page), whereas the CV is more comprehensive (it can go up to 2-3 pages depending on your experience).
  • Function - The CV is mainly used for academical purposes, such as applying for a research program, a Ph.D., or joining the staff of a university. The resume, on the other hand, is written for a regular job in a company.
  • Type of information you include - The CV is an academic diary where you include all your academic qualifications, achievements, and certifications. It is universal in nature as it can be updated as you go. Whereas, a resume has to be created (or at least customized) for each job you’re applying for, and has a bigger focus on your professional achievements, rather than academic.

To give you a better idea of how a CV and a resume differ, here are the two other examples side-by-side:

CV vs Resume - 5+ Key Differences [w/ Examples] (4)

CV vs. Resume - The Difference Between U.S. & EU

By now you should have a clear idea about the differences between the CV and the Resume. Here’s where it gets a tiny bit trickier: these differences generally only apply in the United States.

In all of Europe, the word CV is essentially just a synonym for the resume. So, if you’re applying for a position in the EU, and the job asks for a CV, you should know that it actually means a resume.


Now, let’s sum up everything we learned in this post:

  • A resume is a one page summary of your work experience and background relevant to the job you are applying to.
  • A CV is a longer academic diary that includes all your experience, certificates, and publications.
  • The differences are: (1) A resume is one page (max. two) whereas the CV can be longer, (2) A resume is used for job hunting in all industries, the CV is used for jobs and admissions in Academia, (3) The resume is tailored to the specific job you are applying to, whereas the CV is a comprehensive overview.
  • In the EU, both terms mean the same thing.

Now that you know the difference between a CV and a resume,it’s up to you to decide which one fits your purposes and job hunting process best.

It’s tough out there as it is! Here at Novorésumé, we are committed to making that process simple and fun for you.

(Video) Job Hopping is RUINING Your Resume, Here’s How to Recover From it

In less than 5 minutes, you can create a professional, modern-looking CV or Resume. All you need to do is go through our slick template gallery and choose the format that suits you best.

Choose among 16+ templates for building a resume or a CV for any industry or job position. You can even select a template for the cover letter that goes with your CV or resume.

Suggested Reading:

  • No Experience Resume - Ultimate Guide + Infographic
  • +150 Skills to Put on Your Resume
  • Best Resume Formats
  • How to Write a Professional CV


What is the difference between resume and CV explain with example? ›

The CV presents a full history of your academic credentials, so the length of the document is variable. In contrast, a resume presents a concise picture of your skills and qualifications for a specific position, so length tends to be shorter and dictated by years of experience (generally 1-2 pages).

What are the key differences between a cover letter included above and a resume CV? ›

A resume states the facts – who, what, when, and how. In contrast, a cover letter provides an opportunity to explain why you are qualified for the job. This document adds a bit of color and personality and is intended to persuade employers that you're a good fit for the position at hand.

What are the 5 categories of a resume? ›

Whether you're a freshly minted graduate or a professional with decades of experience, your resume should include these core features.
  • Contact information.
  • Career summary.
  • Skills.
  • Professional experience.
  • Education.

What are the 4 keys to a resume? ›

There are four main aspects you need to be aware of when writing your resume; Objective, Experience, Qualifications, and Skills. The key of a good resume is to give enough information to the hiring manager to make them wan to bring you in for an interview.

What are 3 differences between a resume and a CV? ›

The differences are: (1) A resume is one page (max. two) whereas the CV can be longer, (2) A resume is used for job hunting in all industries, the CV is used for jobs and admissions in Academia, (3) The resume is tailored to the specific job you are applying to, whereas the CV is a comprehensive overview.

What is CV give example? ›

A curriculum vitae contains your work history, education and skills, while a cover letter is a full-blown marketing campaign. These documents are completely different, and you can learn more about those differences in this guide on Curriculum Vitae VS Cover Letter.

What is the biggest difference between a CV and a resume quizlet? ›

The primary difference between a résumé and a CV is that a résumé: a. Reflects your skills, knowledge, and background in relation to a specific position.

What is the difference between a resume and application letter? ›

An application letter, sometimes called a cover letter, is a special kind of business letter that accompanies a resume for a job. A resume is a summary of your education, job experience, and job-related skills that you send to potential employers.

What is the difference between CV and job application? ›

CV or resume = the document you present that goes along with your job application to show how you're qualified for the job ● Job application = the formal and legal document that says you are applying for work at this place and contains all your information, PhD & 3 career changes in three different vertical markets.

What are the 7 types of resume? ›

The seven primary kinds of resumes include:
  • Chronological resumes. The most common resume format used by job seekers is the chronological type. ...
  • Combination resumes. ...
  • Resume with profile. ...
  • Nontraditional resume. ...
  • Functional resume. ...
  • Infographic resume. ...
  • Targeted resume.

What are the 7 steps of a resume? ›

Here are seven steps you can follow to write the perfect resume:
  • Choose a format. ...
  • Start with your contact information. ...
  • Include your professional profile. ...
  • Summarize your education and experience. ...
  • Highlight your skills. ...
  • Include your certifications. ...
  • Conclude with additional sections.

What are 5 things to write on a resume? ›

5 Things You Should Always Include on Your Resume
  • Job description keywords. Many employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan and rank your resume before they even lay eyes on it. ...
  • Professional title. ...
  • Certifications and credentials. ...
  • Relevant websites. ...
  • Stats on your resume.

What is CV in short answer? ›

A curriculum vitae, often abbreviated as CV, is a document that job applicants use to showcase their academic and professional accomplishments. It is used to apply for positions within areas where a person's specific knowledge or expertise is required.

What makes a good CV? ›

A good CV is clear, concise and makes every point necessary without waffling. You don't need pages and pages of paper – you just keep things short and sweet. A CV is a reassurance to a potential employer, it's a chance to tick the right boxes. And if everything is satisfied, there's a better chance of a job interview.

What is CV and its main purpose? ›

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a formally presented, detailed synopsis of your academic and research experiences and accomplishments. A CV is usually requested for teaching and research positions, but is also a part of the application process for some graduate programs and international positions.

Which best describes the differences between a resume and a CV quizlet? ›

Which best describes the differences between a resume and a CV? A resume is a focused summary of professional skills accomplishments, while a CV is comprehensive.

How is a CV different from a resume quizlet? ›

CVs are lengthier than resumes and include more information, particularly details related to one's academic and research background. Preparing a resume/CV internationally is easier than in the US because the US has stricter laws about providing personal information (like age, pictures, etc).

What is more important CV or resume? ›

When applying for most jobs in the U.S., a resume works best. You simply want to give the potential employer a reason to interview you. Applying for positions in the academic, research, scientific, and medical fields may require a CV rather than a resume.

What are the differences and similarities between an application form and a resume? ›

Difference Between a Resume and an Application Form

An application form is generally used to apply for a specific position. A resume can be supplemental to an application, or can be created by a job seeker at the beginning of the job search process to explore possibilities.

What are 5 formatting guidelines you should follow when developing a cover letter? ›

Here's everything you need to know:
  1. Pick a legible cover letter font, like Arial, Calibri, or Verdana, and keep it between 10 and 12 font-size points.
  2. Set margins to 1 inch on each side of the page.
  3. Adjust cover letter spacing: double spacing between paragraphs and 1–1.15 between lines.
  4. Left-align all contents.
29 Aug 2022

Is resume the same as CV or cover letter? ›

If you're applying for a job in Australia, India or South America: The terms CV and resume are used interchangeably in these regions. The term resume is typically used for private-sector jobs, and CV is more commonly used for public service roles.

What are the 3 main resume formats? ›

There are 3 common resume formats - reverse-chronological, functional, and combination (or, hybrid).

What are the 3 most common resume styles? ›

Which resume format is right for you? There are three common resume formats: chronological, functional, and combination.

What are 4 things a great resume shows employers? ›

What are four things a great résumé shows employers? qualifications, meet the employer's needs, likeable, work well with others, appeal to both human and electronic reviews.

What are the 2 types of resume? ›

You have options for how you structure your resume.
  • Chronological is the most common type of resume. It lists your work history, with the most recent positions shown first. ...
  • A functional or skills resume can be helpful when you are starting a new career. ...
  • A combination resume combines the two.

What are the 8 key elements of resume? ›

Key Elements of a Resume
  • Personal Information.
  • Objective.
  • Education.
  • Work and Related Experience.
  • Awards and Honors.
  • Activities/Hobbies.
  • Skills.
  • References (3-5 people)

What is the best resume format? ›

For most people, the reverse-chronological resume format is the best option. This means listing your work experience and education in reverse-chronological order, i.e. starting with the most recent position and working backwards through previous jobs or degrees.

What are the top 5 resume mistakes? ›

Top 5 Resume Mistakes
  • Grammar and punctuation errors. Think about the underlying message communicated with typos, and with errors in grammar and punctuation. ...
  • Poor formatting. Can't fit your resume to one page? ...
  • Failure to communicate knowledge and skills. ...
  • Job descriptions that aren't descriptive. ...
  • Using pronouns and articles.

What 11 things should be in a resume? ›

11 Steps to Writing the Perfect Resume
  • Contact information. While this section may seem obvious, there are a few factors to consider. ...
  • Online presence. ...
  • Sample job descriptions. ...
  • Technical skills and proficiencies. ...
  • Your professional experience. ...
  • Early career history. ...
  • Volunteer work. ...
  • Professional affiliations.

What are 5 things that should not be included on a resume? ›

11 things not to put on your resume
  • Too much information. ...
  • A solid wall of text. ...
  • Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. ...
  • Inaccuracies about your qualifications or experience. ...
  • Unnecessary personal information. ...
  • Your age. ...
  • Negative comments about a former employer. ...
  • Too many details about your hobbies and interests.

What is the most important element in a resume? ›

One of the most important elements of a resume is easy readability, since employers and hiring managers don't have much time to read each individual resume they receive. In fact, recruitment studies show that, on average, recruiters spend only about 5-7 seconds looking at a resume during the hiring process.

What are 3 things every resume should include and why? ›

While a standard resume will include contact information, experience, and education, the skills and achievements you add will differ based on your job offer. Remember that when you are trying to decide what to put on your resume your job description is your best friend.

What are red flags in a resume? ›

One of the most common resume red flags is an unexplained lengthy employment gap between previous roles. These gaps can sometimes lead hiring managers to assume that you have struggled to land jobs in the past, potentially indicating poor performance or some other shortcoming.

What are 6 tips for writing a resume? ›

6 Tips for Writing an Effective Resume
  • Don't be modest.
  • Think about your target audience.
  • Use numbers.
  • Use bullet points to make it simple.
  • Write specifics about your experience.
  • Check required Skills and Qualifications.
11 Aug 2021

Which is correct CV or resume? ›

The Difference

A resume is a one- to two-page document presenting key facts about your professional experience, educational background, and skills. A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a longer document that details the whole course of your career. A resume is used for job search, a CV—for academic purposes.

What is the difference between CV and resume in India? ›

A resume is the summary of the candidate's skills and experience. A resume is tailored to the position applied for whereas a CV is a static document that remains unaltered for any position. A CV is expected to follow a chronological order of the subject's education, other experiences and work.

Which comes first CV or resume? ›

They typically look at the resume first to make sure you have the desired skills and experience before taking the time to read your cover letter. This is especially true in fields that require specific hard skills, such as IT and engineering.

What is the difference between CV and resume Slideshare? ›

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.

What are the main features of CV and resume writing? ›

Key Elements of a Resume
  • Personal Information. Name Current and Permanent address (may be omitted from a resume posted on the web) ...
  • Objective. In one short sentence summarize your goal for your job search. ...
  • Education. ...
  • Work and Related Experience. ...
  • Awards and Honors. ...
  • Activities/Hobbies. ...
  • Skills. ...
  • References (3-5 people)

What is the main purpose of writing CV and resume? ›

A CV, which stands for curriculum vitae, is a document used when applying for jobs. It allows you to summarise your education, skills and experience enabling you to successfully sell your abilities to potential employers.

What is the best CV format? ›

There are 3 common resume formats - reverse-chronological, functional, and combination (or, hybrid). The reverse-chronological format is the most popular one in 2022, and we always recommend you to go with that one.

When should I switch from a resume to a CV? ›

In America, CVs are primarily used for academic positions. This may be teaching, tutoring, research, and others. Though some medical institutions or senior research positions in private companies may ask for a CV, for the most part, a resume is used outside of academia.

What is resume explain? ›

A resume is a formal document that a job applicant creates to itemize their qualifications for a position. A resume is usually accompanied by a customized cover letter in which the applicant expresses an interest in a specific job or company and draws attention to the most relevant specifics on the resume.


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