Difference Between CV (Curriculum vitae) and Resume

Key Difference – CV (Curriculum vitae) vs Resume

Curriculum vitae (CV) or a resume are the first steps in applying for employment along with the application between which a key difference can be discerned. However, both are important tools in job selection and recruitment. Both provide information about the job seeker to the employer. Out of these two, CVs are supposed to be more detailed and lengthier than resumes. When searching for employment, candidates require a tool to market themselves to the employer. In these scenarios, a curriculum vitae or a resume are the most effective instruments in listing down personal significant information about the person applying for the job and his past academic and professional accomplishments which show his drive for commitment to work.

What is a CV?

CV is short for curriculum vitae and lists a person’s past work experience, the description of major projects undertaken, the academic qualifications and the personal skills that the person possesses that determines their compatibility with the skills required for the job applied for. The CV is more detailed.

Though both the terms are used interchangeably, the most prominent difference between the two is of length. CVs are supposed to be lengthier than resumes; however, both should contain sufficient data in order to effectively market the person. This leads to the fact that a CV holds comprehensive details of a person’s professional life while resumes, because of its short length, tends to focus more on the abilities of the person required to accomplish specific tasks.

Different countries have preferences for either the CV or the Resume in the job market. American employers tend to be partial towards the resume, whereas elsewhere in the world, CVs are considered favorable. It is also often quoted that CVs are recommended for academic and research jobs where lengthy descriptions help clarify the different tasks accomplished in a project.

Difference Between a CV and a Resume

What is a Resume?

A resume, like the curriculum vitae, also lists the summary of a person’s past jobs and experience as well as educational background. The resume is relatively shorter than a CV and is the primary tool used by most employers to determine the compatibility of the candidate with the job opening. The content in the resume is supposed to give a positive image of the person while being sufficiently concise to provide adequate and accurate details of the person. Since there are different formats of resumes in use, some corporations that actively use the internet to scrutinize potential candidates, have online resumes with blank fields available for the candidates to fill out so that all resumes attained are in the same format.

The main task of any candidate is to make their CVs and resumes stand out from the crowd. This does not mean using out of the norm fonts or font sizes, but a manner of concisely presenting oneself in words that describe a person accurately. Though one may take precedence over the other in certain employment fields, it is wise for candidates to have both ready from before. Writing a CV and resume is time-consuming as potential employees need to format carefully the documents, some may even leave the daunting task to professional CV and Resume writers. Professionally written CVs and Resumes is a sensible investment on any job seeker’s part. Despite the distinct feature of both the documents, many including amateurs, and professionals alike, still have difficulty distinguishing between the two.

CV vs Resume

What is the Difference Between a CV and a Resume?

Definitions of CV and Resume:

CV: CV refers to a curriculum vitae that provides information about the academic qualifications, experience, and skills of the individual.

Resume: A resume lists the summary of a person’s past jobs and experiences as well as educational background.

Characteristics of CV and Resume:


CV: CVs are lengthier and much more descriptive.

Resume: Resumes are comparatively shorter and less descriptive.


CV: A CV holds comprehensive details of a person’s professional life.

Resume: A Resume tends to focus more on the abilities of the person required to accomplish specific tasks.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Istituto agronomico per l’oltremare, int., biblioteca, schedario 05” by I, Sailko. [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

2. DELTA334543 By Hashimondelta (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons