CV or Resume: What Are The Differences?

CV vs. Resume: Which Should You Use?

The survey states that for nearly 25% of the hiring managers, time spent on/for reviewing each applicant’s resume is at most 30 seconds. For you to increase your chances of getting a job, you will need to know if they require a CV or resume. To have a successful job search, you must understand the difference between these two things, their objectives, and how long they should be. Moreover, some companies will ask you for a cover letter. It is important to know what to include in this letter and how to create it.

So, continue reading about these two papers to learn more.

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What Is a Curriculum Vitae?

Curriculum vitae (CV) in Latin means “course of life”. This implies that resumes are limited whereas CVs go into extensive details. In America, CVs are mostly used in the academic field. These documents usually contain numerous pages and provide considerable information concerning: 

  • one’s professional experience, 
  • educational background,
  • skills acquired during the working period,
  • written papers published by the same person,
  • research projects done,
  • coursework published, 
  • awards gained.

If you apply for a job in academia or education sector, medicine, content related with science, research etc., it may be necessary to submit a curriculum vitae instead of a resume. In addition, a powerful CV will help you stand out from peers at work and earn grants and fellowships which are awarded on merit alone while ensuring that international positions become available to you.

What Is a Resume?

Most resumes contain one page and primarily focus on skills, job experience, education, and contact information. A well-written resume gives employers a quick look at what you can offer to a position. Besides, sometimes concise resume can have more effect than longer documents – even if some things have to be omitted.

Job-seekers should know that resumes attract the attention of employers. They can encourage employers to arrange an interview, which may lead to more detailed discussions.

Many employers ask applicants to submit a resume. It is likely that you will need to have a resume to be able to interview for the new jobs you wish to apply. Companies mostly state in their vacancies that they want people with resumes. On the other hand, if they do not ask for your resume, there is a chance that they may have you fill out a job application to understand your career background better. Nevertheless, it is still appropriate to give typed resumes for jobs that do not require them, as this shows how professional you can be.

What Are the Differences Between a CV and a Resume?

Many job applicants face the question: Is a resume the same as a CV? The major differences between them boil down to length, purpose, and geographical location. So let’s look at the most common differences:

Content and Length

One significant difference between CVs and resumes is their length. A standard resume comprises only 1-2 pages in which you highlight your skills, experience and education. Additionally, it should also contain only those details that are related to the job for which you are applying.

In contrast, a typical CV goes beyond three pages in summarizing your professional background as well as educational experiences. It traces out all of your career including winning research awards besides publications.

Geographic Location

The place where you live can dictate what an employer refers to in your CV and resume. In the USA, a resume is usually spoken of as a shorter document, while more information is included in a CV. A CV commonly comes in handy when dealing with medicine and education.

Yet, in the European Union and other parts of the world, applicants use CVs rather than resumes for the majority of job applications. In fact, both CV and resume are quite similar to many employers in foreign countries.


Another major difference between a CV and a resume is that they have different purposes. When applying for most jobs in the US, it is better to use resumes as such will be more appropriate. You only need to make them want to meet you through your resume.

When applying for positions in academic, research, scientific, or medical fields, one might need a CV instead of a resume. This way, department chairs and hiring committees often prefer to get an insight into each applicant’s background before going further with the hiring process. Yeah, you should notice it. When you are selecting the vacancy, it is time to understand the field and the most common requirements.

When to Use a CV vs. Resume

Whether to use a CV or a resume mainly depends on several factors. When the employer is in the U.S., you are advised to submit a resume unless it is an academic, medical or scientific position. For positions overseas, one can consider a curriculum vitae. In case of uncertainty, it is crucial to contact the recruiter or hiring manager overseeing the selection process.

A good rule of thumb for most job seekers is to write both a resume and a CV. You can always use help from Despite not submitting both when applying for one job, preparing these papers may offer more flexibility during the overall application.