A recruiter just posted the job of your dreams on a job board. But they want a copy of your curriculum vitae (CV). Is that not just a resume? Or is it something different?

A CV and a resume are two different documents. The difference between a CV and a resume tends to be in the length of the text.

Has a recruiter asked you to provide a CV or a resume? Make sure you send the right one with our simple guide to the art of the CV and resume.

What is a CV?

A curriculum vitae (CV) is an in-depth document that tells the story of your career. It includes your education, awards and honors, past positions, and any other related achievements. It also contains a list of your publishing history, if applicable.

The use of CVs in the United States remains limited to academic jobs or similar positions within the research space.

People with decades of experience may have a CV that’s up to 10 pages long. Those just starting out may have shorter CVs – but not always.

What is a Resume?

A resume includes your work history (ideally related to the job you applied for) and only runs for a few pages – never more.

You’ll still add your education information as well as any related awards, publications, or certificates, but you want to tailor them to your job.

Resumes also typically include a skills section that denotes relevant hard and soft skills. 

The best resumes match the job description exactly. That’s why many people choose to hire a resume writing service rather than write endless versions of their resumes.

What’s the Difference between a CV and a Resume?

The most significant difference between a CV and a resume is that a CV is much longer and includes more information usually related to research and academic background. A CV generally won’t change much between applications because it is so comprehensive.

Resumes tend to focus more on work experience and relevant skills, and they are highly relevant to the posting. You may re-write your resume every time you submit it to match the recruiter’s interests.

Going Global: Resume or CV?

The document you submit tends to depend on who is asking for it.

In the United States, it’s rare to present a CV in any position outside of research, academia, or a research-related job. Instead, you’ll usually provide a resume as described above.

Hop the pond to Europe, however, and the story changes. European companies typically ask for a CV, but what they mean is something closer to the U.S. version of a resume. The word resume isn’t in general use.

Are you applying for a job in Asia? They ask for an entirely different document called a biodata, which details personal information that you will never provide in the U.S. or EU.

Send the Right Document Every Time

The difference between a CV and a resume lies in length and the way you tailor it to a job application.

Sending the right document with your application is vital. If a recruiter sees a resume that’s ten pages long, it could go right in the rejection pile!

Looking for more resume tips? Click here to see if you’re making the five most common resume tips.

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