Resumes and CVs: what’s the difference anyway?

Aren’t résumés and curricula vitae just the same thing?

Well they are, and they aren’t.

You’ve probably had people telling you that you need a resume or a CV or a curriculum vitae. Confused? This little blog post will clear that up for you.

resume: a summary

Oxford Dictionary of English.

In practical terms, both are documents presented to a prospective employer outlining your skills, education and experience. The main difference is a resume is much shorter than a CV and is usually changed each time you apply for a job. The reason a resume is changed slightly, is to highlight the skills and experience most desired by that employer and to prove you can do the job. Resumes present your achievements in the order most relevant to the job application.

curriculum vitae: a brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous occupations, typically sent with a job application.

Oxford Dictionary of English

A curriculum vitae (or curricula vitae if you have more than one of them) lists all your skills, experience and education in much more detail than a resume. A CV is a complete record of your career achievements, listed chronologically (in date order) and includes things like awards, medals, books and articles you may have published or if you are a member of any specialised clubs and organisations. A CV is used a lot by industry professionals such as doctors, lawyers or academics who have a lot of specialised skills and have undertaken a lot of independent study.

So in brief: a resume (a summary of your skills, education and experience, 1-2 pages in length, changed each time you apply for a job and presented in the order most relevant to the job application); a curriculum vitae or CV (a complete record of your education, experience and career achievements, in date order and though longer than resume, still keep it as short as possible).

If you are applying for job and need a fresh resume or your CV updated, please contact me today. I have more than 16 years experience as a HR Professional and would love to help you land that dream job.

Melinda Irvine
+61 438 409 779 (AUS)
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