CV And Resume: What Is The Ultimate Difference?

What Is The Difference Between CV And Resume?
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A person applying for a vacancy in any firm, whether for a job or any academic opportunities, must submit a document before the authorities which introduce them. It is tough to determine what this document should be – a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or a Resume – if the difference between them is not understood correctly. A candidate ignorant of this may submit the wrong document. Committing such mistakes would only be considered by the concerned authority as the candidate’s lack of discipline. As a consequence of which he/she may even be disqualified.

Thus it is significant to know the differences between a Curriculum Vitae and a Resume. Let’s see what those differences are.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

The word in original is from Latin, and the meaning is ‘course of life.’ The whole course of the person’s career in full detail will be there in a CV. The particulars contained here include past education, experience, knowledge, skills, competencies, accomplishments, projects, awards, honors, etc. It may also have the candidate’s interest areas, hobbies, and extracurricular activities.

It usually is two or three pages long, but the length of which could even extend up to 20 pages. It won’t be customized according to the vacancy for which the application is made. It will be the same for every vacancy. CVs are mostly used for academic applications, especially in countries like the USA and Canada.

As evident from the details elaborated so far as we could understand, a CV is more comprehensive with many sections. The format used is recommended to be in plain text rather than using bullet points.



The term Resume is a French word, and the meaning is ‘summary.’ A summary or a brief description of the person’s qualifications, previous work experiences, achievements, competencies, and skills are there in a Resume. These details are customized according to the job to which the application is made. So only the relevant qualifications and experiences suiting this particular job will be included.

A good resume will only be having a length of one to two pages. The preparation of which should be to impress the potential recruiter. It is preferable in a resume to present the latest details at the beginning itself.

The difference between CV and Resume

It is mainly based on the length, layout, and the purpose of the document that a CV and a Resume could be differentiated. CV doesn’t leave out any of the details about the person’s career, but a resume would only have the details particularly relevant for the specific job. Thus a CV is comprehensive compared to a Resume. This difference reflects in their length as well.

CV is more suitable when applying for academic opportunities like fellowships, research vacancies, etc. A resume should be used for job applications, internships, etc. A CV includes references that are absent in resumes. Also, in a CV, the emphasis and concentration will be on your expertise in any particular area. In a resume, the concentration will be on the contribution. That is how your work impacted the area where you worked. Educational details will be at the top of the CV. In resumes, it would be indicated only after the experience.

International differences

The conception of the Idea of CV and Resume have slight differences across different countries. Therefore, having an idea of such differences will be helpful.

In Europe, while applying for a job, you will be asked to submit a CV. However, a European CV is almost the same as an American resume, which we discussed above. These things are synonymous in Australia and South Africa, referring to a short document similar to the American resume. In South Asian countries, CV and Resume are differentiated in the same way as we have done above, but in job-seeking here, you’ll often be asked a bio-data.

Thus we have explained the significant differences between a CV and a Resume. Keeping this in mind alongside the international contexts at which they slightly differ will help us use them properly.


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