CV vs. Resume: What is The Difference Between CV and Resume?

You might often hear people talking about a CV and many out there have no idea what it is or what it is for. Especially in the USA, you would find people referring to a resume and that is the closest quick answer you would get when you ask about a CV. With that being said, there are however some differences between the two and when the appropriate time is to use either or. You may easily find a resume writing service online and have a top of resume editors, but it is not always the case with CV writing. This is because there is a lot more that goes into a CV compared to a resume.

You may think that resumes and cv both are same but it is not always right. Here in this article you will find the major difference between resume and CV, how to write it and when to use which format.

Recruiter checking resume

What is the difference?

A resume is a quick overview of your accomplishments, achievements, work history and personal information. When you do a CV (Curriculum Vitae), you have a bit more freedom to add in more information. There is no specific number of pages you have to include in your CV, whereas a resume is usually limited to one or two pages. From this we can quickly see that the one difference between the two is the length.

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When you are applying for a job, you would usually tailor your resume for the specific job application. You look up the best professional resume format and away you go. With a CV it works a bit differently. You know how professionals have their biographies online and you can usually gather from that what they have done throughout their lives? Well your CV can be your academic biography. Your CV does not change, but rather updates. When you achieve something new, you add it to your CV without tweaking the other information.

When to use?

finding difference of resume and cv

In the United States, it is usually wildly accepted to have a resume handy in case a job opens. Things get a little tricky when you are applying for a job abroad, because the country you are applying in might have a CV requirement. It is important to remember that wherever you apply, there would usually be a list of documents needed. You need to check this and make sure you are sending them the correct format.

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Some companies like the CV format because it tells them about your journey to this point. The resume is just a quick overview and with larger corporations, where recruiters are busy, they might prefer the resume over the CV. There really is no right or wrong document and everyone should keep a copy of both handy. At least with the CV, you do not have to work on it a lot once it is done. As soon as you accomplish something new, you simply add that one point.

When applying for certain positions in academia or fellowships, you would be required to provide a CV. These positions require you to be fully qualified and skills are not a priority over qualifications. Whereas with a corporate job application, the company would be more likely to put skills above academics. This is because companies focus on result driven individuals and if you have had a set of successfully completed tasks, you win.


A resume and CV alike are necessary for a professional. You might see an exciting new opportunity and you may be required to submit a CV. If you were to create a CV in a hurry, there is a likelihood that you would leave out important information. Our brains have become so accustomed to the resume way of writing that it takes a minute to get your CV right.

By starting early and having both documents ready to go, you won’t miss any opportunities that comes your way. Even if you feel like you do not have sufficient achievements to add to a CV, you should do one either way. Once you get the basics and format behind you, it might motivate you to add some more achievements and accomplishments to the list. With many people trying to find employment, we need to be prepared for anything that might be a job opportunity. Good luck with your journey and I hope you nothing but success.

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Amy Huges
About Amy Huges


Amy Huges is a professional blogger with experience in resume writing. She keeps an eye on the current trends in resume and CV writing, and helps with content management at Resume Writting Service.

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