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Curriculum Vitae Vs. Resume

Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
The two terms, curriculum vitae and resume are often used interchangeably. However, there is a significant difference between the two. Keep reading to know them..
If you are a job seeker then, you might be aware regarding what a curriculum vitae and resume is. For most people, both these terms mean the same thing. The biggest similarity between the two is that they serve the same purpose in job search, that of conveying your credentials to the potential employer.
However, depending upon the position you are applying for, your country of residence and your employer, you will be expected to submit either of the two. In that case, you must clearly know the difference between curriculum vitae and resume.

Curriculum Vitae Vs. Resume


At a first glance, curriculum vitae, commonly called CV, and a resume serve the same function. They are your tool to reaching the potential employers. The process of job application remains more or less same all over the world. You send your CV or resume to the concerned employer and get a call for an interview, if your CV or resume has been shortlisted.
Most employers will particularly mention if they wish to receive a CV or a resume of the candidate. A CV is a more detailed description of your qualifications, achievements and credentials, whereas, a resume is more concise and only gives 'at-glance' information about your achievements.
In other words, a resume is only a framework or skeleton of a CV. Both follow a structured format, which may vary for each country or even company.


As a CV is more detailed, it is obviously longer than a resume. Typically, a resume comprises only a single page and never exceeds two pages. On the other hand, a CV is at least 2 pages and at most 5 pages. However, it is not unusual to have CVs extending beyond the 5 page limit.
Curriculum vitae for academic purposes may extend as many as 8 to 10 pages. Similarly, a CV of an employee with many years of experience in diverse fields can write a whopping 20 pages. In this case, the length of the CV is justified because the employer is interested in knowing finer details about your qualifications and credentials.

What to Include

This is an important point of discussion when you actually start CV or resume writing. If you take a look at a curriculum vitae sample, you may notice that it includes all the achievements of the job seekers. Starting from the latest, you can mention all your achievements in a chronological order in a CV.
Similarly, write all your previous experience, even if they are not related to the position you are applying for. Mention your honorary work and non-academic achievements. However, while writing a resume, only focus on key skills, achievements and experience relevant to the concerned position only. The skills on a resume must be given a priority above all.

When to Send

In all the countries of the world except United States, a CV is considered as a standard mode of reaching a potential employer. In these countries, employers prefer scanning the CV of the candidate rather than looking at his resume.
However, in the United States, you invariably send your resume for any non-academic and non educational purpose. For a PhD, or research job a detailed CV might be preferred over a resume.
Another point of comparison between curriculum vitae and resume is the requirement of cover letter. A cover letter is a must with a CV, as it summarizes the CV, while in an already concise resume it is not required.