Career Tips

Differences Between a Resume and Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Many people do not know that a curriculum vitae (CV) and a resume, although they are usually used for the same purpose – finding employment – are not equivalent documents or fulfill the same function. This confusion can be increased because many employers use both terms as if they were synonyms when announcing new vacancies.

If you are preparing your curriculum vitae and are looking for information on the Internet, you will surely be finding a multitude of information about the Resume. What is it? Is it the same as the Curriculum? Is Resume or Curriculum better? Doubts that we intend to resolve with this article.

First of all, you have to know that the curriculum vitae and resume are similar, but they are not the same. Both are documents that summarize and synthesize our professional experience, our studies, and abilities, but they have differences.

The most common differentiation to date was geographical. The resume was the document required by American companies, especially from the United States. The curriculum vitae, on the other hand, was the most common option in other countries, especially in Europe, Asia or the Middle East. However, this differentiation is becoming more diffuse, since there are many European companies that already prefer the American resume model.

Make no mistake, however. Before choosing to use either, be sure to understand the origin of the company you intend sending either to and which of the two the company best work with.

In this post, we talk about the major differences between the curriculum vitae and resume, beyond geographical locations:

CV and Resume

Difference between Curriculum Vitae and Resume

The main differences between a resume and a curriculum vitae are the extension, what they include and what they are used for. In principle, a Resume is shorter, usually a single page in which your skills, experience, and education are synthesized, compared to two or three of the CV. With which, you need to condense the data to maintain the essentials. It is aimed at highlighting only your main virtues, your strengths and to demonstrate your suitability for a particular position.

The Curriculum, on the other hand, can be longer and more detailed. In it, you can, and should, describe more in detail each work, each course that has been completed. It is much more complete and provides much more information. Normally, personnel selectors prefer the Resume Curriculum for positions that require advanced studies, since this is usually more understandable.

The reason why the resume is used is because of the fame it has achieved in recent years. The CV is more typical of European countries, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. On the other hand, the summary was a format of American countries such as the United States and Canada. The reason for this popularity is that the United States and other American countries have more strength in the market. Therefore, the resume format is often used more to deal with these countries.

What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

A Curriculum Vitae commonly referred to as CV is a collection of academic data, training and self skills. There are two types depending on how you want to organize the data: chronological CV and functional CV. In the examples of chronological CV, the data is sorted by time and can be in natural and inverse order. On the other hand, in the examples of functional CV, the data is grouped by topics of interest.

Apart from the types, it must be taken into account that the structure and content of the CV are different from the resume. Next, we show the basic structure that we must adapt to the extension of each other:

  • Personal data: name, surname, date of birth, address, zip code and city, contact phone number and email.
  • Training: it is mainly academic training (studies taken with its date, center, and place of performance) and complementary training (non-compulsory courses in which it also indicates the date, center, and place of performance).
  • Professional experience: here you must indicate the companies for which you have worked, the work period, the jobs. As well as the professional achievements obtained. Training with internships in companies is also included.
  • Knowledge: at this point, it is worth highlighting the relevant computer knowledge in the CV (computer knowledge and that are related to the work); and logically your language skills (your level of knowledge and understanding).

CV or Resume: Which should I use?

If a specific type of document is not specified in the job offer to which you apply, the use of a resume or CV may depend, among other elements, on the type of position in question.

If it is a job in an academic field, as a university teacher, for example, it is advisable to send a CV, as it will allow you to include in greater detail your academic achievements (awards, published articles, conferences, etc.).

On the contrary, if you want to apply for a job in a company, perhaps a concise and brief summary, where you can know all your professional skills and strengths, at first sight, be the most effective. A good strategy to combine both, perhaps by sending a summary that in turn links to your LinkedIn profile or other types of digital portfolio, which can act as a more detailed CV.

Rules of CV & Resume

Regardless of whether you choose to use a resume or a CV, you must respect certain rules that apply to both documents. These must be well written, contain no spelling errors (without exceptions!) Or contain obsolete or not very true data.

Above all, it is advisable not to have a single “standard” document to send to all potential employers but to tailor your CV or resume so that it is as aligned as possible to what is required for the particular position.

If you follow all these indications, you will not have any problem at the time of writing a CV or a resume. In addition, you already know the difference between CV and resumeIf you are looking for a job abroad, keep in mind the country(ies), so as not to blow your chances! Hop up! You are more than ready. 

All the best!

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