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Resume vs. Curriculum Vitae

When you read job postings you may have noticed some employers require a resume, while others require a curriculum vitae commonly referred to as a “CV” and a few may ask for a “resume/cv.” These two documents have a few definite differences.

So we'll be discussing the differences between a CV and a resume in this article, what to count in each one, and when to use one versus the other. This will assist you to ensure you’ve equipped the correct document for your job applications.

The differences between a resume and a CV

The differences between a resume and a CV comprise of the document’s length, contents, and purpose. You should also consider which region of the world you’re applying to and your career path when deciding which is more suitable to use.

Most particularly, in the US a resume should be a short and curated collection of your professional experience, skills, and qualifications that are strictly matched the job you’re applying for. In contrast, a CV presents an in-depth history of your professional and academic credentials and accomplishments. Some of their main differences include the following:


Since a resume incorporates your skills and qualifications for a particular role only, it should usually be just one or two pages. A CV doesn't have a length limit and is much longer than most resumes because it includes more information and more detailed descriptions of coursework, research, publications, or presentations.

Experience/career type

CVs are frequently used to seek academic roles or programs, grants, fellowships, and research or teaching positions. You may need a CV if you are happy applying to or have graduated from a master's or doctoral program, or if you work as a professor or researcher at an academic institution. Resumes are used when seeking jobs in the private or public sectors, often pointed out as “industry positions” in opposition to academia.

Geographic location

In other districts of the world, like the UK, New Zealand, and parts of Europe, employers use the word CV to describe both CV and resume-style documents and don’t use the word “resume” at all. In South Africa, Australia and India, the terms CV and resume are often used interchangeably. But, in the US, a resume and CV are two different types of documents that are used for different purposes.

What is a CV?

A curriculum vitae, also known as a CV, is a detailed particular, and complete document that narrates your academic and professional achievements. It’s usually formatted in chronological order and starts with your educational experience. While there is no longer needed on a CV, most range from three to ten pages even some might be even longer. Normally, the more experience you have, the longer your CV will be.

What to include on a CV

Usually, you’ll count in your career history as well as your education, awards, special honors, grants or scholarships, research or academic projects, and publications on your CV. You might also include professional references, coursework, fieldwork, descriptions of dissertations, and a personal profile that lists your appropriate skills and credits.

What is a resume?

What is a resume? A resume is a document that sums up your career history, skills, and education. The word derives from the French word résumé, which means “abstract” or “summary”.

What to include on a resume

A resume usually counts in a professional or “summary” statement, committed skills section, and compressed description of your latest and relevant professional achievements listed in reverse-chronological order, beginning with your most latest job.

You may also consider sharing your education experience, relevant professional associations that you are taking part in, or volunteer work. If you have little or no professional work experience, you might list relevant internships, apprenticeships, volunteer work, or personal projects as a substitute.

When to use a resume vs. a CV

If you’re unconfident whether an employer needs a resume or CV, ask yourself the following questions to help decide the best document:

What kind of job are you applying for?

If you’re seeking a job in academia, especially as an educator, teaching assistant, or researcher at a college or university, then you’ll most likely need a CV. Some postsecondary institutions have standards for what to include in a CV, so be sure to inspect the school’s website or ask a recruiter or hiring manager for this information before you apply.

Where is the company based?

Rely on where the company is situated, “CV” may stand to a standard resume or refer to the longer form, a highly detailed document described above. To ensure which you should send, first consider the type of job. If it’s an academic or research position, the employer is likely seeking a traditional CV. If it’s any other type of job, including a role with a business or even a staff position within academia, then the employer is likely seeking the shorter form resume-style document.

If you’re unconfident whether you should send a CV or resume, reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager and explain. Having the precise document for a job application is critical, and keeping both options on hand will ensure you’re prepared no matter what the job posting requests.

Key ideas :

  • The main distinction between a resume and a CV are length, content, and purpose.

  • Resumes are usually one to two pages while CVs have no length limitation but are usually between three and ten pages.

  • A resume is a short, curated summary of your professional achievements that are most relevant to the industry job you’re applying for. Depending on your level of professional experience and the role, you may also include descriptions of academic and personal projects or volunteer work.

  • A CV is complete, a thorough document presenting your relevant academic and professional achievements that are often used when applying for teaching or research positions.

  • When determining whether to submit a resume or a CV, consider the role and geographic location of the position. If you’re unsure, don’t be reluctant to ask a representative of the organization such as the hiring manager, recruiter, or HR representative to help you decide.

Deciding for the right documents to use when applying for a job might be difficult if we do not know the function and usage of each document. Therefore, following these tips can help you to deliver the right one. While preparing the documents, don't forget to sign up at Recruit Hero where we provide better talent insights for candidates to be best matched with more relevant and in-demand jobs available in Malaysia. For more info, follow our social media accounts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube Channel, and Twitter!

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