CV vs Resume: Which one to use When, and How?

CV and resume are often used synonymously by many of us. But they are two different things, and in order to effectively use CV or resume, you should know their differences and usages.

There are differences of opinions regarding the use of CV and use of Resume, which varies from country to country.

In this guide, we will help you learn the difference between a CV and a Resume, and talk about which one you should use on which occasion.

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What is a CV?

A CV or Curriculum Vitae is a document that contains every information about your professional life, including education history, internships, workshops and training received, diplomas and certifications completed, employment records, research and publications, awards and recognition, and everything else related to your profession.

What is a Resume?

A resume is a short and concise record of your professional information that is used for new job applications, and generally contains information only relevant to the job applied for.

What are the main differences between a CV and a Resume?

  1. A CV contains ALL information related to your professional and academic life. A Resume contains specific information relevant to a job application.
  2. A CV can be 1-page long, 2-page long, or 10+ pages long. There is no page restriction in a CV. A resume should ideally be 1-page long, but in some cases it can be 2-page long, but never more than that.
  3. A CV is generally used for academic posts, whereas a Resume is used for any type of job application.
  4. A CV is never changed or edited, it can only be lengthened as you continue to gain experience and qualifications. A Resume is tailored every time it is used for a new job application. Resumes are optimized according to the job description.
  5. A CV format is quite straightforward and plain. A Resume can be formatted in many ways. A CV is composed in Black ink on white page, without much design or style. A Resume can be stylized, and multiple color ink on colored background can also be used. A CV is always formal while a Resume can be creative too, if the job you are applying for involves creativity.
  6. A CV arranges all the data chronologically, whereas a Resume can be chronological, reverse-chronological, functional, or in combination format.

Which one to use when?

The usages of CV and Resume vary from country to country. In the US and Canada, a CV is used for applying to academic positions, and a Resume is used for all other kinds of job applications, unless specifically asked for a CV. In most of the European countries, a CV is used for all kinds of job application, and resumes are almost non-existence. In Asian countries, both CV and Resume are used, based on the job criteria. So, our advice is, keep yourself prepared for every situation, and build yourself both of them.