Do you know the difference between a resumé and a CV? Most people think that Resumés and CV’s are one and the same.  However there is a big difference between the two!

Resume, CV, difference between a resume and CV, hiring, careers, job application, job hunting, career coach, jane jackson

Over the past 20 years as a career coach and recruiter, I’ve reviewed thousands of resumés however I’ve found many job seekers submit a CV for a corporate role rather than a resumé.

What’s the difference between a resumé and a CV?

The word RESUMÉ is French for ‘Summary.’

CV (or Curriculum Vitae) is Latin for ‘Course of Life.’

In both cases, the documents are:

If you are applying for both academic as well as industry (private or public sector) positions, you will need to prepare both a resumé and a CV.

The Difference Between a Resumé vs CV: Format and Content

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

The CV presents a full history of your academic credentials, so can be quite lengthy if you have a long career and an extensive academic history as well as awards, patents, written papers and more.

CVs are typically used by people seeking fellowships, grants, postdoctoral positions, and teaching/research positions in postsecondary institutions or high-level research positions in industry and scientific roles.


In contrast, a resumé is a synopsis of your career highlights, presenting a concise picture of your skills and qualifications for a specific role.  

The length of your resumé should be no more than 2-3 pages long (you may find some job advertisements will state how long a resumé they prefer.)

Graduate school applications typically request a CV, but often are looking for a resumé that also includes publications and descriptions of research projects.

In some countries, the name ‘CV’ is used to describe all job application documents when what they really mean is a ‘resumé.’

I’ve found that in the United States, Canada and Australia, the word CV or Resumé can be used interchangeably.

If you are not sure exactly what is required, don’t hesitate to reach out to the recruiter or the person who posted the job description to ask for clarification.

It’s always good practice to try to contact the person handling the screening of applications before applying as standard procedure.  This way you can find out more information before working on your job application.

This summary will help you decide which document is best for your situation:

ResuméCurriculum Vitae (CV)
Emphasises skillsEmphasises academic accomplishments
Used when applying for a position in industry,
non-profit, and public sector
Used when applying for scientific or research positions, or for academia, fellowships and grants
Tailored for specific roles and ensure KEY WORDS
relevant to the role are included
Begins with education and can include the name of advisor and dissertation title or summary. Also used for merit/tenure review and sabbatical leave
Is no longer than 2-3 pages, with an additional page
for publications/presentations/speaking engagements/papers written if highly relevant to the job
Length depends upon experience and includes a complete list of publications, papers and presentations

Write a Resumé that gets positive results

For a step-by-step guide on how to create a powerful resumé tailored for specific roles and how to create tangible accomplishment statements, HOW TO WRITE A RESUMÉ Online Course provides comprehensive resumé writing  training, exercises and templates to ensure you make strong job applications, write clear cover letters and get screened in by the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

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