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CV vs Resume: What’s the difference?

15 Sep, 2013

CV vs Resume: What’s the difference?

When searching for a job online, sometimes you will notice employers requesting a CV as opposed to a resume. What exactly is a CV and how does it differ from a resume? CV is an abbreviation for curriculum vitae, which is a Latin word meaning course of life or career. They are usually longer than the traditional one or two page resume and offer a complete history of work experience,significant contributions, and education. CVs are formal and comprehensive while resumes are brief.

Scientific researchers, doctors, lawyers, and those with careers in higher education are examples of professions that require a CV. CVs are also used when applying for fellowships, grants, or graduate programs. Sections within a CV can include published books, presentations, awards, and teaching experience along with addenda of sample journal articles, research work, and other relevant contributions.

Because your CV requires specific and comprehensive career information, it should be frequently updated. Time has a way of diminishing your memory. Therefore, awards, journal articles, and other new accomplishments need to be added while the details are still fresh in your mind.

Applying for a job abroad? CVs are the norm in most European countries and can differ from the standard American CV. Like American CVs, International CVs do require comprehensive information regarding work experience and education, but depending on the country, they may also require personal information such as birth date, marital status, number of dependents, health status, and a passport photo. Due to cultural differences, it is best to do your research or to consult an expert before preparing your International CV.

Remember to always include a cover letter when submitting your CV. The cover letter can be compared to a brief “sales pitch” that focuses on how your qualifications and achievements can benefit the needs of a potential employer, organization, or special research project.

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