Curriculum Vitae versus Resumé

In almost all professions, there is a great deal of competition in finding jobs so being highly educated and well experienced isn’t enough especially for those newly graduated students. With the uncertainty in the job market and the increased competition it is even more important to find ways to stand out.  Can you consider yourself qualified or deserving of the kind of job you’re looking for?  Even if you think that you’re qualified and a top performer, you also have to consider that there are other candidates who are as qualified as you.

Remember that not every person gets the job they wish for so what makes you stand out among the other applicants? And what makes you more qualified and deserving for the job? Well, it is only a matter of “selling yourself”. It’s imperative more than ever to learn how to sell yourself to be able to find potential employers and the right job. Selling yourself means convincing an employer that you’re the one that he or she’s looking for and that they should hire you.

Two of the best ways of “selling yourself” to companies and employers are, (1) writing a resumé and (2) writing a curriculum vitae. However, these two are often used interchangeably, so to be able to understand further, let’s discover the purpose and differences between a resumé and a curriculum vitae, and which one is the most significant to use when applying for a job.

Differences between a resumé and a curriculum vitae

  1. In a layman’s term, a resumé is a specific version or somewhat like a summary of your skills and experiences that’s generally written in one page. While a curriculum vitae (CV) is a broader version about your accomplishments and qualifications such as your academic credentials, but are longer and would usually take three pages or more.
  2. “Curriculum Vitae” is a Latin word meaning “course of life” and it is mostly used by European countries. While a “resumé” is a French word which means “summary” or a brief document that contains a precise information of an applicant. It is mostly utilized by the Americans and Canadians.
  3. When applying for a job, the resumé’s information will always depend on the job requirements. Thus, it can be shuffled because you will only provide those work-related information, work-related skills, as well as work-related experiences. Whereas in a curriculum vitae, everything must be in chronological order – of the whole achievements, experiences, and skills you have acquired, since it is an overview of your entire professional career.
  4. A resumé is generally used by the majority and when applying for a job specifically for those “non-academic” organizations. Basically, it is what most employers want to see. Why? Because employers and Managers wouldn’t want to read a 3-page resume or more, having the same “flowery words/phrases” over and over again while there are hundreds or maybe thousands of applicants waiting to be reviewed. This is why, you need to create an effective resume that will convince an employer to interview or hire you by seeing the most valuable information of you within 5 seconds or a maximum of 5 minutes.

A curriculum vitae is mostly used by individuals who are seeking for medical position, research position, post-secondary teaching, faculty jobs, scholarships, fellowships or grants, and many other academic applications since it provides a more comprehensive information. It is more detailed, longer, and must be updated more often.

  1. A typical curriculum vitae will include the following information:

Name, contact number, address, email, education information, awards, experiences, certificates, employments, publications, presentations, personal data/information such as civil status, height, hobbies, sports, and expertise, letter of recommendation, and references.

A typical resumé will include the following information:

Name, contact information, education, work-related experiences and skills.

Which one do I need?

As a job seeker, reading the facts above will give you an idea on how significant it is to know the differences between a resumé and a curriculum vitae. In other words, it will always depend on the job you’re applying for. The best thing to do is to evaluate which is more qualified to use, or if you’re still confused, you can always ask politely, “Would you prefer a resume or CV?” However, you need not worry since majority of the job hiring/application opportunities provide specific requirements.

Keep in mind that the economy is changing drastically and your resumé or curriculum vitae can help create a good “first impression”.  Your need to catch their attention and make them want to know more about you and position yourself as the most qualified candidate for the job. So, let the first impression last by writing a powerful and effective resumé or a curriculum vitae.

Do you need help?

Do you have all of the information you need to create your resume based on the requirements of specific jobs you are looking for?  View careers across all industries and use the job overview, tasks, skills, and education requirements to prepare your resume. You can also search for specific jobs in your area to help shape your resume to meet the needs of the employer and stand out among the crowd.

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