Is it a CV or a Resume?

By Holly Hereford
Strike Jobs UK

Is it A CV or A Resume?

Did you know that a CV isn’t the same as a resume? Did you think it was just a different name? Well, turns out you may not be in the minority as many people assume that the only difference is the name depending on where you apply for jobs.

Resumes are seen by many as an American version of the English jobseekers preference, the CV (Curriculum Vitae). Highlighted below is the truth about how the two differ and the do’s and don’ts for each.

One main difference between and US and European CV and resume format is the inclusion of personal data. In the US, such information is private and protected, and employers may not ask for this information during the job selection process. In Europe, such information is standard on resumes and CVs, but a company may not discriminate against these personal factors such as appearance, age or disabilities. Interestingly, another difference between a US and European CV is in Europe the work history is ascending whereas in the US the order is descending.

The CV (Curriculum Vitae)

Curriculum Vitae is of Latin origin and translates to mean ‘course of life’, which essentially sums up what a CV is all about. A CV is a chronological, detailed document containing extensive information about your achievements in work, education and other relevant awards in life. CV’s do generally stay the same for all jobs you apply to as they are facts about you and your work history. Updates are recommended as you advance in your life and career. CVs in the US are for more highly skilled professions with an extensive and broad-based career history that includes publications, public speaking commitments and presentations at professional gatherings. CVs are comprehensive and formatted by areas of expertise or discipline.

The Resume

A resume is a more succinct document no longer than two pages in the US. The aim of a resume is to present yourself to a specific role with adaptations for each job you to which you apply. Resumes do not need to be chronological or cover all of your history but should highlight the skills and necessary for the job. In the US,  chronological is the more accepted format. Functional resumes might be viewed by recruiters as a method by the applicant of hiding work history challenges such as gaps in employment or ‘job hopping’.

The resume format can be determined by the role to which an applicant is applying, but the most accepted format is chronological.

Generally, the UK, Europe and New Zealand seem to favour the CV, whereas America and Canada find the resume more to their liking. Although some countries do use either one or the other to submit to prospective employers, some use the two interchangeably depending on the type of job to which a job seeker is applying. When applying to jobs overseas, it may be a good idea to check which format the country or employer prefer.