The differences between a curriculum vitae (CV) and a résumé

The differences between a resume cv

Most people assume that CV’s and résumés are the same thing. However, this isn’t true. Read on to learn what makes them different.

What is a curriculum vitae (CV)?

A curriculum vitae (CV) in Latin means ‘course of life’. A CV tends to be much more detailed than a résumé, usually two sides, though it can be more if you happen to be in a senior position.

A CV covers not just your professional record, but also your academic background, hobbies, languages, and non-academic certificates of achievement.

The document usually begins with your most recent job/academic achievement and works its way downwards.

What is a résumé?

Résumé is a French word which in English means ‘to sum up’. A résumé is never longer than a page and is a more flexible document; it should also be tailored to each job you apply for.

Unlike a CV, there is no specific order. When you send a résumé to an employer, instead of detailing your entire career history, feel free to just add a few experiences which relate the most to the position you’re applying to.

Top tips

In North America, employers typically ask for a résumé. It’s likely you’ll only need a CV outside of this region or if applying to an academic/research position.

Whether you’re looking to write a CV or résumé, there are plenty of free templates available online.

Ensure you’ve checked your document is free from grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

For both documents, bullet points are best. This makes the document more visually pleasing for the reader as well as easier to get through.

For both documents, it’s a good idea to include a short summary at the top of the page, explaining your aspirations and what type of career exactly you’re looking for – ensure everything is always linked to the job you’re applying for, anything not relevant can be omitted. Your summary shouldn’t be longer than 100 words.

We hope you found this post informative. For more help, read this post on writing a strong résumé. Remember, the Careers Service at Toronto School of Management can also give you advice on this.