CV vs. Resume – All You Need To Know

Author Avatar

Written by Seun Oyediran

CV Vs. Resume – All You Need To Know

Whether you are a job seeker or not, you must have heard about the words resume and CV? If you are thinking they are the same – WRONG. So if they are not, what do you need to know? In this article, we hope to teach you

  • The difference between a CV and a resume
  • Why some people use CV and some use resume
  • When to use them
  • Differences between CV and resume with examples

Let’s get you started.

If you reside in the United States, candidates send their application using a resume. The same thing applies to Canada, but if you are applying for a job outside the US, you should send a CV. Countries like the UK incline towards using a CV while Australia welcomes both. However, these two documents have some distinct differences you should know.

We will start with a brief overview of a CV and a resume.


A CV – an acronym for the Latin Curriculum Vitae, which means – The Course of Your Life translated in English. This is a document that details in depth everything concerning your life. CVs are usually up to 2 or 3 pages long and cover all areas of your life. These include details of your past working life, your career, education, research, publication, awards, honors, projects, hobbies, and a personal profile. A complete CV should also contain a professional reference, skills, and positive qualities you possess.

A CV is chronologically arranged for easy reading, starting with an introduction to an overview of your career and achievement into your skills, hobbies, and then references. CVs do not change because they include your achievements, but it can be added on to.

Example of a CV

500+ CV Examples: a Curriculum Vitae for Any Job Application


Unlike the CV, Resume is a French word meaning summary. With that said, a resume is a brief of your CV. It is usually just a page long. The aim of a resume is to bring out details of skills and points that make you stand out from the crowd. A good resume should contain a summary of your career history, education, and skills, or other professional information that distinguishes who your person is.

Example of a Resume

Resume Examples That'll Get You Hired in 2020 | Resume Genius

The Difference between a CV and Resume

Curriculum VitaeResume
Long usually two to three pages in lengthShort, straight to the point usually one page
Arranged chronologically for easy readingArranged anyhow you want
Has a formatDoes not have any format
Credential basedCompetency-based
Mostly used in academic and highly professional career situationsUsed in regular job search to make your stand out
It's static; does not change but can be added toCan be customized to meet your needs and qualifications
Showcases your career and achievementSkills and abilities
Must be precise with supporting documentsIs used to boost your CV
Should include a referenceNo references needed

What is on a CV vs. Resume?

From the text above, curriculum vitae is detailed and broad, if you are writing your CV, you should include the following

  • Personal information – name (first and last name) and contact information
  • CV objective
  • Professional Statement or profile
  • Academic background and qualifications
  • Academic achievements, awards,  and/or appointments
  • Publications, honors, and reviews
  • Grants and conferences
  • Experience – research, lab, graduate, and teaching
  • Skills and hobbies
  • Languages
  • References

Resumes are, obviously, shorter, so what is on it?

  • Your name and contact details
  • Resume summary
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Skills and hobby
  • Any additional information to boost your qualities

How to write a successful CV or Resume?

It is said that employers don’t spend more than 6 seconds on a CV or resume. This seems unfair for a document you spent weeks or months trying to create to set you apart from the competition. While most people use lifeless templates or copy from their friends using the popular Word template if you desire to get that position, use a CV builder.

CV builders are software programs with templates to suit your specification and purpose. They are easier to update and are the icing on the cake to building the perfect CV or resume. 

If you are asking why you should use a CV builder, we can assure you that your CV will definitely be seen by HR managers. It also gives you a better chance of been called back for an interview.

What makes a successful CV or Resume?

Choose the right format to fit your needs and the industry you are applying for – the CV can either be chronological, functional or a combination of both. If you are applying for a professional and corporate position, then a chronological CV will work best.

If you are applying for a company or a high job position, then your CV should be a combination – chronological and functional.

What is the difference between a chronological & functional CV and a resume?

A chronological CV highlights your career history, work experience, and qualities that make you fit for the job. While the functional CV shines the spotlight on your skills and capability. Most employers prefer a chronological CV, it is easy to read, and in order. So, depending on what you are looking for it can be one or the other or both of them.

CV Or Resume – Which Do You Need?

Some companies request a CV while others go for a resume. So what is the big deal and why the options?

It all depends on your location and where the job is located. In the US and Canada, employers ask for a resume because it is brief and showcases the candidate better. However, if you are in the US or Canada and are applying for an academic position, you will need to submit your CV as regards to a resume. This is because the job position requires more details about your career history than a summary.

Furthermore, if you are applying for a job outside the US and Canada, you must submit a CV that is chronological and functional to your employers.

If you live in the UK, employers request a detailed CV except otherwise stated. In other European countries, the terms are used interchangeably but must be functional and chronological.

In countries like Australia, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria, and South Africa, CV is the preferred document for seeking a job, but they are usually not as lengthy as the typical CV, which is used in the academic profession. Some countries have just decided to adopt the CV term as against resume.

In Conclusion

The resume and CV are two documents that showcase who you are to potential employers. On a general note, CVs are longer and can exceed 2 pages. Nonetheless, the information in both documents are somewhat similar; they both include your career history, educational background, and other necessary skills based on the target company or institution that receives the document.

Now that you know what a CV and a resume are, you can decide on which one fits the job the best. At reventify, we use these terms interchangeably, mostly because we serve a lot of the African market. For most businesses, they want a one to two page summary of your academic and professional experience. The terminology used is less important than the information on the document.

Hope this article has helped you understand the differences between CVs and resume? If you don’t have a CV or resume that is getting you calls from hiring managers, then this is the time to prepare a new one. Create a beautiful ATS friendly CV in 10mins at Reventify.

Get Started with Reventify

Related Articles

Share This