Stumbled upon a job posting that required you to submit a resume? Then found another posting that asked you to send in a CV? Nope, they aren’t interchangeable; and yes, you should know the difference between a CV and a resume and why you should have both ready.
A CV and a resume are both documents containing pertinent information about an individual, usually submitted to secure a job. The two may seem identical because they have certain similarities in terms of content, but they also differ in many ways, including length, function, and format.
Here, acquaint yourself with the difference between the two so you can prepare them properly and land that job you have been targeting.
Difference by Definition
Understanding the etymology of curriculum vitae and resume offers a glimpse of how the two documents differ.
Latin; translates to “course of life”
French; meaning “summary”
Based on these translations, a CV is a document that provides more detailed information regarding the individual. It is more specific as it follows the chronological progress of a person’s life and milestones. Thus, a good CV should be constantly updated with your step-by-step career journey, in the same way that a JobStreet profile should always be up-to-date and relevant.
The resume, meanwhile, is a more concise document that contains information crucial to the job being applied for. Only the work experience and skills relevant to the position you are eyeing should be included. A common mistake by jobseekers is not customising their resume depending on the job. The lack of effort behind a “universal resume” could be recognized as unworthiness for the position.
Difference by Function
Another difference between a CV and a resume is their function. A CV is deemed to be more credential-based and focuses on what you have already accomplished. A resume, on the other hand, is competency-based and looks at your capabilities to fulfil the requirements of a role.
Because of this difference, certain industries have a preference for which to require.
Public service, academe, science, medicine, research, arts
Private sector and other standard job applications
Difference by Country
Preference may also be based on the country you are applying to. Some countries prefer CVs and do not recognise resumes at all. However, there are countries, too, that recognize both and may require either at different stages of the job application process.
New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, and other European countries
United States and Canada
Australia, India, South Africa, Singapore, and most Asian countries
Difference by Length
The resume is a one- to two-page document that already includes all the information you want to share with the hirer. Because a hirer goes through numerous resumes in a day, they usually focus on the first page and make decisions from there. Thus, a longer resume is not always better.
Since a CV contains all updates about one’s life and career, it is expected to be lengthier than a resume. It can go from two pages to 15 pages or more.
Preferably 1; maximum of 2
Difference by Format
As it is meant to be in-depth, a CV is a comprehensive standard document that only changes when you garner new accomplishments in your life. A resume, meanwhile, constantly changes depending on the requirements of the company and the position being applied for. While it is important to keep all information truthful, one may choose to edit accomplishments and experiences that are only relevant to the current undertaking.
Start off with education before work experiences
Start off with work experience; education, if relevant, added towards the end
Difference by Content
Preparing a CV is your chance to promote yourself through your successes, achievements, and accomplishments. You can add in everything that you are proud of. On the other hand, the resume should be crafted more carefully and its content should be limited to what is essential.
Submitting a CV instead of a resume, and vice versa, isn’t exactly more effective, especially if it’s the latter that’s being required. What is more critical is crafting your CV and resume properly to contain all critical information that will help boost your chances of landing a job. Submit whichever the hirer is asking for, but make sure you know and understand the difference between the two.
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