Key Differences Between A Resume And Curriculum Vitae

Many times, we mix up the differences between two key documents – a resume and a curriculum vitae.  Today, we’ll help you differentiate between these two documents to ensure you’re crafting the proper one for your next application.




So, let’s start off with resumes. Resumes are used to summarize your experience and accomplishments in pursuit of a specific job. These documents are formal documents that are typically accompanied by a cover letter. A resume also typically contains critical information such as your phone number, email, and full name to allow a recruiter or hiring manager to contact you with ease.

Overall, resumes are expected to include action verbs, be very concise, and provide specific examples of key accomplishments to provide a high-level yet detailed overview of how you’ll align with a job description.

Resume Pro-Tip: Always read the job description and ensure your resume is aligned with many of the available keywords.

Resume Sections:

  • Contact Information
  • Summary
  • Areas of Expertise or Skills
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Certifications/Licenses
  • Technical Skills

Resume Summary:

  • Short (1 to 2 pages)
  • Focused on a specific career/field
  • Details highlights from job roles, tasks, and impacts
  • Summarizes education, credentials, and accomplishments
  • Various Styles: Functional, Chronological, Combination


Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vitae or CV is typically used to summarize your professional experience in a more comprehensive and detailed manner. These documents, as a result, tend to be very long and more expansive and robust in nature. For many, CVs are required when applying for positions in the medical field or education field.

Sections not in the resume that may be included here include publications, scholarships, and comprehensive lists of all classes, certifications, and training programs.

CV Pro-Tip: Include not the tasks you’re expected to conduct but your accomplishments and relevant skills as they relate to your experience.


Curriculum Vitae Sections:

  • Summary
  • Contact Information
  • Education
  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Achievements
  • Publications

Curriculum Vitae Overview:

  • Long (2+ pages)
  • Comprehensive career summaries
  • Details professional experience, research experience, grants, and/or fellowships
  • Provides additional details and relevant information

Need help deciding which one is right for you? Contact us to get in touch with a Career Owls expert.

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