CV or Resume! What’s the Difference?
A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is in some cases, used as a synonym for a Resume. In yet others, it’s something completely different. This is highly dependent on the region and or purposes as to which the document seeks to serve.
The term CV is an abbreviation of the Latin word Curriculum Vitae, which is literally translated to “the course of your life”.
A CV describes your career journey step-by-step, including all sorts of personal information. It is a comprehensive description of everything you have ever done, all the achievements you are proud of, and all the publications that bear your name etc.
It’s usually updated every time you accomplish something new academically or professionally.
There is no rule to how long a CV should be - depending on the amount of experience, it can range from 2 to 8 pages but it is advisable that it is not more than 3 pages. Check out our Professional CV Editing Service
A resume on the other hand is a short, straight-to-the-point, document created for the purpose of applying to a specific job. Unlike the CV, you should try to keep a resume as short as possible. i.e 1 to utmost 2 pages.
In a resume, you only mention the aspects of your work experience and skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Highlight specific contributions you have made in your previous work and showcases of how your different skills can be useful for the position you are applying to.
A resume should be accompanied with a detailed submission of a cover letter which states your intent for applying to the job. The cover letter builds upon the skills and experience you have touched upon in your resume, explaining how they’re going to help you excel at the job you’re applying for.
In essence, the CV presents a full history of your academic credentials, so the length of the document is variable. In contrast, a resume presents a concise picture of your skills and qualifications for a specific position, so length tends to be shorter and dictated by years of experience (generally 1-2 pages).
Other differences include:
- Length - A resume is kept short and brief (usually 1 page), whereas the CV is more comprehensive (it can go up to 2-3 pages depending on your experience).
- Function - The CV is mainly used for academic purposes, such as applying for a research program, a Ph.D., or joining the staff of a university. The resume, on the other hand, is written for a regular job in a company. However, in Kenya’s context, the two are used interchangeably.
- Type of information you include - The CV is a life diary where you include all your academic qualifications, achievements, and certifications. It is universal in nature as it can be updated as you go. Whereas, a resume has to be created (or at least customized) for each job you’re applying for, and has a bigger focus on your professional achievements, rather than academic.
Now that you know the difference between a CV and a resume, it’s up to you to decide which one fits your purposes and job seeking needs best.
It’s tough out there as it is! Here at Emploi, we are committed to making that process simple and fun for you. Create a professional, modern-looking CV or Resume.
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