Resume vs CV: What, When and How?
Are you unsure of whether you need a resume or a CV? Do you wonder if you might need both? You are not alone. This is a confusing topic for many people. In this blog post, we will define what each document is, when you need each document, and finally, how to make sure your resume or CV is the best it can be.
What is a Resume?
A resume is a brief document that summarizes an individual’s relevant job history, education, skills, and goals. It is a short document that is intended to give potential employers a chance to compare the applicant’s qualifications with the position they are seeking to fill. A resume is usually customized for each position an individual is seeking. A resume’s format may vary widely depending on what the applicant wishes to highlight. A person may include or omit any job history or educational history on their resume depending whether or not they believe it is helpful to include this information.
What is a CV?
A curriculum vitae is a longer document that details a person’s achievements in chronological order. A CV will contain much more detail about a person’s educational and career history than a resume. For this reason, a CV is usually at least 2 pages long. There is only one format for a CV and that is to be written in chronological order. Unlike a resume, the CV is not intended to be read at a glance. It is meant to be read thoroughly. In addition to this, a CV is never changed or customized for a particular position. Applicants never omit or include work history or educational history based on perceived relevance. Instead, the applicant will include a cover letter to specifically address details about the job that they are seeking.
When would you use a resume instead of a CV or vice versa?
This is a matter that largely depends on geography. For the most part people who are applying for jobs in North America, the United States and Canada, will use resumes. People who are applying for jobs in Europe will mostly us the CV. In some areas of the world, resume and CV refers to the exact same document with CV being used for those applying for government work and resume being used for those looking to work in the private sector. There is an exception to these rules in the United States and Canada. Individuals seeking positions in higher education, academia, or research will use a CV and not a resume.
One common point of confusion is what to do if you are, for example, an American applying to a European division of an American owned company? In this case, it would probably be best to create a CV. After all, you are likely going to be competing against the local talent pool who will be using CV instead of resumes.
How do you guarantee that your resume or CV passes muster?
Whichever document that you decide you need, you want to be sure that your potential employer is impressed by what they see and what they read. The single best way to make this happen is to have your resume or CV written and designed by a professional who specializes in these documents. If you have already written your resume or CV yourself, you should at the very least consider having it edited by a professional writer. This can easily be accomplished by contacting a customer service representative here, or by placing an order. The relatively small amount of money that you spend will be more than worth it.
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