CV (Curriculum Vitae) vs. Resume, What’s the Difference?

By: Brittany Walker, Graduate Assistant for Career Development
In Celebration of International Update Your Resume Month

Many find themselves at odds when presented with the task of creating a CV – otherwise known as a Curriculum Vitae. As if perfecting a resume isn’t challenging enough, a CV appears to be a completely different animal when communicating one’s accomplishments. Three major differences between a CV and resume are found below.


Curriculum Vitae


Length Length depends on experience of individual. Should include comprehensive overview of publications, posters, presentations, and projects. Generally should be no more than two pages. To include most relevant information pertaining to the position sought.
Intent Academic-focused. Used  by those seeking grants, fellowships, graduate school admission and/or in the medicine or research field. Industry-focused. Tailored towards individuals seeking positions within their desired industry or within the non-profit, federal, or public sector.
Format Education section fixed at beginning of document. Includes in-depth summary about academic or research accomplishments; may include teaching/research interests, academic service, and dissertation/thesis. Industry experience may eventually replace educations position near top of document.  Information given most relevant to stated professional goal or objective.

Both documents appear in reverse chronological order and contain similar sections such as professional memberships/affiliations, awards and honors, and professional experience. However, CVs are given more flexibility in length due to its exhaustive nature. Employers requesting a CV are prepared to understand the applicant’s rich educational background and all experiences that lead to their desire to seek a new academic opportunity.

Watch: Make Your Resume Pop


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