Curriculum Vitae (CV) vs. resume… Which one do I choose?

curriculum vitae vs resume
Elegant minimalistic modern vector resume or CV template designed on A4 page, easy to edit.

Do you find yourself in need of a resume for a new position either within your company or  for a totally new opportunity? The job posting states either a resume or a “CV” resume is required to be sent in advance. What do you do?

What does “CV” mean?

Curriculum Vitae (CV) is Latin for “course of your life” and often appears as “CV.” It is meant to provide an overview of your accomplishments and career and can be quite lengthy.

Conversely, a resume is a concise picture of your education and professional experiences.

What is the difference between a Curriculum Vitae vs. Resume?

The UC Davis website provides a spectacular and complete explanation of the difference between a CV and a resume. See below for their excellent descriptions.

Curriculum Vitae vs. Resume: Format and Content

“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).

CVs are used by individuals seeking fellowships, grants, postdoctoral positions, and teaching/research positions in post-secondary institutions or high-level research positions in industry. Graduate school applications typically request a CV, but in general are looking for a resume that includes any publications and descriptions of research projects.”


  • Emphasize skills
  • Used when applying for a position in industry, non-profit, and public sector
  • Is no longer than 2 pages, with an additional page for publications and/or poster presentations if highly relevant to the job
  • After 1 year of industry experience, lead with work experience and place education section at the or near the end, depending upon qualifications

Curriculum Vitae or CV

  • Emphasizes academic accomplishments
  • used when applying for positions in academia, fellowships, and grants
  • Length depends upon experience and includes a complete list of publications, posters, and presentations
  • Always begins with education and can include name of advisor and dissertation title or summary (see examples). Also used for merit/tenure review and sabbatical leave
human resource manager looking at many different CV resumes

Not Sure whether to use a Curriculum Vitae or a resume?

The Curriculum Vitae (CV) and resume are often requested interchangeably but should not be used interchangeably. The length of a CV is often too long for employers looking for an overview of your education and experience. It is always best to contact the interviewer(s), if possible, for clarification before submitting. The type of position you are applying for most likely will dictate the use of formatting.

We can help.

Our team of content writers and designers can create the perfect resume or CV for any position. We do not use purchased templates but instead tap into our experiences in writing and formatting resumes and CV documents.

Contact us for more information or to sign up for a free 15-minute conversation about your job search and what is needed to get you that interview!

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