By Ranthilini Vithanage
As fresh graduates entering the job market looking for employment opportunities, we all have to send a CV or a resume to get an interview. Certain jobs specify which document they require; the advertisement mentions whether you should send a CV or a resume. Even though most people think that they mean the same thing, it is only partially true. While the two terms are used interchangeably in certain countries, particularly those in the Western hemisphere, there are some distinct features that mark the difference between the two documents. And as a job seeker, you need to understand what makes a CV and a resume different from each other and which should be sent to what job opening.
So, here is a list of the most prominent differences between a CV and a resume; this is all you need to know about CV writing.
1. The CV is a record of your academic accomplishments.
The main difference between a CV and a resume is that the former is a detailed record of your educational qualifications and academic accomplishments. In contrast, a resume is a document that presents your key skills, professional experiences and other work-related details. This is not to say that your educational background is not included in a resume. It is. But the marked difference here is that a resume focuses on professional/work experiences rather than the academic history. Which leads us to the second most prominent difference between a CV and a resume.
2. The CV is used in academia while the resume is used for job seeking.
As we already know, your CV outlines your education. Accordingly, the CV is used to apply for things related to academia. Think scholarships, fellowships, grants, jobs in universities as lecturers and professors, for example. When you apply for something like this, you have to highlight your academic excellence and this is where the CV comes in. With a CV, you can trace your academic history, have subtopics for your key accomplishments, and talk about what you learnt during a particular course and what awards you received as an academic.
In contrast, a resume does not give you the liberty to talk about your education in such detail. The focus here is on your skills as an employable professional. That is why a resume is used when you are searching for employment in the job market. In the resume, you can emphasize your areas of expertise relating to your field, your prior work experience, key skills that you bring to the role etc.
3. The resume is shorter while the CV is relatively longer.
Like mentioned before, the resume is a summary of you as a professional. Therefore, the resume document is often limited to 1 page. Sometimes, if you have things that you cannot leave out at any cost, it is okay to go for a 2-page resume. However, as a job seeker, it is better to limit your resume to one page because, according to what HR managers and recruiters have said, they tend to ignore resumes that are ‘too long.’ Not being able to summarize everything in one page could be perceived as the candidate’s inability to ‘pick and choose’ and to understand their own strengths. So, just to be on safe grounds, we recommend that you keep your resume to one page.
However, when it comes to the CV, there are no such rules. Your CV can be as long as you want. The academia is very welcoming of detailed descriptions of academics and educational accomplishments.
So, these are the three main differences between a CV and a resume. And to make it even easier for you, here is a concise chart.
|Length variable (2-20 pages in general)||Limited to 1-2 pages|
|Used when applying for academic positions||Used when seeking jobs in industry|
|Emphasis on academic credentials||Emphasis on skills and talents relating to the relevant job|
|Usually not modified when applying for another position||Can be modified and tailored to suit the particular job|
Now that you have your CV and resume sorted, what about the next stage? Are you ready to walk confidently into the interview and take on the world? Growth Central can help you hone your skills in this regard. Do check out this course they offer; they cover just the right aspects!