Difference between CV and resume

“Dear Megha,

It looks like there was a simple misunderstanding on your part. We requested your CV but you have sent your resume.

Kindly, send your CV if you are still interested in this position.


HR team”

CV and resume

Megha was excited to see the email reply to her job application until she read the above message in the email.

“Is CV and resume a different thing?” Megha thought, “And if not, what is CV then?”

Well, like Megha if you are also confused with the difference between CV and resume, you are not alone. Many times people use the term “CV” as a synonym of resume. But CV and resume are both different things.

What is the meaning of CV then? Let’s understand.

What is CV?

You might know that the term CV is actually an abbreviation of the Latin word Curriculum Vitae, which literally means “the course of your life”.

If we consider this term in the context of your professional life the meaning of CV translates to ” the course of your professional life”.

In simple words, your CV describes the journey of your career including everything you have done professionally, all the awards and achievements you are proud of, and all the publications you have authored.

All this information makes a CV an in-depth comprehensive document that goes from 2 to 8 pages or sometimes even longer depending on the years of experience you have or the achievements and goals you have accomplished.

What does a CV include?

  • Your name and contact information
  • Professional title
  • Resume summary or objective
  • Education
  • Research interest
  • Publications
  • Professional or teaching experience
  • Conferences and course certifications
  • Languages
  • Grants of fellowship
  • References

What is a resume?

While a CV is a comprehensive description of your career, a resume is created specific for the job. Thus, your resume should be as short and to the point as possible.

When creating a resume you should only include the information and aspects of your work that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Try to limit your resume to one page only unless you have 10+ years of experience or you believe you have extra information that you must include you can make your resume of a maximum of 2 pages.

What does a resume include?

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your job title, or the position you are applying for
  • Resume summary or objective
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Relevant skills
  • Languages
  • Relevant interests and certifications

Now that you have understood the meaning of CV and resume, let’s look at the difference between them both.

Difference between CV and resume

  • Length

This one is highlighted the difference between CV and resume. A resume is kept short by including only the relevant details while CV can go up to 2-3 pages depending on your experience.

  • Usage

You may want to keep your CV ready in case you are applying for academic jobs, research programs, etc. However, if you aim to work in the corporate world your employer will usually ask for a resume.

  • Information

Both the documents include different information. A CV is your academic diary which includes all your academic qualifications and professional experience.

On the other hand, you should include information such as your work experience and skills in the resume that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Now that you know what is CV and resume, the difference between the two, and how and when to create these documents, this will help you in making the right first impression on your employer and get your dream job.