CV, Curriculum Vitae and Resume… What Are The Differences?

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CV, Curriculum Vitae and Resume… What are the differences?

What is a CV?

In its full form, CV stands for Curriculum Vitae (latin for: course of life). In the US, Canada, and Australia, a CV is a document you use for academic purposes. The US academic CV outlines every detail of your scholarly career. In other countries, CV is an equivalent of an American resume and is used to apply for a job.

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CV, Curriculum Vitae and Resume… What Are The Differences?

CV ya Jean Othos Baleke | Simba Sports Club Player 2023

A CV is therefore a curriculum vitae, and other than its length and purpose in a few English-speaking countries, a CV is a synonym for a resume. Confused? Read our full guide on what a CV is.

What are the differences between a CV and a resume?

Let’s get this straight, once and for all:

In the hiring industry, nowadays there’s almost no formal difference between a CV and a resume. It’s the same thing that Brits call a CV and Americans—a resume.

Just like they do with chips and french fries, football and soccer, or Queen Elizabeth and Queen Bey.

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So, if you’re applying to a European company, you should create a CV. But if you’re applying to a US-based employer, you need a resume. If you’re making a CV for academic purposes in the US, Canada or Australia, read our guide on the differences between a CV and a resume.

And no, a CV is not a cover letter. A curriculum vitae contains your work history, education and skills, while a cover letter is a full-blown marketing campaign. These documents are completely different, and you can learn more about those differences in this guide on Curriculum Vitae VS Cover Letter.

Here’s how to write a CV:

  • Pick the right CV format
  • Add your name contact information
  • Start with a personal profile and your title
  • List your relevant work experience & key achievements
  • Build your academic and education section
  • Put relevant skills that fit the job opening
  • Include pertinent information in additional sections
  • Organize this all on a professional CV template
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CV: Proper Order of Sections

  • CV Header with Contact Information
  • Personal Profile: CV Objective or CV Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Additional Sections


Pro Tip: Once you’ve finished writing, save your CV in PDF to make sure your CV layout stays intact. But pay close attention to the job description. Some employers won’t accept a PDF CV. If such is the case, send your CV in Word.


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