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CV And Resume – What Is Actually The Difference?

It is confusing most times to differentiate between a CV and a resume. Most job applicants at one point is required to submit their resume while in other occasions is the CV. Therefore, it is important to know the difference between the two.

Despite the fact that both resume and CV are solely a tool to market yourself to your potential employer, making mistakes of using the wrong document can disqualify you from getting the job of your dream.

In most cases, because of the number of applications coming to the employer; he may require you write him a summary of who you are, what you do and why you think you are good for the job. In the other hand, the employer may want you to provide those information in details.

Therefore, the first step to writing a good resume or CV is knowing what your potential boss wants to see.

A good CV or a well written resume is the first and most critical point of getting the job you are applying for. However, there are so many apps that can help you build your CV or Resume, but, its always unique if it is written by yourself.

Consequently, you have to understand the following before submitting your documents for job application.

  • What a CV and a resume means.
  • How to write the both of them and what they contains.
  • The striking difference between the two.
  • You have to also know when to use any of the two.
  • Finally, what makes your CV or Resume attractive to your potential employer.

What is CV?

A CV is an abbreviation of the word Curriculum vitae which is a Latin word meaning “course of life”.

In other words, it is a document that have an in-depth details of your career and background professional history in a chronological or sequential order. Hence, it is important to start a CV with information about education background with year and in the order with which they happened.

Therefore, there is no iron clad rule on the number of pages of a CV; the more detailed the information, the lengthier the CV. The number of pages can start from 3 to 8 pages.

How to write a CV

A good Curriculum vitae is to be comprehensive rather than a shallow insight to your professional achievements. In that case, try as much as possible to include any of the following items if available to your CV.

  • Personal profile, Skills, Motivation and Hobbies
  • Academic qualifications with CGPA and year starting from Kindergarten.
  • Certifications for Volunteer services, Faith Based Organizations (FBO) or Non Governmental Organizations  (NGOs)
  • Any professional achievement or affiliations you hold E.g. member of a professional body.
  • Your publications, dissertations and research projects.
  • All the conferences you’ve attended
  • Honors and awards you earned.
  • Employment and work history with position and dates
  • Grants you’ve received

What is Resume?

A resume is a French word for “Abstract” or “Summary”. Therefore, the resume is a document that contains all your bio data and career history in a summarized pattern. Also, the resume is tailored to the particular job you are applying for. This means that you will only have to include details that makes you fit into the new job you are applying for. E.g, If you have had a job as a table tennis coach and you are applying for a job to manage a fish pond; its not necessary to include that previous job in your resume.

The length of a resume is usually 1 to 2 pages long. In that case, attention is usually paid to market yourself in a bulleted format.

 How to write a good resume

There is no stereotyped way of writing a good resume. Writing a good resume lies in your ability to project and articulate those your potentials that makes you stand aside as the best person for the job. It may interest you to know that most employers have piles of job applications waiting on their desk, therefore, trying some of these may help your resume look catchy.

  • Start with your personal details and accessible contact details.
  • Do not write too lengthy and boring resume ( like 3 to 4 pages).
  • Bullet your skills and achievements
  • Always attach a cover letter to your resume unless stated otherwise.
  • Write your job history in a reverse chronology i.e. starting from most recent position down to older ones.
  • Always read the objectives and the requirements of the job and find a way to make your Resume suit the position.
  • It should be job/company specific
  • Proof-read your Resume like 2 times before finally submitting it.
  • Never add personal interests to your resume.

Similarities between a resume and a CV

The two are used interchangeably in different locations while in some other places they are strictly different. Nevertheless, whether a resume or a curriculum vitae, it must meet up the following requirements below;

  • Both should be able to represent you as the best candidate for the job
  • Neither CV nor Resume should contain your personal interest
  • Have to be tailored to the job/company you are targeting
  • Should be written in a way to catch the attention of your employer.

Difference between a CV and a resume

Though a CV and a resume can serve same purpose but there exists few differences; In Scope, Purpose, Size and Geography.

  1. Scope: A resume is designed to highlight experiences and qualifications that makes you fit for a job. In other words, your resume should not contain unnecessary items that you may not need for a job. On the other hand, a CV should contain all your academic and professional achievements including experiences.
  2. Purpose: The job type determines the type of document to be used. Academic or lecturing jobs requires a CV as the idle document for application. But, resume can be used for any type of job unless the employer states otherwise.
  3. Size: The length of a resume is usually short and the points are highlighted. An idle resume should contain 1 to 2 pages (preferably 1 page unless have more than 5 years of experience). The CV is lengthier and is written in details. The pages can be up to 6 or more pages depending on the number of years of experience, professional achievements and others.
  4. Geographical location: CV and Resume use is influenced by the country you are applying for the job the job. Asians and Africans  curriculum vitae and resume interchangeably without any much difference. Most European countries prefer to address it as a Curriculum vitae while the Canadians, USA and Australia prefer to use resume.

When to Use a CV or resume

When considering the type of document to use to hunt for a job. These factors should come to your mind.

  • The geographical setting (country/region)
  • Type of document requested by your employer
  • Job type you are applying for.
  • And the type of document that can market you easily (Freshers are encouraged to use CV while those with many years of experience should use a resume to highlight their points).

Having those points in mind will guide you to what you need for the job application. However, the summary is to make sure that you market yourself as the best candidate for any job.

If you need help on how to get a resume/CV, You can check our post on the Free Best Resume Builder For Job Hunting.

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