Did you read the title and think: “But, aren’t a CV and resume the same thing?”
There are some key differences between a CV and resume, which include:
- How long they are
- The information they include
- What you’re applying for
Feel like you might have been using the wrong one?
This article will give you all the information you need to create a winning CV, and will tell you exactly when you should be using one.
Use a resume when you should be using a CV, and you could miss out on your dream job.
Don’t let that happen.
What Is a CV, Exactly?
A CV, or curriculum vitae, provides a summary of your skills and experiences. It will usually be 2-3 pages long, and includes much more details than a resume.
Tailored Content for a Killer CV
Your CV should be tailored to be as relevant as possible to the position you’re applying for, but all CVs should include these basic things:
- Your name, address and contact details
- Education and qualifications
- Your work history and experience
- Information on your academic background. This can include research projects, teaching or lecturing experience, publications, presentations and awards.
A resume will include the first three points, but will be more tailored to the job you’re applying for, less thorough, and less focused on academic background.
When a CV, When a Resume?
When applying for a job outside of the US, a CV will usually be expected. Some jobs in the US, like those in medicine or academia, will ask for a CV.
For most jobs in the US, however, a resume is acceptable.
You wouldn’t write a three page CV to apply for a weekend waitressing job, but a CV would be perfect if you were applying for an academic research position 
.If in doubt, get in touch with the recruiter for the organisation you’re applying to and ask for their preference.
The Essence of a Perfect CV
Worried your CV will go straight into the bin?
Follow the tips below to craft a CV that’s readable, relevant and persuasive.
- Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for. If you’re going for a teaching job, make sure to emphasise your experience in education.
- Make sure it’s well-formatted. Make your CV as clear and easy to read as possible. Don’t waste time on fancy formatting, and don’t add pictures.
- Use bullet points. Using lists to display your key achievements, skills and experience is a great way to quickly convey them to the person reading.
- Don’t include irrelevant information. You don’t need to list every detail of everything you’ve ever done. Stick to what’s relevant to the position you’re applying for.
What does a good CV look like?
Checking out examples of winning CVs is a great way to shed some light on what yours should look like. We’ve curated some examples of excellent CVs below.
Basic CV format
Does education come before work experience? Where should my address be?
Check out this example of a correctly formatted curriculum vitae to see exactly how your CV should be laid out.
CVs for young people
Don’t have any work experience? Feel like there’s nothing to write on your CV?
These sample CV templates will help if you’re still in school or have recently left.
CVs for graduates
Ready to enter the big wide world of employment? Make your first job search a successful one with these sample graduate CVs.
CVs for academia
Applying for a research position or PhD? These academic CV templates will show you everything you need to include.
CVs for medical jobs
Writing a medical CV can feel daunting, even if you know you’re fully qualified.
Check out this page for advice on how to prepare and structure your medical CV.
CVs for business
What should you focus on in a business CV? How detailed should it be?
These example business CVs will help you to write a winner.
CVs for a change of career
Want to move industry or change your career, but worried it’ll never happen?
With the right CV, you can find your dream job. Check out these sample career change CVs for inspiration.
Don’t let your dream job pass you by because you didn’t write a good CV – or worse, you submitted a resume!
Spend some time getting it right and your future self will thank you.
Featured photo credit: Flaticon via flaticon.com
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