What Is The Difference Between A Résumé And A CV?

Whether you are searching for your first job or you are looking for a change in your career, a pivotal aspect is to make a good impression on your job applications. 

Most job applications expect you to submit a document that has your educational background, internship/work history along with your skills, accomplishments and awards enlisted in order to get a glimpse of whether you are a suitable applicant for the job.

A study has found that only 10% of job applications result in a call for the next round of interviews. Hence, to make your job application stand out you need to ensure you tick all the right boxes to impress your future employer.

You may be confused as to which document you should use for your job application – a Résumé or a Curriculum Vitae (CV)? The upcoming section draws up the stark differences between a Résumé and a CV, so you can decide which will serve you best in your job application.

What is a Résumé?

 A Résumé can be defined as a document that summarizes the job applicant’s educational background, work experience and special skills that will come in handy for the job.

What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

A Curriculum Vitae is a document made up of the complete list from your education to all your work achievements, projects worked on, awards and accomplishments in your career, etc.

The Major Differences between a Résumé and a CV:


The difference in the length of both these documents is a major one. A Résumé is a condensed version with either a single page or a maximum of two pages, whereas the CV is a long document that may run for 4 pages or more based on the experience of the candidate.

As per a recent study, contrary to general assumption, it is discovered that employers want job applicants to send in a two-page Résumé, especially if the job is of an intermediate or senior level. 77% of employers have even explicitly mentioned that a seasoned job applicant should not be handing in a single page Résumé. Hence, keep this point in mind while creating or updating your Résumé.


The CV has its origins in Europe, with the name being derived from Latin, which means ‘Course of Life’. Hence, it must contain all your educational and career growth curves in detail.

Résumé is a French word which means ‘summary’. And that goes to say that this official document is a summarized version of your education and work history.


In the USA, a CV and Résumé are two distinctive documents that serve their unique purposes.

In the UK, NZ, and some parts of Europe, only the term CV is used and it includes both types of documents. The term Résumé is not used in these regions.

In Australia, India, and South Africa both these terms are actually used mutually.

Career Fields:

A CV is mostly expected in fields such as Academia, Medicine where work experiences and all the projects, publications, cases, research studies, accomplishments, etc have to be mentioned in great detail.

Résumés are used in all other career fields.

Customized Content:

Résumés usually need to be customized according to the job that is being applied for. As it is a summarized version, the details that cater to that specific job need to be highlighted and explained. Also, the skills that would be crucial to the job need to be highlighted to grab the attention of the employer.

A CV is an extensive document that already contains the entire educational and work history of the applicant, hence there is no need for customization for each job application.

Hope you have gotten a comprehensive view of the differences between a Résumé or a CV, and will incorporate this knowledge into your job applications. There are various templates and samples available on the Internet, which you can also refer to while creating your documents. All the very best for your job applications.

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