Difference Between a CV and a Resume

People are often confused between a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a Resume. These two documents are often used in exchange, causing confusion among job seekers. If you have ever wondered about the difference between a CV and a Resume, you’re not alone. In this article, we will delve into the key differences between these two vital components of the job-seeking process. We will clarify what a CV and a Resume are, how they differ in length and content, and when to use one in place of the other.

What is a CV and What is a Resume?

First we need to understand, in what place what is to be used.

A Curriculum Vitae (CV), is a Latin term which means “the course of your life,” it is a long document that meticulously explains your academic and professional journey. It goes beyond just listing your work experience. It includes your education, awards, accolades, research projects, publications, references, and even personal interests. A CV acts as a records your accomplishments and qualifications. The length of a CV can vary considerably, typically ranging from two to eight pages, depending upon your level of experience and achievement.

On the contrary, a Resume is a small and focused document which aims to summarize your career history, skills, and education, primarily catering to a specific job application. A Resume provides a short overview of your professional life. Unlike a CV, a Resume is usually limited to one or two pages, designed to highlight relevant work experiences and skills. It is very precise and relevant, offering hiring managers a quick glimpse into your qualifications for a specific role.

What is the difference between a CV and a Resume?


One of the most visible differences between a CV and a Resume is the length of each of these. A Resume, as you may have gotten from our previous discussions, is brief and concise. It should fit within a single page, although for professionals with a lot of experience, a two-page Resume is also acceptable. A Resumes ticks to the principle of being short, and it focuses on a clear, structured presentation of your most relevant skills and experiences.

In contrast to that, a CV doesn’t follow the same idea. As a long document, it is expected to be quite long. The length of a CV increases according to your years of experience and accomplishments. It can span anywhere from two to eight pages, allowing you to show an exhaustive history of your academic and professional journey. This aspect sets a CV apart, making it an explanatory document for people with a lot of experience.

Academics vs. Industry

The content of a CV and a Resume are quite different because of their purposes and audiences A CV places a lot of importance on your academic achievements and experiences. It includes information related to your educational background, academic honors, awards, research projects, and publications. Also, a CV may get into details such as teaching or lecturing experience, conferences attended, and any relevant certificates or grants you have received. A CV often begins with a detailed education section and can even include the name of your advisor and dissertation title or summary. This format is for people applying for academic positions, fellowships, research roles, or high-level positions in various industries.

On the other hand, a Resume prioritizes work experiences and skills relevant to the industry or job for which you are applying. It doesn’t go very deeply into academic achievements unless they are directly related to the position. A Resume showcases your contributions in previous roles and demonstrates how your specific skills can benefit the prospective employer. It usually begins with your work experience, with your education section following, placed near the end. A good Resumes how’s your qualifications to the specific job, highlighting professional achievements rather than academic ones.

CV vs. Resume

Understanding the difference between a CV and a Resume becomes even more difficult when you look at the of countries. In many European countries, the term CV is an umbrella term including all job application documents, including what is normally known as a Resume. But, in the United States and Canada both CV and Resume are sometimes used interchangeably. Whenever applying for a job you should always make it clear what the company is asking for? You can always consider resume writing services and CV writing services for a better approach.

CV Example:

Consider the case of John Doe, a marketing professional who wants to get a position as a university professor. In hisCV, Johntell about her life’s work, including everything from his academic journey, research interests, and professional skills to his list of publications. She places her academic accomplishments and interests at the top of her CV, with professional experiences following.

Resume Example:

Jane Doe who is a marketing specialist has applied for a role in the industry. Jane’s Resume is decidedly shorter and more precise compared to John’s CV. It showcs her work experience, skills, certifications, and relevant education. As Jane targets a marketing role, she focuses her Resume on her industry-relevant accomplishments.

The Difference Between Different Countries

As the articles underscore, the usage of the terms CV and Resume can vary based on regional context, primarily between the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world.

In Dubai, knowing when to use a CV or a Resume is important for you. The differences between a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a Resume can be confusing. So, when you’re in Dubai job hunting, it’s important to figure out whether your employer wants a CV or a Resume to make a strong impression and get your dream job.

In the United Arab Emirates, a Resume is the document for job applications in various industries. This difference is clear: a Resume is concise and crafted for employment in the private or public sector.

On the other hand, in the European Union, including countries like the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, the term CV serves as a universal description for all job application documents. The word “Resume” is used very less. So if you’re applying for a position in the EU, and the job posting requests a CV, remember that it essentially means a Resume Made according to a European rules.

When to Use a CV or a Resume?

The decision between using a CV or a Resume hinges on the nature of the job you are applying for and your geographic location.

If your career path leads you to academia, be it as an educator, researcher, or a part of a Ph.D. program, a CV is your document of choice. Academic institutions may have specific guidelines for what to include in a CV, so consulting your prospective institution’s website for these instructions is advisable.

In the private sector or other non-academic industries, a Resume is the preferred document. Your Resume showcases your work history, skills, and expertise relevant to the specific job you’re pursuing. But in the global context in relation to the choice between a CV and a Resume can be confusing at times. However, the nature of the position you’re applying for serves as a valuable guide. If you’re ever in doubt about which document to submit, reaching out to the recruiter or hiring manager is better. It ensures you present the required document, increasing your chances of standing out in the applicant pool.


In conclusion, the difference between a CV and a Resume lies in their length, content, and regional applicability. A Resume is a small document designed for private and public sector job applications, usually spanning one to two pages. A CV, is a long document, ranging from two to eight pages, suitable for academics, research, fellowships, or high-level industry roles.

You should keep in mind that a CV and Resume have different purposes, and by understanding this, you can easily get your dream job. In the Job market, every detail matters, and your choice of document can make all the difference. We provide both consider resume writing services  so if you are looking for one, Contact us today!


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