Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume

Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume

A lot of job seekers have found themselves in the dilemma of which one to use between a CV and a resume. Not to worry though, because in this article, we’ll be telling you about the differences between both documents and when they are applicable.

Basically, the differences between a resume and a CV (also known as curriculum vitae) are what they contain, their length, and what they are used for. While the both of them are used by job seekers in job applications, it is important to note that both cannot be used interchangeably.

Read: How to Write a Professional Cover Letter

Let's delve a little deeper into the differences between both application content so as to be able to know when to use one instead of the other.


A CV is a job application document that provides the summary of your skills and experience. CVs are basically longer than resumes as they are at least two or three pages long. A CV is mostly suitable when one is applying for a job that concerns academics, grants, or fellowship. It usually includes degrees, teaching experience, publications, awards, researches, presentations, and other different achievements. The inclusion of all of these information is the reason why a curriculum vitae is usually longer than a resume.

Curriculum Vitae Summary - This is a condensed version of a full CV. It is usually one to two pages long. A CV summary is not the same thing as a resume. The CV summary is usually used to summarize the skills and qualifications of an individual in a quick and concise way. When an organization is expecting a large pool of participants, they may ask the participants to provide a CV summary instead of a full curriculum vitae.


Resumes are not as long as CVs. They are used to provide an organization or an employer with a summary of your work history, your education, your accomplishments, credentials, and your skills. Resumes also contain optional sections, including career summary statement and resume objective. Resumes happen to be the most common document asked by organizations during an employment program.

Read: The Importance of Soft Skills

You need to ensure that when writing your resume, it should be as concise as possible. Basically, all the details of a resume should not be more than a page, but there are instances where it can be two pages long. Most times, bullet points are inserted into resumes so as to ensure that the details remain concise as much as possible.

The type of job you are submitting the resume for will determine the type of resume you'll provide. Resumes come in three different formats, which are;

  • Functional
  • Combination, and
  • Chronological formats.

The format you'll use will depend on the type of job you are applying for.


CVs are exclusively used in countries that are outside the U.S. In the Middle East, Europe, Asia, or Africa, employers may be expected to receive a curriculum vitae. But in the United States, CVs are common among people in medicine and academia. Therefore, CVs are basically used when applying for educational, scientific, international, medical, research or academic positions, or when you are applying for grants or fellowship.


  • Ensure that your CV or resume matches the position you are applying for.
  • You can find a good template that will provide you with the kind of structure your CV and resume should look like.
  • Ensure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors in your resume.

Also ensure that the format you use is uniform.