Every professional has come across a job opening that ended with ‘email your CV/resume to xx@abc.com’. Do you think there’s a difference between CV and resume? Can they be used interchangeably?

A CV is, in fact, different from a resume.

What is the meaning of CV? CV stands for Curriculum Vitae which is Latin for ‘course of your life’.

Resume, however, is French for ‘summary’. It’s easy to understand the difference between the two based on their definitions.

A CV is a lengthy and comprehensive analysis of your experience and a resume is a condensed summary of your professional accomplishments.

You can create a successful CV or resume with the right format and proficient writing skills. Enhance your writing skills with tips from Harappa’s experienced faculty.

Even the most prolific writer struggles with structure, brevity and accuracy. With Harappa Education’s Writing Proficiently course, you can familiarize yourself with the basics of writing to make an impact. Master the skill of purposeful writing and apply your learnings to write a compelling story based on your life. In this section, we’ll look at the key difference between a CV and a resume.

What’s the difference between a CV and a resume?

1. Length

The most significant CV and resume difference is the length of each. A CV is usually two to three pages and a resume is ideally a one-page document.

What is a CV? A CV is a detailed and thorough guide to everything you have achieved or engaged in such as attended conferences, published papers, acquired skills and your academic history.

A resume is a condensed and brief description of your professional work experience. Some of the sections you’ll find in a resume are professional experience, skills and academic history.

2. Purpose

A key CV and resume difference is the purpose for which they’re used. If you’re applying for a PhD, academic scholarship, research grant or fellowships, then a CV is the preferred document. However, a resume is used mainly for job roles in companies. For instance, you’ll be required to send in your resume for engineering, marketing and finance roles in organizations.

3. Content

The kind of information you write also determines the difference between a CV and a resume. For a CV, you would add information that’s mostly academic such as publications, presentations and workshops related to your academic goals. It’s a standard document that you can share across organizations as it contains everything that points to your academic accomplishments and research experience.

A resume is dynamic. It needs to be modified and altered according to each job description. You can move sections based on requirements for different roles. Highlight your technical skills or focus on projects that you’re proud of. A resume is often accompanied by a cover letter that contains a summary of your employment history or instances you want to highlight. This makes up for the lack of explanation in your resume.

What is resume writing?

Resume writing is a key skill that’ll help you succeed in your job hunt. Each company expects you to send a resume that fits the bill. You have to be careful when you’re building your resume though as it’s easy to get carried away with information.

Remember to keep it brief and simple. Explain the important points in your cover letter to help the hiring manager keep track of your career trajectory.

Now that you understand the difference between a CV and a resume, you’re on course to stand out in a crowd. You can also take Harappa’s Writing Proficiently course to help you hone written communication skills. Sign up now and get ready for your success journey.


Explore the skills & topics such as Skills for Resume, How to Answer Weakness in an Interview & Strengths in an Interview question from our Harappa Diaries blog section and ace an interview.

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