CV vs. resume: Whats the difference?
The best way to understand the differences between CVs vs. resumes is with examples. Study the examples below to see how the two documents compare.
What to include in a CV and who should use one
CVs offer a lot of variety and many choices in terms of which sections the job seeker should include. Some are required and others are optional. What you include will depend on your experience level and the role to which you are applying.
Here are 12 sections to consider when learning how to write a CV:
Curriculum vitae sample
Required CV sections:
Include your name and contact information here. Including your complete mailing address is no longer necessary, but your location is, so be sure to add your city and state.
A professional summary should consist of three to five sentences that offer a high-level glimpse into your most relevant skills and your top professional achievements.
Use bullet points to highlight your unique skills, specifically as they relate to the role you seek. Dont forget to include in this section a mix of hard and soft skills.
Education often takes a high-profile role on a CV. Since CVs are usually used in industries like the sciences, law, medicine and academia — which require higher education — you'll want to list your degrees after high school only.
Here, make a reverse-chronological list of your past employers, starting with your most recent or current role. For each, add job titles, dates of employment, and location. Also for each, add bullet points that explain your job responsibilities and include at least one quantifiable metric that shows the impact of your work.
Optional CV sections:
Add this section to highlight the industry-relevant associations to which you belong.
If you have won any professional or academic awards that are relevant to the job to which youre applying, list them here.
Grants and fellowships:
This section is most common in fields like academia, medicine or law, where you might receive a grant or a fellowship. Add this to show that your work is valued and backed by your field.
Certifications and licenses:
List any relevant professional certifications or licenses you have earned here.
In some fields, its common to list the conferences youve attended. This is especially important if you have given a lecture, a keynote, or presented your work or research.
If you have written articles or research papers that have been published, list them here. The same goes for published works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and other books.
Whether you choose a resume or a CV will depend on the industry and the role you seek. The vast majority of job seekers in the U.S. will want to choose a resume. However, those job seekers who are applying for work in academia, the sciences, law or medicine should choose to write a CV.
No. In the U.S., CVs and resumes are different documents and have different uses. However, if you are an American who is applying for work in Europe and you are asked to send the hiring manager a CV, what they actually mean is to send in your resume.
In the U.S., CVs are used primarily by job seekers who are applying for positions in academia, sciences, medicine or law. All other job seekers should choose a resume.