CV or Resume?

Monday, October 19, 2020

On job advertisements you see either the terms CV or Résumé, or sometimes both in the same advert.  What is the difference and which should I use? Let’s have a look here…

A CV (Curriculum Vitae) was the original name and literally meant your whole work-life story. It often included details of schooling, community involvement, date of birth, marital status, religion and all sorts of information that is no longer thought necessary.

Tertiary institutions sometimes still want a CV and they are very interested in every academic position you have had, research, published papers, etc. They give guides as to the content.

For the majority of positions, all that is necessary is the short version is– the résumé  of it. The word résumé means a summary or précis.

Many job adverts advise a page limit of between two and five pages maximum. In the USA a résumé is a one-page document, often called a Profile.

Unless it clearly stipulates a CV is required, as in University Job Advertisements, you can safely provide a Résumé.

You are advised not to include details such as date of birth, health, primary or secondary schooling, marital status, number of children, religion, political affiliations, spouse occupations, parents’ occupations or similar private information.

Aim for a three to four page “targeted” résumé.