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Let’s face it: at one point or another, surely we’ve all mistakenly submitted a CV in the place of a resume or vice-versa. At the same time, certainly, there have been hiring managers and recruiters who have accidentally asked for one instead of the other. But it’s important to be able to distinguish between the two. After all, if you’re looking for a job, you’ll want to offer only the relevant information. Equally, if you’re a hiring manager/recruiter, you’re asking for only the relevant information. Often, many distinguish between the two by looking at their origins and meanings. However, both seem to point to the same kinds of ideas: a summarizing of your experience and relevant credentials. (“Resume” is French for “summary,” and curriculum vitae (CV) is Latin for “course of life”.) So, how do you determine the difference between a resume vs. a CV?

What Is a Resume vs. a CV?

According to NovoResume, the terms “resume” and “CV” are often used synonymously or can require different pieces of information, especially across Europe. However, recruiters and hiring managers across the U.S. and Canada tend to use the terms in very distinct environments. CVs, for example, are typical in academic settings, where a candidate’s summary refers to their entire academic career. This means that CVs can be longer than resumes, so long as it only contains the most relevant and recent credentials, experience, and awards. Resumes, on the other hand, should be concise and specifically tailored. Because they’re specific to one job, they should only include experience, credentials, and skills that reflect those needed to succeed in this one area of work. For this reason, resumes should be short (often between one to two pages long)!

With this said, these terms can be and still are used subjectively. So, when recruiters and hiring managers ask for specifics, always  follow the job posting to its exact specifications. If there is no specification, however, the following is a general rule of thumb you can follow.

What to Include in a Resume

Especially since, as previously established, many HR professionals only look at a resume for an average of 6 seconds, your resume needs to be brief and to-the-point. It should only include details asked for and that would be applicable for the position at hand. That means every single resume you submit should be uniquely tailored. It’s a lot of work, but if done correctly, it will always be worth your while. Here’s what you should typically include in a resume:

  • Your full name, contact information, and title relevant to the position at hand
  • Work and volunteer experience
  • Hard and soft skills relevant and asked for in job posting
  • Education and/or relevant qualifications

P.s., it’s worth noting that this blog on the UC Davis website says that after one year of industry experience, your resume can lead with work experience rather than education.

What to Include in a CV

Of course, CVs will look different across different departments and areas of expertise. However, here is a general idea of what to include on an academic/research-based CV:

  • Your full name and contact information, including your professional title
  • Educational background and research interests
  • Teaching, research, and lecturing experiences
  • Publications
  • Awards and grants
  • Conferences
  • Memberships
  • Languages
  • References

For more ideas on CV writing, check out this blog post by NovoResume!

How to improve both your resume and CV

Applying for highly sought-after jobs can be incredibly nerve-wracking and stressful. You may be up against hundreds for a great job. You’ll need to be able to stand out!

Start by pre-verifying your credentials. While many recruiters and hiring professionals are switching to smarter means of filtering applicants, like Packfinder and the Workwolf network, you don’t have to wait for a professional to show interest in you to get your background checked. In fact, pre-verifying your credentials can make your candidacy stronger, given that your credentials are not just self-proclaimed. Verify your diploma or degree, your former workplace, references, and so much more, and showcase that verification on our secure, tamper-proof network!

Then, showcase your soft skills in addition to your hard skills. You can prove to your future employer you’ve got the right behavior and workplace habits to thrive in a particular job function with a soft skills assessment. And what better assessment to do so with than Packfinder, our free psychometric assessment supported by Self Management Group?

Are you ready to take your future workplace by storm? Take your resume or CV to the next level with Workwolf. Sign up for a free account and Packfinder assessment by clicking here!


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