Resume or CV? – CV or Resume?

By Suthida Boonmacharoen

People often confuse CVs (Curriculum Vitaes) and Resumes believing that they are just different words for exactly the same document or meaning.  In reality, however, these two important even often possibly life changing career documents are totally different from the perspective of structure, form and usage.

The main differences between CVs and Resumes relate to length, layout, purpose and content.  It is important to understand what the content or these different documents should contain and what they should be best used for.  The two documents may look similar, but in reality they are not always interchangeable and in fact if used & composed correctly can be viewed as unique.

Curriculum Vitae (“CV”)

Curriculum Vitae is actually derived from the Latin language and translates to “Course of (one’s) life”. CV is effectively a document that provides an insight or short summary into your educational career and work history, experience, qualifications and achievements which of course is prepared by you the applicant.  Research that you have conducted or honors you have received relating to education and academic work can also be included in this document.  A CV contains content of at least 2-3 pages and sometimes much more particularly the older that you get and it is a document that should provide an in-depth description of your qualifications as well as educational and work history and it is often referred to as a short encyclopedia of your work and other lifetime achievements.  The CV is suitable for applying for jobs at educational institutions or even for scholarships.  Countries that use CVs primarily are the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and parts of Europe.


The resume can be described as more of a short, concise form document used for job applications highlighting your competencies and other skills.  A resume should be tailored to the position you are applying to showcase your relevant experience and outstanding skills without going into the same details as a CV.  It is not required to include other special events or items unrelated to the achieved job description.  A good resume should not be longer than 1 page.  Most of the time, a resume is used for general job applications.  It can of course be adjusted to the objectives to highlight certain skills that will help you succeed in different jobs.  Resumes are key for the most widely used job application documents, especially in the United States and Canada.

What is the difference between a Resume and CV?

The main differences between a CV and a resume are the length, purpose and layout.  A resume is a brief summary of your skills and experience containing one or two pages whilst a CV is a much longer document that lists an individual’s educational credentials, publications and awards.

Comparison table between Curriculum Vitae (“CV”) & Resume





Can be lengthy with many pages


1-2 pages maximum

History of your academic & work history


Concise work-related content applicable to job applied for


Generally for academic use


Used for general job applications

Thorough professional experience chronology


Professional summary

List of publications


List of skills

Highlight all awards and honors


Short summary of experiences

Let’s summarize it again for clarity.  The resume is the most commonly used document for job applications.  The CV highlights the requirement for overviews and insights.  It all depends on the position that you have applied for whether the company wants a resume or CV.  If neither is stipulated, the one selected should be appropriate for the position applied for.  And most importantly, you must be honest with what you write.  This will enable the company to understand and see your capabilities and offer the right position that is most suitable for your skillset.

“Should you require any further information or assistance regarding the contents of this publication, please do not hesitate to contact me on [email protected]

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Suthida Boonmacharoen
Senior Recruitment Consultant