CV vs. Resume

What is a CV?

  • A CV is a Curriculum Vitae and is a complete record of your academic history and achievements that includes your research, education history, conference attendance, references, and other pertinent information. It is often long. It is comprehensive.
  • CVs are the credential asked for in academic job processes, postdoctoral scholar applications, and fellowship and grant applications. CVs relay important information about your education history, publications, teaching history, and service. They help colleges and universities understand the skills and research areas you are equipt to research and teach in.
  • If you are looking into international jobs, make sure to double-check with the employer about what exact documents they want. Often, different terms can be used (for instance,  in Europe “CV” means what Americans would think of as a resume).

What is a resume?

  • A resume is a concise work and skill history that is specifically targeted for the job you are applying for. A resume is not expansive or long; they are between one to two pages. You only include the most pertinent job experiences and skills to prove that you are a qualified job candidate. You want to think of a resume as a persuasive document; you are persuading an employer through this document that you are a professional who has the skills and training necessary for a specific job.

How do they compare? 


  • The audience for a CV is academics who are inside or outside of your discipline.
  • The audience for a resume is your potential employers and network contacts.


  • The goal of a CV is to obtain an academic position, research-focused or teaching-focused position in academia or another industry, or a grant or fellowship. Generally, CVs are not used outside of the academy.
  • The goal of a resume is to obtain a specific position in government, nonprofit, technology, business, consulting, or another industry. Resumes are used in almost every other industry besides academia.

Structure & Format

  • A CV is expansive and comprehensive. It lists your complete academic history including research, teaching, funding, awards, and service. CVs are not targeted towards a specific job; the are a record of your academic activities.
  • A resume is a snapshot of the unique and specific skills you have that are applicable for the job you are applying for. You should include your most relevant skills and experiences in the first third of the resume. Resumes are targeted towards a specific job.
  • A resume may also include an “Objective” section wherein you list why you are applying to a specific job. In this, you may want to list the specific job, company, and job listing. There is no “Objective” section on a CV.


  • The focus of a CV is your academic achievements and history of education and service.
  • The focus of the a resume is on your relevant experiences and work history that proves you are suited for the job you are applying for. Research projects and publications can be included in a resume if they are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  • A resume may also include a “Summary of Qualifications and Skills”” or “Profile” near the top of the resume that consists of five to six statements that state the key skills required to do the job.

Unnecessary Info

  • In a CV, you don’t need to put anything that’s not related to your academic pursuits. For instance, you don’t need to put irrelevant work experience, hobbies, your physical features).
  • If you are converting your CV into a resume (or even just making a resume), there is much that would typically go on a CV that doesn’t belong on a resume. For instance, publications, presentations, conferences attended, courses taught. The focus of your resume should be tailored to the job you are applying for and the unique skills and experiences that make you qualified for that specific job.
  • Work experiences that are from ten or more years ago should not be included on your resume.
  • While it can feel strange to delete information that might be important for a CV, by completing a resume the right way it shows that you understand the industry you are applying for and what is required. Submitting a CV for a job that requires a resume shows a lack of awareness and effort into learning what your industry is about.


  • The length of a CV is flexible and depends on your time and experiences in academia.
  • The length of a resume is more restricted—one to two pages maximum.


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