An Understanding of Resume and CV (Curriculum Vitae) By CS Annu Sharma

Dear Professionals,

Hope You All Are Doing Well in your life!

CV vs. Resume creates so many confusions between our young professionals like CS/CA/CMA/MBA or others who are just beginning their career either CV or Resume both are the initial step to get a good job. There are a few differences between the two types of application documents and this write-up will straighten out your queries as well as tell you where in the world you are likely to use which document either CV or Resume. Although the purpose of both the documents is same – screening candidates for a particular position, they differ in a few ways.

For a basic understanding firstly I would be mentioning about their meaning then I begin with the differences in between them, knowing the difference between curriculum vitae (CV) and resume can be valuable to your job search. It will prepare you for a situation where you are asked to provide either or both.


A CV (Curriculum Vitae, which means a course of life in Latin) is an in-depth document that can be laid out over two or more pages and it contains a high level of detail about your achievements, a great deal more than just a career biography. The CV covers your education as well as any other accomplishments like publications, awards, honors etc.  

The document tends to be organized chronologically and should make it easy to get an overview of an individual’s full working career. A CV is static and doesn’t change for different positions; the difference would be in the cover letter. “Curriculum vitae” means “Course of Life” in Latin. That translation actually describes a CV very well. Where a resume focuses on relevant work experience, a CV expands to broader life experience. It often includes in great detail:
  • Achievements
  • Education
  • Teaching positions
  • Work experience
  • Publications
  • Awards
  • Research
  • Degrees
  • Presentations
  • Grants
  • Honors
  • Scholarly
  • and professional affiliations.

The term resume in French means “to sum up”. And that is what it is used for – to sum up, your professional accomplishments and experience. A resume provides a summary of your education, work history, credentials, and other accomplishments and skills. There are also optional sections, including a resume objective and career summary statement. Resumes are the most common document requested of applicants in job applications.

A resume, or résumé, is a concise document typically not longer than one page as the intended the reader will not dwell on your document for very long. The goal of a resume is to make an individual stand out from the competition.

The job seeker should adapt the resume to every position they apply for. It is in the applicant’s interest to change the resume from one job application to another and to tailor it to the needs of the specific post. A resume doesn’t have to be ordered chronologically, doesn’t have to cover your whole career like and is a highly customizable document.






An ideal CV has no page limit; it can be any number of pages, depending upon your career highlights.

An ideal resume is one page long with two-pages being the upper limit.


For a CV there’s no clear layout. The best action plan would be to look for CVs of people who’ve applied for a similar position. To sum up, a CV should contain as many achievements and details about your work as possible in the chronological order. And that is a lot of material if you’ve been in the game for a long time.

Resumes usually begin with a contact information and professional summary. Your experience and education sections come next. A skill section should round out your resume. You might want to add hobbies and any extra section depending upon the need. The information in a resume is always mentioned in the reverse chronological order.


A curriculum vita (CV) is a comprehensive document that may remain static for months or years at a time.

A resume is a living document that should be customized for every job.


A CV includes references.

Do not include references.

Oriented towards

Academic qualification

Non-academic qualification

Stresses on

Expertise, i.e. what skills make you an expert in a particular field.

Contribution, i.e. how your work made a difference, where you have worked.


At the top of the CV.

Mentioned after the experience.

  • Choose the right format for your needs. Your industry, experience, and desired role will inform your choice of resume format – e.g. chronological, functional, or a combination. In a CV, for example, if you are applying for a job in education, you might want to put your teaching experience at the top of your CV. In a resume, you might include only the work experience that relates directly to the job you’re applying for. You can also include keywords from the job description in your resume or CV. This will show the employer that you are an ideal fit for the position. Here's how to match your qualifications for a job.

  • Use a template. You may want to use a template to structure your resume or CV. This will give your document a clear organization, which will help the employer quickly see your qualifications and experience.

  • Edit, edit, edit. No matter whether you use a CV or resume, you need to thoroughly edit your document. Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors also make sure your format is uniform – for example, if you use bullet points in one job description, use bullet points in all your job descriptions.

  • Write for both robots and humans. Your resume needs to get past the Applicant Tracking System and grab the attention of the human being on the other end. These resume writing tips will help you craft a document that appeals to both software and the company's Human Resources department.

The difference between CV and Resume is very clear; CV covers all the aspects of a person’s career while Resume is straightforward to the particular job. CV is more detailed as compared to a Resume. There is no contradiction as well as confusion between these two terms. In most of the countries, while the course of employment, CV or a resume is demanded from the candidates. The contents of the two, documents differ in many respects, which is discussed in this write up which was based on my understanding and the source of understanding was my short-term course at YWCA, Delhi.
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