Published on October 5, 2015

CV vs Resume: What’s the difference and when do I use which?

CV or resume? If you're confused about the difference between a CV and resume, you're definitely not alone. In fact, the differences between a CV and resume can fluctuate and change based on which country you're in. To keep things simple, below we are including United States standards for what is expected on a CV and resume. That being said, each country is different. In the UK, for example, what people in the states call a resume is called a CV. If you have any doubts on what is expected of a workplace, which is likely more along the lines of a resume, shoot an email to the employer. If they want something no longer than a page, they are looking for what we are calling a "resume".


CV or Resume


So what is the difference between a CV and a resume?

There are three main differences between a CV and a resume. CV's are generally longer than resumes, taking up several pages. They include more work details than resumes and they are used in more academic settings.


How do I write a resume?

The first thing to include is your name and contact information (phone number, address). It's recommended to put your home address, rather than your work address. You also want to have a section dedicated to your education, which will list your degrees or training certifications along with where and when they were acquired. A resume also has a section dedicated to work experience. In this section, you'll need to include the name of the place you worked, where it was located, your job title, the dates of when you worked there and a brief description of each of the duties you performed while at the position. Keep in mind, resumes are often used while applying for a specific job, so they are usually altered to include the most relevant experience to the available position. If you have any doubts, check out Monster's handy compilation of sample resumes tailored for various different industries.


Estimated length: 1 page


When will I need to use a resume?

Most job opportunities outside academia in the United States. However, it's good to ask what the employer prefers before applying.


CV or Resume


How do I write a CV?

A CV is going to be a lot more thorough than a resume. In addition to contact information and education, which is essentially the same as the resume, there are many more requirements for a CV. A CV generally includes a list of academic interests, a list of grants, honors and awards, a list of published articles and presentations, a list of either scholarly or professional memberships and your professional references with contact information. Work experience is also necessary in a CV, though is usually much longer than on a resume and can include several lists of different types of experience like volunteer experience, teaching experience, lab experience, etc.


CV or Resume


That being said there are still different CV expectations for each country and CVs can be changed up based on experience. To better understand UK standards for CVs, check out The Guardian's handy list of CV templates.


Estimated length: 1+ pages, experienced professionals could reach double-digits


When will I need to use a CV?

Academic positions in the United States. Some positions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia. Ask before applying.



Sources:,, UNC Writing center, The Guardian,

Photo 1. based on Resume - Glasses, by Flazingo Photos, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photo 2. based on Resume Writing Tips: Mẹo viết resume (CV, hồ sơ xin việc) (Tiếng Việt), by Nguyen Hung Vu, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on Keyboard by Mactitioner, by Christopher Stephen, CC-by-2.0

The author
Elizabeth Trovall
After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her third year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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