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Difference Between CV and Resume

Written by  Rachit Agrawal, MBA

Published on Mon, February 17, 2020 7:19 AM   Updated on Mon, June 8, 2020 8:36 AM   7 mins read

Although the terms CV and Resume are thrown around interchangeably, they are not synonymous, and there is a significant difference between them. An applicant needs to understand the difference and when one uses a CV, and when should one use a resume.

CV will cover everything that one has done since high schools, such as degrees, licenses, certifications, projects, internships, work experiences, etc. In contrast, a resume will only provide a summary of what one has done in the past and will only cover the important and relevant information from the CV.  

The key differences between CV and Resume are-

  • The main difference lies in the length of the document where a CV’s length can depend on your work history and could be as long as five pages, the ideal length of a resume is just one page and no longer than two pages.
  • A CV will focus more on one’s academic accomplishments, and a resume will highlight one’s skills.
  • CV is used to apply to academic and research positions, whereas a resume is used to apply to industry positions
  • CV will remain stable, but a resume can be changed according to the position one is applying
  • A CV will provide a full detailed history, but a resume will only provide a snippet focusing more on transferable skills.  

What’s The Difference Between CV and Resume

A CV is an elaborate document of one’s academic achievements and work history. This is mostly used in the application for a Master’s/Doctorate Program, research, and academic field. A resume gives with only an outline of one’s skills, work history, and qualifications. It is something that is accepted universally for all job applications.

Emphasis is laid more on academic achievementsHighlights transferable skills and previous work history
Used in academia and researchUsed universally in job applications
Provides with a comprehensive historyProvides with just a summary 
Could be longer than three pages, the length will depend on one’s work history Should not be longer than a page, can stretch to a maximum of two pages
It remains static and doesn’t necessarily changeIt changes according to the position one’s applying for 

Difference between CV and Resume Examples

CV originates from the Latin phrase Curriculum Vitae which translates to the course of life. A resume is a French word and it means to summarize or to sum up.

This is the essential difference between the two, where a CV will give one’s detailed history, a resume will only give a short and crisp summary of oneself. We can take a look at a couple of examples and understand better.

CV Sample 1


CV Sample 2


Resume Sample 1


Resume Sample 2


Difference between CV and Resume and Biodata

We have all been confused by CV, Bio-data, and a Resume and most often we have misused these words unknowingly. CV originates from the Latin phrase Curriculum Vitae which translates to the course of life. A resume is a French word and it means to summarize or to sum up. This is the essential difference between the two, where a CV will give one’s detailed history, a resume will only give a short and crisp summary of oneself.

While these two are most commonly used in the professional world, a bio-data short for biographical data however will give more personal information a resume or a CV. A bio-data would include gender, race, religion, marital status, etc. and a bio-data is used mainly in the Asian countries.   

Emphasis is laid more on academic achievementsEmphasis is laid more on transferable skills Emphasis is laid more on personal information 
Consists of degrees, publications, research papers, etc.Consists of skills and qualifications Consists of hobbies, attributes, interests, marital status, etc.
Used in academia and researchUsed for job applications Used for job applications and even for matrimonial sites in Asian countries

What is a CV?

CV is an elaborate document used for professional purposes, which details one’s complete academic and professional history. A Curriculum Vitae will consist of everything someone has done or achieved since high school. They mainly include educational degrees, projects, publications, presentations, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, certifications, licenses, letters of recommendation, skills, roles, and responsibilities of previous jobs, academic and professional awards.

The CV is asked by institutions in the research and medical and academic roles, so if someone is applying for a Master’s degree or a researcher/academician’s role. Since it gives an extensive and detailed history, the document’s length will depend on someone’s work experience, and it will focus more on one’s education and work history. 

So here’s what a CV will be –

  • It is a credential-based document
  • Elaborate and detailed historical document and can be as long as five pages for someone with long experience.
  • It’s generally used in academic, research or medical fields
  • It will largely remain static as compared to a resume, and since one has to mention everything, the length of CV will keep on increasing with time.
  • Emphasizes more on research, publications and academic qualifications

CV Samples

Sample 1


Sample 2


What Is A Resume?

resume will give a brief description of oneself by only highlighting relevant information necessary for applying to that particular position. Ideally, a resume should not be longer than a page, and at max, it can be as long as two pages. A resume is a universally accepted form of the document by employers during a job application process. 

A resume is customizable, and it should be tailored to which position one is applying for by cherry-picking the pertinent information from one’s CV, highlighting only the skills and experiences that make one the suitable candidate for that position. A resume should always be crisp, to the point and short.

Resume Samples

Sample 1


Sample 2



✅ Which is a better CV or resume? / Can I use a resume instead of a CV?

Answer. It would be unfair to compare a CV with a resume. It actually depends on which position the person is applying for. Generally, a CV is asked by institutions for academic and research positions. So when one is applying to universities for a Master’s/Doctorate program or a role of a researcher the University will need to assess everything hence a comprehensive document such as a CV is used.
But when one is applying for a job, outside the research domain unless it is specifically mentioned a resume should suffice.

Should I have a resume or a CV?

Answer. Since CV is something that is almost exclusively used for research and academic purposes, and a resume is used almost everywhere in job applications but that shouldn’t mean one should only have either of the two. Even if you are not in the research or the academic field, it is always a good habit of keeping the CV updated with all your certifications, projects, and job experiences.

✅ What skills should I list on my resume?

Answer. Whenever one is applying for a job, the resume should be prepared in such a way that it highlights your best possible technical skills and soft skills. The technical skills are the primary requirements that make you eligible for the job, for example, for a job of a Web developer employer might expect the candidate to know UX/UI Design, coding, API, troubleshooting, etc.  The soft skills are interpersonal attributes of a person

What is a good resume?

Answer. The key to landing a job depends a lot on your resume. It is the very first thing that will make the employee notice you. The candidate should first select a good template to work with.  It should not be too bright, or too dull and everything should be uncluttered, legible, and visible.

What is the best CV format to use?

Answer. There is no one best CV format as it is very subjective in nature. There are mainly three types of formats that are commonly used in the market at present. These are
i) Functional
ii) Chronological
iii) Combinational
You should choose the format according to your career goals and current

About the Author & Expert


Rachit Agrawal

Author • MBA • 20 Years

Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.

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