CV vs. résumé | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 24, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 24, 2017

CV vs. résumé

Here's what you need to know

Which is which?

A Curriculum Vitae or a CV is a Latin term that means “course of life”. Rightly so, given it functions as the chronological representation of more or less your entire life story and background.

In contrast, résumé is a French word meaning “summary”. Typically, it is a document that lists your work history, experiences, and details that set you apart from the competition. For example, resumes don't need an objective, or a chronological work history.

Write according to need

You need a CV for jotting down a comprehensive documented description that goes above and beyond just a mention of your education and work experience. It lists, along with some considerable individual details, your achievements, awards, honours, and publications. Usually required when applying for international, academic, research, or teaching positions in higher education, a CV is generally explicitly asked for when employers do want one.

On the other hand, the goal of a resume is to make you stand out from the rest of the crowd. You will need to tailor it to the needs of the different jobs you may be applying for. If you're applying for a job in finance, your experience as a university-level kabaddi player is not required. A resume is the preferred format to apply for most jobs, unless the recruiters specifically ask for a CV.

Structure it right

A CV will range from being a two to a six, to even a twelve-page document, depending entirely on your professional achievements or how you want to make it look. You need to know what to include and how to lay them out to make a good CV. You should filter and format all the necessary information according to the position you are applying for. As for a resume, know that it need not be ordered chronologically. It gives you the liberty to customize it in any way you want. Even as a brief document, a resume should concisely describe your background as an individual.

 References aren't necessarily required in the body of your CV or resume. You can include those in a cover letter, or mention in your document that they'll be available upon request. There are many online tools such as that offer a range of different templates for both CVs and resumes, and are completely free to use.

The chief differences between a CV and a resume, comes primarily from the three factors of length, purpose and layout. A CV's static is that it's not a document needing to be tailored for different positions in the way that a resume is. So the former is intended to be a full record of your career history and the latter is a brief, targeted list of your skills and achievements.

After all of that, if you're still confused about where to begin, remember that almost any job you apply to is likely to specify what it wants and whether it wants a CV or a resume. That should give you an easy heads-up. In case it doesn't, you can always ask the employer directly about what they want.


Eshanee is a sophomore at IBA, DU.

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