CV vs. Resume: 3 Main Differences

By: Samantha Fang ‘23


What is the difference between a CV (Curriculum Vitae) and a resume? Which one should I have, and when do I use which? Hopefully, this blog post will help clarify any questions you might have about the purpose and use of these two documents. See below for the three main differences between a CV and a resume. You will also find resources for further information!



A resume is a document summarizing your career skills, education, work experiences, and extracurricular activities. The document is highly customizable and should be modified to fit the position or program you are applying for. Resumes do not have to be chronological. Instead, you can shuffle around elements on your resume depending on their relevance to highlight certain experiences.

A CV, or Curriculum Vitae, is an in-depth look into a working academic or research career. It has a clear chronological order under each section and includes education, teaching and/or research experiences, publications, awards, fellowships and grants, professional affiliations, and other relevant achievements. CVs are edited as your list of achievements grows. Check out The Balance Career’s posts on CVs here!



Resumes are very concise. They are typically one page in length (sometimes two in certain cases). CVs are typically two or more pages and are much more detailed than resumes. CVs can be very lengthy for higher level candidates who have amassed many publications and achievements.


When To Use Each

Resumes are the most common document used when applying for jobs. CVs are typically required for roles in research and academia and when applying for advanced degrees. You should prepare both a resume and a CV if you plan to apply for both industry positions and academic/research positions. Jobs abroad may also request for a CV.

Additional Resources:



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