FOCUS HEADLINE: Including an “objective” on either document is considered an outdated practice. Modern CVs and resumes use a “headline” and sometimes a “subheadline” to establish the focus of the documents.
PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY: Most CVs and resumes include a summary section at the beginning of the document. The summary provides a brief overview of your most significant and relevant qualifications and accomplishments related to the job you are targeting. From a review of your summary, the reader should understand the key ways you are qualified for the job.
SKILLS SUMMARY: Though optional, it is common to include a summary of relevant skills, qualifications, and areas of expertise in both a resume and a CV.
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY: Both documents should include a chronological listing of your current and past jobs (it is okay to leave out irrelevant employment).
They differ in where you include this listing. In your resume, it is usually listed immediately following the professional summary. In your CV, it will usually be listed near the end of the document.
They also differ in detail. Your CV should provide a high-level overview of your primary responsibilities and accomplishments in each job. Your resume should tell a more in-depth story of your challenges in each position, how you met those challenges, and the results of your accomplishments.
EDUCATION: On a resume for an experienced professional, educational degrees are usually listed at the end of the resume. You may also include any relevant certifications, additional training, or licenses. On a CV, you will include all of this information immediately following the professional summary section, near the beginning of the document. Typically, a CV will include more detail, such as a thesis or dissertation title, academic awards, scholarships, fellowships, and relevant coursework.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CV AND RESUME CONTENT
TEACHING EXPERIENCE: Your CV should include a separate section for any teaching experience you have listed in reverse chronological order (most recent first). This is where you will list any academic postings you have held in postdoctoral, instructorship, adjunct, and tenured professor positions. You can also include teaching assistant (TA) jobs. Include the name of the school or institution where you taught, your title, and the dates of the experience. In addition, include relevant details about your students (undergraduate or graduate), the number and sizes of classes you were responsible for, and the courses you taught.
RESEARCH EXPERIENCE: Research experience should be showcased on your CV. As you did with your teaching experience, list it in reverse chronological order. Include all your research experience, paid or unpaid, and in any capacity, such as a research scientist, research assistant, research associate, graduate assistant, or postdoctoral fellow.
PUBLICATIONS: Include a listing of all your published works, including books, book chapters, and journal articles. You may also include relevant published works online, such as blog posts.
PRESENTATIONS: List any public presentations and conferences. Include links to any videos of your presentations posted online.
OTHER INFORMATION: Every CV will be unique, depending on the specifics of your experience and the positions you are targeting. Some common categories to include on CVs are grants, honors and awards, professional memberships, foreign language skills, technical skills, and volunteer experience.
REFERENCES: Do not include professional references on either your resume or CV. Instead, list them on a separate professional references sheet you provide during the interview. Most of the resume template collections and CV template collections on our site include, as an option, a template for your professional references.
While you have a lot of flexibility in arranging the sections of your CV, the general format and reverse chronological listing of the information are usually relatively uniform and structured.
There is generally more room for creativity in your resume format, and you can structure it to match the specifics of the job for which you are applying. For example, you may choose a reverse chronological resume format, a functional resume format, or a combination resume format.
SHOULD YOU SEND A RESUME OR A CV WHEN APPLYING FOR A JOB?
If your goal is to land a new job, submitting a resume with a job application is usually the best choice for almost all professions and industries. This is because your resume is a concise summary focused on relevant experience and skills applicable to that specific job.
On the other hand, if you are applying for jobs in academia, such as teaching and research positions, you will usually benefit from submitting a CV. If you are a research scientist and you work in the corporate world rather than academia, in some cases, you may also be asked for a research CV instead of a resume. In rare cases, a CV is used by medical doctors, too.
As explained in the section on the differences between a resume and a CV, CVs are typically organized and structured to provide a greater depth of information than a resume, such as research accomplishments and grants received.
SHOULD YOU SEND A CV FOR INTERNATIONAL JOBS?
Even though recruiters may sometimes use the words interchangeably, if you are applying for a job in the United States, resumes and CVs are distinctly different documents.
But what if a recruiter contacts you about an international job and asks you for your CV? Which format are they asking you to send?
In many places worldwide, such as in much of Europe and New Zealand, recruiters don’t use the word resume. Instead, when they ask you for a CV, they are asking for a document similar to a U.S.-style resume.
If you have any doubts, ask. In most cases and for most job applications, a hiring manager won’t have time to read your full CV. They prefer that you submit a resume and do the work to distill the content to focus on the most relevant points for the position they are trying to fill. Even for international jobs, you usually use a CV only for academia-related positions.
DESIGN TIPS FOR MODERN CVS AND RESUMES
In days past, it was typical for both a resume and a CV to be formatted as plain text on a page.
Unfortunately, plain text resumes or CVs can be boring to look at, and it is hard to keep your reader’s attention. You might have the best credentials of all the candidates, but it won’t make a bit of difference if nobody takes the time to read your resume or CV.
The solution is simple. Modern resumes and modern CVs make use of color and design to catch the eye and help make your resume or CV easier to read.
Of course, most people don’t have graphic design skills and don’t know how to create an eye-appealing design for their career documents. This is why starting with a professionally designed CV template or resume template is often the best choice.
As shown by the following example CV templates, transforming your outdated, plain-text CV is fast and easy. The same is true with using a resume template, as shown by these example resume design templates.