Differences between a Resume and Curriculum Vitae | Writing

What are the Similarities and Differences between a Resume and Curriculum Vitae?

Yes! There are differences between a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and resume.

Curriculum Vitae and resumes:

  • Are developed for the job, company, or academic program you are applying to,
  • Contain a representation of the candidates’ best qualifications.

Note: Curriculum Vitae and resumes are two different documents. In South Africa, Australia, and India, the terms CV and resume are often used interchangeably.

Table: Differences between a  Curriculum Vitae and a Resume

Resume Curriculum Vitae
Meaning Resume is French for “Summary or Abstract.” CV is Latin for “course of life.”
Description The resume contains information such as skills and qualifications that are specific to a position. The CV contains the full history of a person’s academic credentials.
Purpose It can be developed for a specific position. It does not change for different positions.
Length One or two pages. Two or more pages.
Use Used by individuals seeking non-academic positions. Used by individuals seeking:

· Admission to university/institution of higher learning

· Fellowships,

· Grants,

· Postdoctoral positions,

· Teaching/research positions in post-secondary institutions

· Research positions in the industry.

Layout/Content Name and Contact Information.


Work Experience.



Name and Contact Information.

Areas of Interest.


Grants, Honors, and Awards.

Publications and Presentations.

Employment and Experience.

Scholarly or Professional Memberships.


Depending primarily on the location of the institution that you are applying to, you will be required to submit a CV or resume together with your other admission documents such as Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, and letters of recommendation.

Institutions in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Ireland require C.Vs. Those in the United States and Canada need resumes, while in Australia, candidates use both C.Vs and resumes. In German, CVs are commonly known as Lebenslauf.

If you are unsure which kind of document is required, seek clarification.

See our CV and resume guidelines and templates.