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The difference between a resume and a CV

Written by Andrew Arkley

Ever wondered why a British person applies with a CV and an American with a resume? In fact, there are a few differences between the two types of application documents. This article will answer your queries and tell you when it is appropriate to use a CV and when to use a resume.

A CV also known as a Curriculum Vitae is an in-depth document that is typically spread over two or more pages. This document will contain a high level of detail about your achievements, education and any accomplishments that you have achieved. This document is organised chronologically and provides the employer with an overview of an individual's full working career. CV's usually remains static for each position, with changes being made in the covering letter.

A Resume on the other hand is a concise document, which is usually no longer than one page. This is because the reader won't spend much time reading this document for very long. The goal of a resume is to make the individual stand out from the crowd when applying for a certain job role.

The job seeker should look to adapt their resume to every position applied for. It is often in the applicant's interest to change the resume for each different job role and tailor it to the requirements of the specific post. A resume usually doesn't have to be ordered chronologically and doesn't have to cover your whole career like a CV does. A resume is also a highly customisable document, which means it can be changed again and again.

The differences between CV's and Resumes are the purpose, the layout and the length. A resume is a brief summary of your experience and skills over one or two pages, whereas a CV is far more detailed and can span well beyond two pages. The CV will remain the same with changes made in the covering letter, whereas a resume will be tailored to each position.

A CV has a clear chronological order which lists the whole career of an individual, whereas the information found on a resume will be shuffled around to best suit the applicant. The main difference between a resume and a CV is that a CV is intended to show a full record for your working history, whereas a resume is a brief, targeted list of achievements and skills.

When considering the use of a CV and a Resume around the world, a resume is the preferred application document in the United States and Canada. Americans and Canadians would only use a CV if they were applying for a job abroad or if they were searching for a research or academic oriented position. In the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, a CV is used in all contexts and resumes aren't used at all. A CV is most popular in mainland Europe and there is even a European Union CV format that can be downloaded and used.

So there you have it. The use of a CV and Resume and its applications. PurpleCV is leading provider of CV Writing Services in the UK. Why not check out our CV Writing Service page to see how you can get a professional, bespoke CV for as little as £25.

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