What Does CV Mean?
Simply put, CV is short for Curriculum Vitae (Latin for “the course of one’s life”). However, CV meaning differs depending on where you are in the world.
What does CV mean? CV in the UK means the document you send to an employer when you apply for a job. In the US, such a document is called a resume (“summary” in French).
To make things more confusing, the word CV is used in the US, but the meaning of a resume is slightly different. A CV is similar to a resume, but longer and used only in academia and medicine. A CV in the USA lists the applicant’s achievements, publications, qualifications (like a resume) but in much more detail than a resume.
In summary, the word “resume” in US English and “CV” in British English have the same meaning. “CV” refers to a longer and more detailed document in US English. And the word “resume” is not typically used in the UK. The term you should use depends on where you are applying for a job.
Regardless of the name, resume or CV is the most powerful tool you have when looking for a job. Using an online resume maker is a time-efficient way to get professional looking results.
What is a CV (in US English)?
A CV is similar to a resume but much longer. While a resume is a short document of 1 or 2 pages, a resume is much more extensive and can exceed 20 pages in some cases. In the US, resumes are used for the majority of job applications.
CVs contain detailed information on candidates’ academic background (including qualifications, research, awards, publications, presentations, and other academic achievements). Emphasis is placed on credentials and achievements, so they are used by academics and doctors.
Employers receive hundreds of applications for most open positions. Because time is limited, they usually prefer to get short and concise documents. Therefore, CVs are the preferred format.
When to use a CV?
In the USA, resumes are generally used only in the fields of medicine, science and academia. For the vast majority of job applications, you must submit a resume.
If you are applying for a job outside of the US and the employer requests a CV, they probably want a resume.
How is a resume different from a CV?
A resume is the same as a resume but should be as short as possible. Bullets are often used to save space and only the most relevant achievements should be included instead of all.
Resumes should catch the employer’s attention. It should be short, quick and tailored to each job application. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all CV. (See our CV writing guide)
Since resumes are only 1 (ideally) or 2 pages long, space is limited and valuable. There is no room for past qualifications or unrelated skills or past job positions. Each item on the resume must show why the candidate is suitable for the job.
Customizing your resume for each job application can be time consuming. Many people choose to use resume templates as they are professionally designed to capture employers’ attention and allow you to make quick edits.
What is a resume (or CV) format?
There are a variety of resume formats to choose from. The most typical is a chronological resume where the focus is placed on work experience and past jobs are listed in reverse chronological order.
Applicants can also write a functional resume (focusing on skills rather than experience) or a combination resume (emphasizing both skills and experience).