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CV vs Resume: Is It Important To Know The Differences?

Author —
Astley
August 16, 2021

CV vs Resume – are there any key differences between them and is it important to know?

You’ve probably heard others refer to their application as a CV or resume. One of the quick and short answers to some of the main differences is your location. 

In the UK, it’s more common to refer to your job document as a CV. 

In the US, it’s more common to refer to your job document as a resume. 

It can vary for other countries, e.g. those in Europe. However, there are other notable differences with each of their formatting and approach in the job search process that would be helpful to understand. 

What is a CV?

Like a resume, a CV is a formal document used for making job applications to companies. The term “CV” means curriculum vitae – and this refers to a job seeker’s professional background.  I.e. skills, qualifications, and experience in the workforce.

What Should a Basic CV Include?

The basic CV should include the following:

  • Contact information
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • References
  • Additional resume sections (e.g. projects, certifications, etc.)

Similar to a resume, the CV still needs to be compliant with the resume scanners to beat the applicant tracking system. Therefore, the ATS-friendly resume tips can still apply and you’ll have to optimize your application for them.

What Does a Good CV Look Like?

Here’s one good ATS creative producer CV example from Rezi that has helped one of our users land an interview with Tesla:

It’s a full one-page resume, using up all the space but it doesn’t go any further than that. 

One thing we suggest for all job seekers is to aim for a one-page application and fit everything into a single page.

With a traditional CV though, it tends to exceed a single page because they cover more details and go further back into your professional background. Unlike a resume, a CV tends to include more details from your employment/career history.

What is a Resume?

A resume summarizes your career background into a concise, professional job document. These types of documents are also used by applicants for making applications to different jobs and companies. When referring to your job document as a resume, it means it’s more brief and straight to the point. 

It won’t go as far back in your career timeline than a CV, but it’s more targeted and relevant. 

What Should a Basic Resume Include?

Here’s what to put on a resume:

  • Contact information
  • Resume summary
  • Work experience 
  • Education
  • Skills

These are essential for every ATS resume you write. If none of these have been included, then it would suggest significant gaps in your employment history and there’s a good chance you won’t get to your hiring manager. 

What Does a Good Resume Look Like?

Here’s one good ATS customer service representative resume example from Rezi that got one of our users an interview with Apple:

As expected, it’s a full job application that resembles a concise, summarized report of the applicant’s professional background. Some resumes can extend to two pages long. But, we don’t recommend it as it’s not as compelling for the reader as a one-page resume.

The Difference Between a Resume and CV

One of the notable differences so far is the length between them and how far back each one goes when describing your career history timeline for prospective employers.

Going back to what we mentioned at the start, the main job document application is called a CV or resume. 

But, it depends on where you are for what it’s more commonly referred to as.

As resumes tend to be shorter, they’re more targeted, specific, and personalized in their job application. Whereas CVs provide a more general yet detailed and in-depth outlook of your professional background.

If you’re applying to academia, scientific, and more of a research type of job position, it’s worth using a CV to provide a complete detailed overview. However, candidates will require an ATS format for both types of documents in order for it to be a successful application. 

They will need to take an objective approach and be tailored to match the job description. Also, they should include the following:

  • Academic background and qualifications (e.g. university degree)
  • Previous job positions and work experiences
  • Achievements, accomplishments, and awards

CV vs Resume Examples 

We’ve listed below some more ATS resume examples and CVs. Each is ready-to-use, friendly, and optimized for both the resume scanners and the human eye. 

Corporate Rotational Graduate Resume (Interviewed at Sony)

In this corporate rotational graduate resume template, you’ll notice that the work experience section is listed in reverse chronological order. It’s also minimal with a sleek format. They’ve also incorporated other additional resume sections for the employer, which is noticeable with the projects section.

Business Analyst Resume

With this comprehensive business analyst resume example, it provides the employer all the required details. Based on their career background and skills, they’ve included everything necessary. 

English Language Teacher Resume

This is another good example of a standard job application format. Recruiters can determine from this english language teacher resume sample their level of ability because of all the things they’ve listed, i.e. their teaching experience. 

Across all these examples, you’ll notice some similarities between them such as the formatting. This includes:

  • Professional resume fonts
  • Using bullet points 
  • Clear titles for each section headline
  • Bold text
  • The main resume sections

Browse through 221 ATS resume templates and cover letters on standby ready for use!

Job Applications With Rezi

You can easily create your own individual, unique job application with Rezi’s resume builder in just a few minutes. 

It works in a couple of simple steps:

Sign up for free on the Rezi homepage:
Click on “create new CV” and fill in the boxes:
Follow the step by step process and complete each section by filling in the details:

Before you submit your resume or CV for the ideal position you’re seeking, you’ll be provided with feedback on how you can improve your application. They’re also formatted for the ATS, so reading through it is easy for both the recruiter and resume scanners. 

Building a CV/resume is that simple. We make the writing simple for you. 

Here’s what Avi.G said about Rezi after getting hired at Amazon:

“Rezi was a feature-rich minimal experience. Rezi helped me focus on content instead of resume formatting and that was exactly what I needed to successfully get my foot in the door”

TRY IT YOURSELF

Explore Rezi

Comes with 5,000 AI Credits, and is free forever, no credit card required.
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Summary 

A CV goes further back in detail with your professional background which makes it resemble a longer report. In contrast, a resume will cover a summary of your professional background in detail with what’s relevant for the job posting. Therefore, it resembles a summarized report of your career timeline rather than going through every bit of detail.  

Ultimately, the end purpose of both formats is to land you a new career.  

Rezi ensures your job application includes everything required. We give you feedback and a list of things your resume or CV is missing.

As for the question of which is better to use, it depends on the type of role you are applying for.

Was this guide insightful? Hit the share button to inform fellow job seekers of the differences between a CV vs resume too!

This article's author, Astley, is an avid content marketer who specializes as an SaaS copywriter. Learn more at Minimalist Copy

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