What’s the difference between a CV and a résumé?
One of the biggest differences between a résumé and a CV is in the audience.
- A CV speaks largely to an academic audience and documents your academic and intellectual accomplishments.
- A résumé is read by hiring managers in a nonacademic organization and should be tailored to this group. Managers often review hundreds of applicants, and each résumé is reviewed for an average of fifteen seconds. Your résumé must therefore be concise and clear enough to make an immediate impression.
- Both must provide a persuasive account of your specific skills and experiences as they relate to the specific job.
Which one do I need?
Most jobs in the private sector and non-profit organizations in the United States will ask for a résumé. Applications for federal government positions should include a federal résumé. Faculty application packets require a CV.
If you are applying for a nonacademic research-oriented position, an administrative job at a university, or a community college position, it is possible that you will want to use a hybrid document that is a cross between a résumé and a CV. In these instances, you may create a two-page document that provides more information than the typical résumé (such as research experience, recent publications, etc.) but is still much shorter than a CV.
Audience: Fellow academics in your field of study as you apply for faculty jobs, postdocs, or fellowships
Goal: Demonstrate your academic achievements and scholarly potential, including research, teaching, and honors
Length: As long as needed
Essential Information: Publications, presentations, research and teaching experience, honors, and grants
Audience: Employers in fields that value your academic experience, such as community colleges, libraries, industry research
Goal: Show how your academic and/or research background as well as other experiences prepare you for a particular position; skills focused
Length: 1.5 to 2 pages
Essential Information: Depends on the position, but can include research tools, publications, or disciplinary expertise
References: If requested
Audience: A general audience; employers who hire for a wide variety of positions
Goal: Represent the skills and experience necessary to succeed in the position from all areas—job-related, volunteer, and extracurricular activities
Length: 1 to 2 pages
Essential Information: Only those skills and experiences which are relevant to the position you are seeking
References: Do not include
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