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CV or Résumé?

What’s the difference between a CV and a resume?

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 resume is read by hiring managers in a nonacademic organization and should be tailored to this group. Managers often review hundreds of applicants, and each resume is reviewed for an average of fifteen seconds. Your resume 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 resume. 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 resume and a CV. In these instances, you may create a two-page document that provides more information than the typical resume (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

References: Included

Hybrid CV/REsumE

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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If you are a current on-campus graduate student or postdoc at the University of Illinois, you can schedule an appointment to meet with a career advisor to discuss these documents and more.

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