Most people mistaken the resume for the CV and vice versa, believing them to be synonymous. However, they actually serve two very different purposes. Continue reading to find out exactly what these two documents are, the purposes they serve, and when to use which one.

The Resume: Resumes are short documents (usually limited to one page) that list your education, work experience, and skills. They are meant to give a brief overview of your background for a recruiter or hiring manager. Your resume is a true ‘first impression,’ of you as a job candidate, and recruiters often only spend a few seconds reviewing your resume before they determine whether or not they want to proceed with your application. Your resume should change depending on the position you’re applying for and should only include your most applicable work experiences.

The CV: The CV, which stands for curriculum vitae, meaning “life’s work,” is a longer document that lists, in detail, achievements, awards, honors, and publications that you have received throughout your career. Typically, CVs are used by professionals in academic positions, such as professors and researchers. While resumes evolve depending on the position you’re applying for, CVs are documents that grow over time. Once you add something to your CV, you generally do not remove it because it is a detailed list of everything you’ve accomplished in your career. Even if you never use it in an application, CVs are extremely handy documents to have on file and regularly update. As you modify your resume, you can pull your information directly from your CV, which will save you a lot of time and stress.

When to Use Which: Most likely, the job application will specify which document is preferred. Typically speaking, in the United States, the resume is the more common document of the two to include in a job application.  However, if it’s not clear, it never hurts to ask. Although you are less likely to encounter the CV as a required document in a job application, it’s a useful tool for organizing your education, work experience, professional and academic achievement, and references.

If you are looking for a job or need help with your resume or CV, call Staffers today. Our expert recruiters will help you find the right career path for you. Discover why over 300 companies have trusted Staffers to provide their employment solutions.

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