» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 35 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 25, 2011

Curriculum vitae is not a resume

Print | Front Page | Email this story

Some occupations require the use of the curriculum vitae instead of a resume. It is important to understand the difference and when to use one approach instead of the other.

Curriculum vitae also are referred to as a CV. Some people mistakenly use the phrase interchangeably with resume. They are similar but not the same. A CV is a comprehensive biographical statement that should not be used in the U.S. unless required by the employer or recipient.

There are specific fields that often require a CV. These are commonly found in the health care, science, research, academia, education or legal professions. Quite often the seekers of grants and fellowships use a CV.

The primary similarity between a resume and a CV is that they both provide important information on the applicant to the reader. This includes name, contact information, major experience, major education, primary skills and appropriate dates. However, it is the level of detail that separates the two.

The level of detail of a CV can be quite extensive. While a resume generally runs one to two pages, a CV usually runs three or more. In the latter, the applicant elaborates on his or her qualifications and skills. It typically includes an extensive summary of the applicant’s educational and academic background, including teaching and research experience. It should have a complete list of the professional accomplishments and include honors and publications. Experience and employment should be explained in depth. All responsibilities and accomplishments should be referred to and elaborated on for the reader.

Other sections can include certifications, awards, experience outside the field, training courses, presentations or speeches made, courses taught, grants received, professional memberships, committee membership, relevant travel, community service, level of skills and interests.

The CV format may provide a somewhat overlooked advantage to the writer, the freedom to select headings and arrange them for the benefit of the applicant.

Outside the U.S., curriculum vitae are much more common than a simple resume. It differs from the academic style CV used in the U.S. In Europe, Asia and Africa expect to use the format. The culture in these countries calls for more detail on the prospective employee. Employment law is one of the reasons, as they are typically less restrictive in those regions. Because of the diversity in language and culture of employees, the additional information is sought. Many employers expect to see nationality and place of birth information and even health status, which are almost never required in the U.S.

They typically are six to eight pages of extreme detail and often required in a chronological layout.

There are common principles to both a CV and resume that better demonstrate your background and abilities. Format selection is one. You want to select the format that best indicates your strengths. The way you arrange headings and highlights can make a great difference to the reader’s perception of your activities and experience. Use variations and see how they appear to you. Ask friends for their impressions.

Second, make sure the CV, as in a resume, is easy to read and follow. The reader might give up if the document is hard to understand.

Third, select activities that show you are progressive and know how to accomplish what you have set as your goals.

And finally, as in a resume, make sure you research the organization where you are applying. Make sure you understand what they are looking to accomplish by filling the position.

A good CV can give the same results as a good resume. A bad CV can give the same poor results as a bad resume.

M.B. Owens is a Nashville-based columnist and journalist with a decade of experience writing on employment topics and business. He can be reached at mariusowens@aol.com.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0