Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What's the difference between résumé and CV?

When is résumé used? And when is CV used? Are they equivalent?

share|improve this question
    
More context may be helpful for better answers. Examples of situations where you were not sure which to use? –  Jimi Oke Mar 16 '12 at 0:01
1  
Just a point: the correct spelling is résumé, otherwise it is "resume", like "resume eating". –  Richard Haven Mar 16 '12 at 5:27
4  
@RichardHaven - I think in America résumé now called 'freedom CV' –  mgb Mar 16 '12 at 14:44
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 21 down vote accepted

In modern English and in the HR sense, they are pretty much used interchangeably and most people assume they mean the same thing.

If you look at their etymology, though, "curriculum vitae" should technically describe what happened over the course of your life, i.e. who your parents were, when and where you were born, upbringing, education, etc., before going into your work experience, while "resume" should sum up your relevant experience and is arguably targeted to your audience, i.e. if it's for an IT job, you'd leave out that you worked as a waiter during your Uni years and you wouldn't think of mentioning your parents (unless maybe their names are Bill Gates or something).

So I would always call what I send for a job application a "resume", but recruiters in my space (IT) typically say "please attach your CV" and mean the same thing. I suppose which you use depends on how pedantic you want to be....

share|improve this answer
    
+1. I still remember the first time I heard one of my former boss said "Send me your CV." "What's CV?" I asked. "It's a resume," he replied. –  Damkerng T. Dec 12 '13 at 7:48
add comment

A simple difference:

CV is WAY LONGER.

Resumes come in a million forms, but they are almost always concise and one page long.

CVs, however, can run on for an untold number of pages-- they usually represent a PhD-holder with a very extensive list of publications, research contributions, and work experience which they wish to share. I've seen CVs go on for a dozen pages.

So in essence, a CV is a bigger, badder resume. 90%+ of people don't need one, and employers don't want to see one.

EDIT: This is only true in the United States. The terms have different meanings in other countries.

share|improve this answer
3  
I don't think this answer is wrong, exactly, but rather applicable in only a small subfield of professional life: Academia. –  Uticensis Aug 20 '13 at 0:52
    
I am not agree with you. when you pass out from university and going to take jobs at that time you have C.V. and at the time goes after some experience it converted into Resume with field experience. firstly C.V has only detail about curriculum not any field experience. that is why it is called C.V. still in india it is widely used. –  Java D Dec 12 '13 at 11:12
add comment

My experience in the US: in academia, CV; in business, resume.

share|improve this answer
add comment

In my experience, the CV Curriculum Vitae is used more in Britain and is quite thorough, 2/3 pages in length. Whereas a resume is usually a single page, used primarily in the US.

Now, as I said. That's my experience of it having successfully applying for jobs in both places - Others opinion's may differ.

share|improve this answer
add comment

protected by RegDwigнt Dec 12 '13 at 9:52

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.