Resume vs CV

Resume vs. Curriculum Vitae - What's the difference?

Resumes and CVs are both important tools in the employment process. In the United States, resumes are more commonly required by employers when evaluating job applicants than CVs. But If you are applying for a job in the United Kingdom or Ireland, a CV is often the first thing employers ask for. It is important to be able to distinguish one from the other and if you are looking for a job, it can’t hurt to have both on hand. Let’s first go talk more specifically about what exactly a resume and CV are, and find out which one is best for you.


A resume highlights your experiences and achievements, with descriptions of those that are most relevant. Unless you are further along in your career and applying to very high-level positions, it is expected that your resumes will be one page, single sided. However, it is easy to manipulate font and formatting so that all of the necessary information on your resume can be included. That being said, it is never a good idea to crowd your resume with too much information. It is important to include only the parts of your career and history that are most relevant to the job you are applying for, instead of just giving general background.

If you have other things you want to include, you may be able to find a way to incorporate those into a cover letter, and sometimes a CV. Resumes are divided up into sections, such as education, achievements, leadership experience and work experience. These sections can be organized chronologically or by relevance. To learn more about the basics of resume-writing and formatting, check out our articles on Resume Outline, Resume Design and Resume Format.


A CV, or curriculum vitae, is a written overview of a person’s experience and other qualifications. A CV can be an essential part of landing the job you want. It is usually a maximum of two pages and contains a summary of the applicant’s employment history, qualifications, education, and sometimes personal information. In my opinion, it can be helpful to think of a CV as a combination of the core part of a cover letter and an expanded version of your resume, where you go into more detail about your most important experiences and achievements.

If you’re applying for a position outside of the United States, a CV is often the first thing employers ask for. Generally, outside of the US, a CV is used in place of a resume. In the United States and other countries where the resume is usually the first thing asked of job applicants, the CV is often used in academia. To make your CV stand out, you should focus on the moments of your career that you are most proud of, when you exceeded expectations. If you are looking for employment, it is always a good idea to have at least one current, polished version of a CV that can give an employer a more in-depth analysis of the highlights of your career as well as your academic and employment history if need be.

The Difference

Resumes are much more position-specific than CVs, and therefore are adjusted to the qualifications of the position you are applying for. As a result, a resume you use for one job may look substantially different from a resume you use for another job, whereas your CV would probably be almost the same for those two jobs.

CVs also generally include more about education history and one’s academic achievements. One thing to think about is that the resume is more commonly written using bullet points and short phrases, while the CV is meant to be compiled from full sentences and paragraphs. It is important to keep that in mind when deciding how to describe and present your experiences and achievements on a CV vs on a resume. Lastly, as mentioned before, resumes are more commonly used in the United States, while CVs are usually used in the United Kingdom and other European countries.

Remember that CVs and resumes are not all that different, and there are likely to be many overlaps between the two. One thing to keep in mind is that since a CV often expands on the achievements and experiences listed in your resume, if you don’t have a solid resume, it may be difficult to know where to start when creating a CV. You might be thinking great, now I have to go look up how to make a resume. Or perhaps you’re in a time crunch and need the CV or resume soon.

The good news is, we can help you. Backlight is exactly for people like you, who need a resume, but don’t know where to start or don’t have the time to come up with one from scratch or make their current one better. We use cutting edge artificial intelligence to generate a world-class resume, and then have experts in resume optimization review it to fine tune the details. All you have to do is provide us with the necessary information, and we can provide you with a resume that can act as a foundation for your CV or on it’s own, can help you get the job you want.