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Resume Versus CV

For many workers, the effort at applying for a job can be time consuming. There’s an official application that must be filled out, a cover letter is often required, and then you’ve got to talk about your previous experiences and accomplishments. Make the wrong first impression and there’s a good chance your application and hard work is going into the trash! That’s why knowing if a resume or a CV, a curriculum vitae, should be included with your application.

What Is a Curriculum Vitae?

For the average worker in North America, they’ll never submit a Curriculum Vitae. A CV is a full outline of virtually everything you’ve done from a professional standpoint. It provides a summary of your educational experiences, your work history, any publications you’ve been put into, awards you’ve won, honors you’ve been given, and so forth. It is an extensive and detailed synopsis of who and what you are in every professional way!

A CV in North America is often used in academic, scientific, and some research positions during the application process. More than 2 pages long for the average worker, it tracks nearly everything you’ve ever done professionally. Outside of North America, a CV is often the document of choice for an employer.

Why Use a Resume Instead of a CV?

Where a CV is a full synopsis of your entire professional career, a resume is more of a Polaroid snapshot of it. Even though it is more of a brief summary, it still must accurately communicate your strengths and skills to a potential employer so they’ll want to hire you. A CV is often unlimited when it comes to size, but a good resume is often just one page in length – two pages at maximum.

Why is the resume preferred in North America for most employment opportunities? For most HR representatives, it boils down to two reasons: A) time; and B) it is a measure to see how well you can communicate. A CV requires no communication efforts at all beyond recounting all of your past successes and career highlights. On the other hand, a resume requires you to think about what your key skills are, what attributes you want to communicate that you can bring into a company on Day 1, and then be precise in your language.

Should You Submit a CV Instead of a Resume?

Outside of North America, you should always submit a Curriculum Vitae before submitting a resume because that’s what a majority of employers want. In North America, and especially in the United States, the reverse is true. A resume should be the primary application document you submit with an employer’s required materials. For most job applications in North America, the requirement of a CV submission will often be included in the advertisement for the open position.

If you do submit a CV when one is not wanted, your application will likely be ignored. Why? Because even though you’re highly qualified, you also didn’t follow the unwritten expectations of the application process. Follow these guidelines and you’ll give yourself a great chance at that new job you want!

Mistakes Found on Resumes and CV

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