Career & Internship Services

Career Handbook

Resumes and CV's: The Difference

Some people confuse resumes and curricula vitae (CV's) because they can be similar and employers may use the terms interchangeably. Some employers may ask for a CV when they actually wish to receive a one- to two-page document others would call a resume.

So what is the difference between a resume and CV?

The primary differences are:

  • the length,
  • what is included and
  • for what each is used.


A resume is a summary of your skills, experience and education related to the position for which you are applying. It is brief and concise - one, or at most, two pages in length.

A resume is a synopsis of the most relevant professional experiences you have for the particular position for which you are applying.

Typically you use a resume to apply for positions in business, industry, government and the non-profit sector.


A curriculum vitae, Latin for "course of life," is a longer, more detailed synopsis of your experiences than a resume. It is a comprehensive record of all your professional activities including education, teaching, publications, awards and others. There is no page limit to a CV. It is your whole professional life!

Depending on the country and context, CVís longer than two pages may not be acceptable.

In Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia employers expect a CV.

In the United States, a CV is used primarily when applying for academic positions such as faculty openings and assistantships, scientific or research positions and may also be used when applying for scholarships, fellowships, or grants.

At the point of completing a four-year college degree your resume and CV may be the same.