Natalie McIntyre, Career and Industry Specialist, ASU Career and Professional Development Services
Crafting a résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) is an important part of applying to internships, jobs, graduate school, and other professional development opportunities. Each document showcases your professional experience and is often what determines if you will be invited to an interview.
But when should you use a résumé as opposed to a CV, or vice versa?
Here are some differences and similarities between the two documents and some important questions to ask yourself when deciding which one to use.
Résumé, meaning “summary”, is typically a condensed document ranging from 1-2 pages. This document is used in a variety of industries and is highly tailored to specific positions or programs. The emphasis of the résumé should be on relevant experience and skills that most qualify you for the role. Often, key words from the job description are pulled into the résumé to highlight certain qualifications and experiences that are highly relevant to the job.
A curriculum vitae, or CV, meaning “course of life,” often exceeds 2 pages and grows over time. It provides a detailed overview of accomplishments, education, and experience. This document is often used when applying for academic, education, scientific, medical, or research positions, or even fellowships or grants. Hiring committees seeking CVs are typically looking for educational background, research and teaching experience, publications and presentations, honors and awards, and other additional sections as relevant.
It is important to remember that both documents should be professional and error-free, and they should both represent you as the best qualified candidate. It is also important to note that although employers in the United States mainly adhere to these different meanings and uses of these documents, international employers may seek different documents or have varied definitions for each. It is essential to check the standards for each country and organization. When determining which document to use, remember to ask yourself:
What type of document is the organization asking for?
What is the field or industry am I applying to?
What are the document definitions and standards for the geographical location of the program or organization?
If you have additional questions, be sure to connect with our office, and don't forget, you can have your documents reviewed by one of our staff by submitting them to Résumé dropbox.