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Curriculum Vitae vs. Résumé

Did you know a Curriculum Vitae is a long-format, in-depth report on the professional experience and qualifications of a person? It is the most accepted form for job applications all over the world with the exception of North America. It is also the standard format used to apply for academic, scientific, or research positions and government grants.

Conversely, the résumé is the most accepted form for job applications in Canada and the USA. It provides a shorter summary of the information included in a CV and is usually about one page in length. Both résumés and CVs can be formatted in several forms including chronological (which lists your skills and achievements by date starting with the most recent), functional (which lists your most relevant skills and experience together), or targeted (where the information is all customized for one specific job application).

Key Elements of the Curriculum Vitae:

  • Lists of all your achievements until the date you are submitting it, presented in reverse chronological order
  • At least two pages in length and up to five if you have a very long or notable job history
  • Includes all work and volunteer experience including honorary positions
  • Includes publications, presentations, awards, and honours

Key Elements of the Résumé:

  • An at-a-glance summary of your key skills and main achievements
  • Should not be much longer than one page and never longer than two
  • Contains work experience and skills that are relevant to the job applied for
  • Highlights skills and achievements above all other things

When applying for a job it's important to use the correct form of application. Job postings will almost always specify which format is preferable so make sure to take note. Once you know the format you need to use, you can concentrate on creating a dynamic resume or CV that will help you to land the job.

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