Difference between CV and Résumé

Here’s another question from the “Ask Jobzilla” series. A job seeker sent me a mail asking the difference between a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and Résumé. 

Good morning sir, please I want you to explain what resume means and the different between resume and cv. Thank you.

I believe a lot of you need clarification on this too. Here we go.
I know that this can be really confusing. But I’ll keep it short and precise so I don’t confuse you more. It’s important to note that the difference between a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and Résumé is in the way Americans look at it. In the United States, there’s a major difference between a CV and resume. While both are used in job applications, a resume and a CV are not always interchangeable. The three major differences between CVs and resumes are the length, the purpose and the layout.
CVs are used almost exclusively in countries outside of the United
States. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa (including Nigeria), or Asia, employers may
expect to receive a curriculum vitae.
While a resume is the preferred application document in the US and Canada.
Americans and Canadians would only use a CV when applying for a job
abroad or if searching for an academic or research oriented position.
In the UK, and other parts of Europe, a CV is used in all contexts and resumes aren’t used at all.

So Technically What’s the difference between a CV and Résumé?

  • Curriculum vitae or CV for short, is a latin expression which loosely translates to ‘the course of life’. By definition, a CV contains your biography or detailed account of academics, job experience, skillset and projects undertaken, accomplishments, awards and affiliations, publications, teaching experience, honors, grants etc. A CV is written in a chronological order and the content may or may not change as per the job requirement.
  • Résumé, a french word, means to sum up. Résumé is a brief job specific document that summarises the job experience, skillset, accomplishments, education, volunteer and extra curricular activities directly relevant to the particular position. The order in which it is written is of little or no importance but the content must be tailored to suit the position applied for.
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The length of a resume is usually one or two pages whereas the length of the CV may vary as per the content.
So basically, because Nigeria follows the British rule, CV is a more acceptable term here.
I hope this helps you and someone else out there.
Send in your career questions to info[at]jobzilla.ng. I’ll answer and publish them for you and others to learn.
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