Do I Need a Resume or Curriculum Vita?

by Karen Watson on April 23, 2014

Understanding the different between a resume and a CV can be a little confusing. Resumes and Curriculum Vitae are completely different documents, should be approached differently in writing and each are geared to certain industries and job types.

If you’re confused about the difference between a resume and a curriculum vita (CV), you’re not alone! Both are job-seeking documents used to help you obtain a job interview with a prospective employer. Both a resume and CV list relevant information about your background and your qualifications. To add to the confusion about these job-seeking tools, many people use these terms interchangeably. What are the differences?

The Resume

A resume is an overview of your relevant work experience, skills, education, and any other information related to the targeted job, such as volunteer work or professional memberships. There are three primary types of resumes: functional, chronological, and combination. A functional resume highlights skills, abilities, and education rather than work history. A true functional-style resume does not list employment dates. A chronological resume highlights employment (or volunteer work) shown in reverse-chronological format; that is, the most recent employment is listed first. A combination-style resume combines elements of the functional and chronological styles. Most resumes are one or two pages long.

For most job applications, a combination style resume is the best choice many applicants, including college students and new graduates. Even though work history on a graduate resume may not be as extensive as for that of a seasoned employee, a chronological work history can demonstrate transferable skills and dependability. A purely functional style resume would not provide this advantage, and yet a purely chronological style would not allow for additional information highlighting relevant skills or other information.

The Curriculum Vita

A CV is a more detailed listing of information used by applicants in select fields, such as the medical and education industries. The format of a CV is sometimes similar to that of a resume, but it is typically a straightforward listing of information. A CV includes information such as employment, education, and publications in a reverse-chronological order. It is often used by those seeking advanced positions in the medical and teaching professions. For example, someone applying for a university teaching position would list his or her education, classes taught, and any relevant publications. CVs can be much longer than a traditional resume.

A CV may also be required for those applying to graduate school, although again, a CV is typically used for specific fields, such as research or teaching. However, if you are applying for a position in a foreign country, you may need a CV. A professional resume writer can help you determine whether you should use a resume or a CV for these types of positions.

Which Do I Need?

For most new graduates and college students, a resume is the best option to use for job application purposes. There is a bit more room for creativity (in styling, not false information!) with a resume. Additionally, resumes are traditionally what hiring managers expect to see unless specifically noted otherwise.

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Effective Resume Writing

by Karen Watson on April 23, 2014

A lot of places around the world call it A Curriculum Vitae, in North America, it’s a Resume. This is definitely one of the most important tools that any jobseeker has at their disposal. You may be THE best candidate for a particular job by a long way, however, if you don’t make it to the interview stages the company will never know. Many companies (especially the larger corporations) will use computer software to “read” all the resume’s and reject any that don’t fit a pa…

A lot of places around the world call it A Curriculum Vitae, in North America, it’s a Résumé. This is definitely one of the most important tools that any jobseeker has at their disposal. You may be THE best candidate for a particular job by a long way, however, if you don’t make it to the interview stages the company will never know.

Many companies (especially the larger corporations) will use computer software to “read” all the résumé’s and reject any that don’t fit a particular template. This may seem unfair, but it’s cost effective.

So, for some jobs you have to beat the computer and still read well enough for someone who may not have any knowledge of the position you are applying for. It is definitely worthwhile to adapt your resume for the position that is advertised. There may well be some of the “buzz” words the “filter” is looking for mentioned in the job description.

It is very important that you can substantiate all the claims you make, preferably with physical examples or letters. This will be essential in any in interview situation.

There is now a wealth of information available online, from books, local employment offices and with professional writing agencies. You can also access other people’s résumé’s that are posted online which will give some great ideas for style and content.

Professional writers may seem the answer, but, all the research I have done seems to lean away from them. I have never used one and feel that it will give a good impression if you have written it yourself (this will display literacy). Apparently, if they are professionally written, they are easy to spot; however, they may be worth the expense if you are stuck. You can always “customise” what has been written to make it your own work.

In my case, I had been in the military since I left school and had never written a resume or had an interview. I spent a lot of time writing, copying other people’s styles and changing things. I didn’t realise how difficult it is to catch up on 16 years – I’ll never allow mine to go out of date again! I found the hardest part was to actually start writing. The best advice I was given was to just write anything that you can think of and it will soon start to flow. With modern word processors it’s relatively quick and easy to cut and paste so you can keep on changing it until you are happy. More detailed information can be found at http://www.onestopimmigration-canada.com/resume.html

Good Luck!

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