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Ask three people on the street in America what a CV is and you'll get four different answers. Your answer will probably depend on the country you live in and the profession you are in. So what is a CV? Is there a difference between a CV and a resume? And if so, what are those differences? CV stands for the Latin expression 'curriculum vitae' or vitae depending on where you live, which means course of life. If you live in any part of Europe, you probably never use the word resume. Or if you do, the terms resume and CV can pretty much be used interchangeably.
If you are in the United States like I am, you may have a sketchy idea of what a CV is. CVs as they are used in America are most often used for vocations such as research, academics, international, education, medicine, or when you're applying for grants or fellowships. American CVs are usually very involved, detailed, and much longer than the more customary resume. Of course, there are many more distinctions between CVs and resumes.
The main differences include content, purpose, and length. The content of a resume is a brief overview of your top qualifications, education, achievements, and professional experience. American CVs further include such things as presentations, publications, affiliations, any award of honors, and research and teaching experience. A CV also includes the entire list of the candidate's professional experience and includes every single position the candidate has ever held.
It also gives a complete list of the person's academic credentials, their publications, and of course any significant achievements. Resumes are usually between one and two pages, while American CVs can flow onto multiple pages. In the UK and EU, CVs can either be short or long, unlike resumes in the US. The length depends on what type of position the person is applying for and how much experience that they have. If you're applying for a corporate or a business position, you should create a resume, as it is what is expected, unless that is of course you are applying for an international position outside of the United States.
If in America, you will also be expected to create a CV if you're applying for a position involving significant amounts of research and teaching such as academic, educational, scientific, research, medical or health-related positions. CVs are similar to resumes in that you should include your name and contact information, professional experience, education, and skills. If you're applying for an international position outside of the United States, you will need to research what information is expected.
For example, some international CVs require information such as height, weight, nationality, date of birth, and even marital status. What is required in a CV will vary from one country to another, so be sure to check first with a reliable source. You may also need to create a CV if you're applying for grants or fellowships. Whether you're writing a CV or a resume, keep in mind that they are both meant to do one thing: open the door to an interview. Each is your marketing tool designed to sell one thing, you.
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