Ever struggled with the basics of your job application itself, such as cracking your head whether to upload a CV or resume?

Or maybe all this while you thought CVs and resumes were actually the same thing.

Some of you probably thought CV was a fancy name to call resumes. Well, at least I did, for some time.

After much research, I found out that CVs and resumes are in fact different and it is important for us as job seekers to know when to use which.

Curriculum Vitae (CV), a Latin term which means ‘course of life’, is a detailed document on your achievements. It covers your education as well as other accomplishments such as awards, honours etc. The details can be laid out in two or more pages.

On the other hand, a resume is a brief summary of your education, work history, accomplishments and skills. This is the most common requested document in job applications. The goal of a resume is to make it as concise as possible with details listed on one page.

Here are the 3 main differences between a CV and Resume:



As briefly described above, CVs are longer than resumes because they need to be more in-depth than resumes. Basically, a CV is more static as it doesn’t have to be altered for different positions the way a resume does. The only changes you have to make in your CV is to update your accomplishments as they grow. Any changes will have to be stated in the cover letter.

It is highly recommended to tailor your resume often for every job you are applying for. Why? This makes your application unique and stand out from the rest. In addition, a resume should be a less than two-pages summary of everything that would normally be present in a CV. Typically, skill sets, experience and education should be disclosed in your resume.



Resumes are most popular in the US and Canada. It is the number one choice among jobseekers and employers. Moreover, they can also be used online or for groups and associations. So if you’re looking to apply for jobs in the US and Canada or American companies in Malaysia, it would be best to send in your resume.

If you were thinking of applying for an international position in the UK or Europe, or to a European company, it would be wise to send in your CV. Additionally, CVs will be more relevant if you are applying to the academic or medical field because they require more information.



So, once you have decided on whether to use a resume or CV to apply for the job you are interested in, here comes the next part. What do you include in your resume or CV? Let’s break it down:

Your resume should include the following:

Name, contact information, education, work experience and relevant work-related skills.

Ensure that the focus of this brief document is on work experience in reverse chronological order.

resume smile GIF by Product Hunt


Your CV should include the following:

Name, contact information, education, work experience and relevant work-related skills. Be sure to also include a summary of academic background as well as teaching and research experience. In addition, any publications, presentations, awards, honours, affiliations and other similar details should be present as well.

Be as detailed as possible when creating your CV.

resume am i impressive or what GIF


The safest bet is to have both documents on hand with the relevant details. A decent resume is an entryway to potential employment. Furthermore, a resume that isn’t attractive or let alone inaccurate, can cost an interview opportunity. Therefore, all the best in your job applications!




Posted by Vinitra Pillai

A wallflower. Professional introvert. Analogue at birth, digital by design