Resources >> Browse Articles >> Resumes and Cover Letters


Resume vs. CV - What’s the Difference?

Resume vs. CV - What’s the Difference?

Donna Cardillo, RN, BS / Verticalnet, Inc.

Although many people use the terms “resume” and “CV” (curriculum vitae) interchangeably, they’re actually two different types of documents, each with its own distinct focus. Knowing the right format and use for each will save time and trouble (not to mention worry) with your future job pursuits.

A resume is the 1-2 page career summary that most of us are familiar with. It summarizes work experience, accomplishments, education and other pertinent topics such as professional associations and special skills. The resume is what is most universally used and expected by prospective employers (See Frequently Asked Questions About Resumes and Keywords Are Key To Getting Your Online Resume Read.)

A curriculum vitae, or CV, on the other hand, is a longer, more comprehensive document. It’s usually multiple pages long and gets into much more detail, including a listing of publications, presentations, research projects, academic work, teaching experience, and so forth. A CV is generally used in PhD-driven environments, such as academia and higher level research. It attests to expertise and authority.

Does that mean that if you’ve had articles published or done some speaking or teaching that you should use a CV rather than a resume? Not necessarily. The format you use is determined more by the type of job you’re applying for than your credentials.

Not only doesn’t the average nurse need a CV, but it can be a hindrance in a normal job search. Even if you have had some articles published and made some formal presentations, you can still summarize them under headings such as Selected Presentations or Selected Publications. Then just list those that are most recent, significant, and relevant. Keep in mind that the purpose of a resume is to summarize your accomplishments, not to be a laundry list of everything you ever did.

Continued on next page

  • Ryan-albright-sm_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Nice article Donna, And yes my knowledge about these two is same , resume is the short form of bio-data with page not more than one. While cv on the other hand contains detailed bio-data that might be of more than one page.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    The issue you describe here is like name badges. Sometimes you can have a very official name badge, sometimes considering the environment, can be somehow informal. In the end, it is up to you to decide on the matter and how you should proceed.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 5 years ago


    Thanks for this information,is very timely!

  • Me_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    i was really thinking of the difference between the two, but it was all clear to me now... thanks

  • Pa300080_max50


    about 6 years ago


    This is something that has always been confusing to me, why can't one format be enough! UGH!

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a nursing or healthcare degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.