Make Sure that You Know When to Use a CV

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Let’s start with the basics to make CV writing easy:

What is a CV?

In its full form, CV stands for curriculum vitae (latin for: course of life). In the US, Canada, and Australia, a CV is a document you use for academic purposes. The US academic CV outlines every detail of your scholarly career. In other countries, CV is an equivalent of an American resume. You use it when you apply for jobs.

Because this document is named differently across different countries, a lot of folks keep asking:

What is the difference between a CV and a resume?

Let’s get this straight, once and for all:

In the hiring industry, nowadays there’s almost no formal difference between a CV and a resume. It’s the same thing that Brits call a CV and Americans—a resume.

Just like they do with chips and french fries, football and soccer, or Queen Elizabeth and Queen Bey.

So, if you’re applying to a European company, you should create a CV. But if you’re applying to a US-based employer, you should make a resume.

And no, a CV is not a cover letter. A curriculum vitae is a detailed list of specifications, while a cover letter is a full-blown marketing campaign.