Create a Killer Resume and Cover Letter

CV vs Resume: What’s the Difference?

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Whats the Difference By Dr. Jill Fuson
Faculty Director, School of Business at American Public University

Should you use a resume or a Curriculum Vitae (CV)? Is there a difference? The answer is YES. There are three major differences: purpose, layout, and length.

A resume is usually a one page document customizing your job experience and education to stand out above all applicants for a certain job. Keep it concise and customized to the job being sought. Since a resume is a brief document, information does not need to be chronologically arranged and does not have to cover your entire career.

A CV is an in-depth summary of your entire job and educational experience. It is usually several pages long and contains very detailed information on achievements, job experience, and education. Also included are awards, publications, and honors received. A CV does not change for each position applied as it is a fixed document summarizing your entire career.

Both should be accompanied by a cover letter addressed to the organization and person who will be receiving the information. A cover letter is your first chance to make a great impression showing your interest and seriousness in a position. It should entice a prospective employer to take a few extra minutes on your resume or CV. Mention something about the organization, showing you have done your homework and are knowledgeable of the mission and goals.

To determine which one to submit when applying for a job, check the advertisement and submit what is requested. If it does not specify, evaluate two important factors: the job description and your experience.

If you are just starting out in your career and have little job experience, a resume would work best. If you have a plethora of job experience and credentials, use a CV to show off your achievements and work experience. Choose which one will make you look like the rock solid candidate for the position.

Whether you send a resume or CV (or both), be sure you reveal why you would be the best candidate for the position with an error-free document that makes you stand out above the rest. Position yourself as the most attractive candidate and remain confident and positive in your job pursuit. Good luck!

About the Author: Dr. Jill Fuson, Faculty Director for the School of Business, has been with APUS for 6 years. She has a Ph.D. from Capella University, a master’s degree from Webster University, and an undergraduate degree from University of Maryland, European Division. She currently teaches graduate Human Resource courses.

This article from was republished with permission.

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Good luck in your search,


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