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Resume and CV, What's the Difference?

You’ll notice that you’re required to send your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) as one of the supporting documents in every job posting. The reason why it is necessary is that resumes, or CVs offer your employer a brief look at your background, skills, and education and to see whether you fit into their category or not. Fun fact, nowadays most employers will only spend 6-11 seconds checking on their applicants' resumes to decide if it’s worth further review or moving on to the next shortlist, especially in established companies using ATS. So, it is crucial to have your resume or CV ready and appropriately written.

A problem may arise when we don’t even know which document we should send to the employer. When should you use a resume? Is using a CV better than a resume? What’s the difference? According to Harvard, a CV is appropriate to use if you seek an academic position such as postdoc, professor, and, possibly, some positions in government. But for most non-academic positions, you’re recommended to use a resume. It also means a resume and a CV are not always interchangeable. Mostly, resumes are competency-based— they’re intended to present their candidate’s skills, achievements, and experiences as a great deal. They’re likely a personal marketing document. While CVs are credential-based, it provides a more comprehensive and often lengthy document that lists candidates’ education, certifications, research experience, professional affiliations, and memberships. Thus, it’s better to submit CVs for jobs in academia, research, and medical fields rather than a resume. However, you should consider the geographic location you’re in because different regions can apply different CVs and resumes. Make sure to check yours!

If you still aren’t sure at which jobs you’ll be aiming for in the future, we suggest you just make up to two separate documents while getting started to get a better angle about the difference between resume and CV. First, let’s talk about CV.

As you know, CV stands for Curriculum Vitae. So, it is frequently used in an academic setting. A CV can consist of up to two to three pages that summarizes your experience and abilities in a much credential and relevant way to academia and research, such as publications, presentations, and references. The key in CVs is the detailed information. Include every work experience, education, awards, special honors, certifications, publications, grants, scholarships, research, or academic projects on your CV. There are no length requirements in making a CV because it all depends on your experience. The more experience you have, the longer your CV’s page will be. The tip for writing a CV is to make a list of all your background information and then put them into categories. That way, your CV will look more structured.

The next is resume. A resume is a brief, informative document that summarizes your abilities, education, and experience (e.g., work, volunteer, internships, personal projects). But it should highlight your strongest assets and differentiate you from other candidates. For example, the structure of a resume should look like this.

source: Indeed

Like what we’ve discussed above, a resume should be as concise as possible. Most resumes are packed as a one-page document and often include bulleted lists to keep the information brief. If you look at the image of the resume, you see the lists come in reverse-chronological order. But there are few other types of resumes as well, such as functional and combination. The tip for writing a resume is to not waste too much space on them. Clear and concise.

Although resumes and CVs have their differences, they also have things in common. What resumes and CVs have in common is that they must be relevant to the job application you’re applying for. Remember, current employers will only check your resume or CV for about 10 seconds, which is crucial. Think of your resume and CV as your "first impression" to the employers to know you better. Also, emphasize your education, experience, and skills on that first impression moment.

Lastly, focus on text and keywords, not the formatting. It's always a win-win for having a good resume or CV because both you and the employer will get an equal advantage. You get the job you wanted, and your employer gets a new workforce that will help drive the company to its best shape. So, start breaking down the areas of your career path and get started working on your supporting documents right away. If you’re still in doubt with your resume or CV, you’re most welcome to consult yours directly with ms. Ayu Nabilah! Reserve your spot at our webinar, and stay tuned as we’ll contact you further. Make sure to follow our Instagram @baikgp & @ayureadypodcast for the latest updates!

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