What’s the Difference Between a Resume & a C.V.?

Dear Cassie,

What’s the difference between a resume and a C.V.?

Just Curious

Dear Just Curious,

Wow, great question, and I have no idea. But don’t worry, I wouldn’t leave you hanging there, though at first glance I had that sinking, “oh my gosh I don’t know” belly feeling.

Our friends over at the Merriam Webster dictionary say that a resume is, “a short document describing your education, work history, etc. that you give an employer when you are applying for a job.” I knew it and here’s proof. A C.V., or curriculum vitae, is, “a short document that describes your education, work experience, etc.” OK . . .  so . . . that’s not helpful since they said the same thing!

I’ve always thought that the real difference between a resume and a C.V. is the length. Turns out About.com agrees with me. Resumes are usually a page or two, while C.V.s have no limit to their length. I usually see C.V.s used in academics and healthcare, but specifically for physicians, and they are long! My Economics professor’s C.V. was 43 pages and counting and included all his degrees, every published paper, presentations, and classes taught. If you ever want to feel unaccomplished, check out a professor’s C.V.

It turns out that C.V.s are more commonly expected outside of academia in Europe, the Middle East, and other places around the world.

So there you go. If you’re in the healthcare IT industry here in the United States, you can stick with a resume. Thanks for your question!


About the author


Cassie Sturdevant

Cassie Sturdevant is a Senior Recruiter for Impact Advisors, a healthcare IT strategic and implementation services consulting firm just named 2013 Best in KLAS for Overall Services. She specializes in humor and follow up.