Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)?


The main difference between resumes and CVs known to most people is that the former is a term used in the U.S. whereas the latter is a British word.

Another major difference between the two is their lengths. In general, a resume is concise and shorter, in 1 to 2 pages. For CVs, they are longer and in more details, ranging from 2 to 8 pages. Since a resume is shorter, the format is preferred to be in bullet points. For a CV, more information is allowed and is usually presented in paragraphs.

Some sources say that a CV is suitable for the academic and research environment while a resume is most appropriate for the business and non-profit sectors. Therefore, CVs usually include publications, teaching experiences, presentations and dissertation abstracts. For resumes, only skills relevant to the job should be included. So, unless writing skills are highly essential in the job and that the content of your publications is relevant, it is advised not to include these scholarly publications.

In the job market in Hong Kong, job seekers are mostly expected to submit resumes, in not more than 3 pages. Yet, there may be different conventions in different countries and job seekers may have to pay attention when applying for jobs advertised especially in other places.

The most important point to remember is that no matter it is a resume or CV, you have to make sure that it is a tool to let the potential employers know more about your background, skills and working experience so that they will consider giving you a job interview. So, the content should be clear, relevant and informative.


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