Curriculum Vitae or Resume – Meaning and Usage

Curriculum Vitae or Resume – Meaning and Usage

The first step when applying for a job is writing your curriculum vitae or resume. In daily use, we do use the terms interchangeably but do they actually mean the same?

First of all, it would be interesting to know the origin of these two terms. “Resume” in French means ‘summary’. “Curriculum Vitae” in Latin means ‘course of life’.

Curriculum vitae or Resumes – Differences :

  • When you write a resume, you are actually writing about yourself in brief. You may have done many jobs or as a student done many projects. When you are writing a resume you only make a passing mention of these without delving into the details. Also, you need to mention only qualifications and experience relevant to the position you are applying for. When it comes to your curriculum vitae however, you need to mention all the educational courses that you have done and all the jobs you have been in, relevant or not.
  • Curriculum vitae can be up to two pages while a resume may run up to a page or so.
  • A curriculum vitae or C.V. is written when one wants to pursue a career in academics or fields like medicine. A resume is submitted when one is applying for other jobs.
  • The term ‘resume’ is used in countries like USA and Canada. ‘Curriculum Vitae’ is used mostly in Europe and Asia.
  • However, these days the terms are used interchangeably. Also, resumes need not be as brief as they used to be.

So the term is no longer so important- you can use either curriculum vitae or resumes. What is important is including relevant details for the job you are applying for.

For instance, you may be qualified to be a choreographer as well as a journalist with degrees and experience in both the fields. But mentioning about your dancing skills will not help in getting shortlisted for the job of a journalist. In fact, your prospective employer may feel that you have a finger in a pie too many. Just mention the different jobs you have held as a journalist and your achievements in them.

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