Curriculum Vitae 101: Define CV

A curriculum vitae is similar to a resume but with some key differences. Read this curriculum vitae 101 where we define CV for you.

Are you being asked to submit a CV for an application for the first time? If so, you might be confused as to what you're being asked of. While most people have heard of a resume, a CV - or curriculum vitae - is more of a rare document that is needed for specific jobs.

However, a CV is similar to a resume. And once you understand the difference between the two, it can be easy to create either one. Read on as we define CV and show why they are different from a resume.

Define Resume

First, we should discuss what a resume is so we can point out how it is different from a CV. A resume is a document that highlights your qualifications for a specific job. These are very common, as most jobs in the United States require a resume when applying.

When creating a resume, you are usually just showcasing a snapshot of your most relevant education, experience, and qualifications. Since a resume is usually expected to be one page, you are not really afforded the space to give more than a snapshot.

This shortness extends to the descriptions of your experience. Usually, you will only have a short summary or a few bullet points describing each job listed. Employers do not want to see more than this, as they can use interviews to learn more about candidates they are interested in.

Define CV

Now to define CV. CV is short for curriculum vitae, which is a Latin phrase that roughly translates to "course of life." The biggest difference between a CV and a resume is the size and purpose of the documents.

A CV is generally used for fewer applications than a resume, at least in the United States. A curriculum vitae is generally needed for working abroad, applying for high-level academic programs, and applying for some jobs that require a lot of experience and expertise; think academic or senior executive for a huge company.

These roles require a CV because they need more information from you. And that is the most important part when trying to define CV. A curriculum vitae is a document that allows you to go in-depth into your qualifications.

To do this, you will generally need to include your contact information, education history, job experience, qualifications, and skills. You will also benefit from including things like projects, publications, presentations, licenses, certificates, grants, and professional associations.

Within each section, you can add more detail to really give the full picture of who you are as an academic and professional. If you're struggling to figure out how to possibly arrange all of this information, you can find curriculum vitae templates for free to help you out.

That way you can focus on content instead of layout, whether you're trying to get into a grad school program or are attempting to join the thousands who teach at the postsecondary level.

Curriculum Vitae: Now You Know

Now that you can define CV, you can create one. This will be important, whether you are attempting to expand your education or get an important new job. Do you have more questions? Check out our other articles for more answers.

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