How Do Resumes and CVs Differ All over the World?

Defining the difference between resume and CVs and their peculiarities in different countries is crucial for everyone, especially for those, who are going to apply for a job overseas.

Obviously, you have asked yourself why do people provide resumes in the USA and CVs in the UK and what kind of application papers should be provided in Australia. Resume Writing Lab company has provided reliable information about the key differences between these important documents.

Definition: Resume

A resume is a one-page document, which is usually supported by a cover letter. It doesn’t contain vast information about your academic and extracurricular achievements. An applicant must target a resume toward a specific position and mention only relevant skills and previous jobs.

So, this kind of application paper doesn’t require outlining the whole employment history and a detailed set of skills. There are three types of summaries: reverse chronological, functional, and combination.

Definition: CV

Modern professional CV writers explain that Curriculum Vitae is an application document, which usually includes more than one or two pages and contains detailed information about academic and professional achievements, as well as different awards, publications, participation in different competitions, workshops, or volunteering projects. Such a detailed presentation means that you don’t need to tailor your CV to every new position.

CV & Resume: The Fundamental Difference

There are three main and fundamental differences between these two application documents, which you must keep in mind:

  • The length of the resume mustn’t exceed one page. Obviously, there exist two-page resumes but the perfect length of the resume – one page. CVs can be longer.
  • The content of the resume mustn’t cover your whole employment history, achievements, and skills. A resume is a targeted document while CV is a universal paper that contains everything either relevant to the specific job or irrelevant.
  • Resume can be either chronological or not while CV is always chronological as contains a lot of information.

CV & Resume: Worldwide Difference

Resumes are widely used in the USA and Canada. CVs are provided only when job seekers apply for jobs overseas. CVs are commonplace in Europe, especially in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand while resumes aren’t used at all. When it comes to Australia, India, and South Africa, there is almost no difference between these papers. In fact, summaries are mostly used for private sector jobs and CVs for public service jobs.

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CV & Resume: Worldwide Peculiarities

Before applying for a job abroad, it’s crucial to familiarize with the fundamental peculiarities of the two application papers. Special formats were created for European job seekers. Even something as simple as freelance experience in your resume tends to differ from country to country!

The nationality, date of birth and gender is commonly accepted information, which is required for the CVs. Resumes usually don’t contain this information. It may sound ridiculous for Americans but job seekers from South Africa include even their ID number and ethnicity!

For Americans, such personal information can stay unmentioned and every recruiter accepts this rule. In the USA, in some states, you don’t even need to mention your age. Still, not every state accepted this law, so, be careful. As CVs aren’t usually used in a professional sphere, they are used though by academics or researchers.

Some job seekers wonder if it’s okay to put a picture in the resume or CV. Here lays an interesting peculiarity too. In the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK, it’s not recommended to add a picture to your application paper.

In fact, this rule is clear as the only important thing for an employer is the content of the paper. If the appearance of the candidacy is important, most of the recruiters conduct their own research through social networks and check the profiles of the potential employees.

That’s why it’s better to ensure if your picture on Facebook is relevant rather than put a relevant picture on your resume. What is more, make sure your LinkedIn profile photo presents you are an actual professional worker!

While the British job seekers shouldn’t include their photos in the CVs, French or German people can do it. Asian recruiters aren’t against the pictures in the application paper too.

Are Resume and Curriculum Vitae the Same?

No. The major differences between CVs and resumes can be found in their length, function, and layout, although there can be cases when a CV and resume are interchangeable.

First of all, a Curriculum Vitae represents a more detailed and structured document with a chronological order listing of a person’s professional experience and qualification, and a resume is a more concise, highly customizable summary of his career-related skills and experiences.

And here lies the greatest distinctive point between those two: a CV will cover up your entire career history, meanwhile a resume will focus its attention on the more brief and targeted list of qualifications, rewards, and other accomplishments.

Therefore, in most cases CVs are far longer than 1 page, which is typically a normal length for a resume. Though the difference is not only in length and structure but the country where resumes and CVs are used and targeted position.


Obviously, there exist plenty of differences between CVs and resumes even inside one country. Therefore, it’s crucial to do research about the specific company and tailor a paper toward the specific requirements. So, stay tuned and get your dream jobs!