What is the difference between a Curriculum Vitae and a Resume?
For master, professional doctorate, and Ph.D. candidates seeking positions in teaching (higher education), health care, social work, or other areas of research, employers frequently want a curriculum vitae (knowns as a vita or CV) instead of a resume.
A resume is a summary (usually one or two pages) of personal, educational, and experience qualifications intended to demonstrate fitness for a paticular type of position. A resume focuses attention on an individual's strongest qualifications and develops them to fit the specific or general purpose for which the material is provided.
A Curriculum Vitae is a document generally used instead of a resume for an academic audience. It is a summary of education and experience qualifications as related to the interests of academia. Ph.D. candidates generally have a two to four page document and it develops over time into a comprehensive and lengthy statement detailing professional qualifications and activities. You can easily create a one or two page version and a more complete, longer version to use for different purpose.
How to Write a Curriculum Vitae
The main differences between writing resumes and CV's are:
- CV's almost never list an objective and seldom have a long narrative profile. They give exceptionally brief listings for each experience. Your credentials and preparation will have to speak for themselves. If you want to make a more elaborate argument for your candidacy, you must do it in your cover letter.
- CV's should look rather plain (compared to resumes). The emphasis on CV's is always on content, not form. Also, name dropping is more common in CV's than in resumes. If you performed research under a certain professor, you would probably list only their title in a resume, but a CV would include their name and title. Similarly, if you went on clinical rotations at a given hospital, name it: your future employer might have hospital priviledges there.
- Unlike resumes, CV's can run on for pages and pages. They should, however, be very neatly organized, with clear headings and distinct conceptual division, so that they can be skimmed as easily as a two-page resume.
- In addition to the usual catalog of degrees and job histories, CV's often contain more categories of information. Experience may be divided between headings for TEACHING and RESEARCH; education may be divided between DEGREES and CONTINUING EDUCATION or ADVANCED TRAINING; publications may be divided into subcategories of BOOKS, ARTICLES, CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS, ABSTRACTS, BOOK REVIEWS, and UNPUBLISHED PAPERS. How you organize this material determines its impact on your reader.
- One last note: Bibliographies longer than two pages, or any other category with more than two pages of information, should be separated out from the main body of the CV. Of course, different disciplines have different protocols for bibliographic data and you will need to learn and follow those for your profession. As a general rule, bibliographies should run in reverse chronological order like everything else.
Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the resume, cover letter, and other job search correspondence samples. You can download this free from the Adobe web site.