What is a CV? What is a resume? What is the difference between a CV and a resume?
The primary differences between a resume and a curriculum vitae (CV) are the length, what is included and what each is used for. A resume is a one or two page summary of your skills, experience and education. While a resume is brief and concise - no more than a page or two, a Curriculum Vitae is a longer (at least two page) and more detailed synopsis.
A Curriculum Vitae includes a summary of your educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations and other details. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia, employers may expect to receive a curriculum vitae.
In the United States, a curriculum vitae is used primarily when applying for academic, education, scientific or research positions. It is also applicable when applying for fellowships or grants.
For the purpose of this FAQ, I will be using the term "resume", although many of the tips and information can be used for either format.
What is the purpose of a resume?
Resumes and application forms are two ways to provide employers with written evidence of your qualifications and skills. A resume, in short, is used to show an employer your skills and abilities that may be useful in their professional environment.
Do I need to write a resume?
In short, yes. It is always helpful to have a current and active resume, even if you do not show it to potential employers. Some employers prefer a resume and others require an application form. In my opinion, a well written and visually appealing resume is always a bonus, but a poorly-written or visually unappealing resume can definitely knock a few points off.
- Professional, technical, administrative and managerial jobs.
- Sales positions.
- Secretarial, clerical, and other office jobs.
RESUME SOMETIMES REQUIRED
(Examples: Baker, Hotel Clerk, Electrician, Drafter, Welder)
RESUME NOT REQUIRED, BUT RECOMMENDED
(Examples: Fast Food Server, Laborers, Machine Loader, Cannery Worker, etc.)
- Unskilled, quick turnover jobs
When do you use a resume?
- To respond to a want ad
- To give an employer more information about you than the job application gives
- To send to a company you'd like to work for
- To give to an interviewer so he or she will ask you about the positive things on your resume you want to talk about
- To leave with an employer after an interview as a reminder of your skills and abilities
What information should I have on my resume?
The best way to select information that belongs on your resume is to think like an employer. Ask yourself, "If I were hiring a person for this position, what training and experience would be related?" Give brief, specific, positive information that would be of interest to your next employer. Do not give unrelated or negative information.
Remember: Keep resumes to a maximum of 2 pages long. Employers receive a lot of resumes for one position and won't have the time to go through a 3- or 4-page resume.
A standard resume should include:
- Contact Information
- Summary of Qualifications
- Work Experience or Work History
- Military Experience
- Special Skills and Abilities
Do I need to include a Job Goal or Objective?
This is really a personal choice. Some people will firmly state "yes, always!" while others might proclaim "no, never!" The purpose of a Job Goal or Objective is to give the prospective employer an idea of what you are looking for. Some examples of Resume Objective Statements can be found here.
I have work experience in two or more differing fields, is it ok to have two or more versions of my resume?
Yes! It is ok and encouraged to have multiple versions of your resume to focus on different aspects of your work history or qualifications. For example, you may wish to have one resume focusing on Graphic Design, while another may focus on accounting.
A good idea is to write up to 3 different resumes if you want to apply for three slightly different jobs. This is to optimise your chances by being specific and using existing experience in a way that can illustrate your suitability for the job. They basically have most of the same information but it is written in a completely different way and some skills were emphasised for a particular role.
Should I include my references on my resume?
This is really a personal choice. Some people will firmly state "yes, always!" while others might proclaim "no, never!" You may state "Reference available upon request" on the bottom of your resume, but it is no required as it is implied that you will furnish your references upon request.
Many believe that you should only provide the contact information for your references to potential employers who are seriously considering you as a candidate. This typically happens after you are in the interview process. This approach helps to protect your references from needless calls and contacts.
Should I include any personal information (like age, health, religion, marital status, etc.)?
No. This information is personal, private, and has no place in the employment decision. In many places, including the United States, it is illegal to choose employees based on any protected class.
Should I include a picture on my resume?
In most cases no, although this is a personal choice. If you are an actor or model then chances are that a headshot or small, professional photo on your resume would be useful. But in most other fields, choosing an employee or using personal appearance to decide upon interviews is illegal, as it often deals with characteristics in a protected class.
How should I format my resume?
Your resume should be as individual as you are, as the purpose is to become a snapshop of you as an employer. It should be clear, concise, and easy to read. You should not use any overly large or small or hard-to-read fonts. You should only use black or blue (sparingly!) ink.
Some prefer bullet points, others prefer complete sentences. Whichever you choose just be sure to be consistent.
Can I review samples of resumes that other LiveWire members use?
Yes! Right in this topic! Feel free to post a sample of your resume right here, view the resumes of others, get samples and examples of how other LiveWire members and peers format their resumes, and also suggestions on what other LiveWire members state in Job Descriptions and Job Objectives!
Go on! Post away!
FAQ: How do I post an image / YouTube video? (click here)
Note: All personal contact information (phone number, address, etc.) must be blacked out or erased for your Sample Resume to be approved. All Sample Resumes found to include private contact information will be deleted!
So when you're happy (Hurray!), or sad (Aw!),
Or frightened (Eeek!), or mad (Rats!)
An interjection starts a sentence right.