It would be interesting to do a full study on the evolution of the professional documents known as the resume and the CV respectively. Firstly, we know that CV stands for curriculum vitae, and right there we have a clue about the primary way this document is different from the resume. What is the clue? The word “curriculum”…this points to the distinguishing factor because it is this type of professional document that applies most often to those in research, education, academic and scientific circles.
For example, standard CVs are going to be a substantial document of many pages and sections. It is going to summarize the background of the individual in terms of their education and academic training. It is also going to itemize any publications they have written in or for, any honours or awards they have won, any history of teaching or research, and any other affiliations in terms of their professional and personal life.
CVs can be over ten pages in length and contains lists of items that the applicant has done, written, researched, etc. The resume, on the other hand, is usually around four pages or less. It is a summary document that explains the experiences, skills, education and references that the applicant for a job has to offer.
Another major distinction between the two documents is the fact that a resume is a bit less formal and allows for special statements to be included among the details. CVs are developed along some very rigid guidelines and standards and is never seen as a “personalised” statement. The resume, on the other hand, allows for almost any “order” in terms of the details listed, and it can include the “objective statement” that describes the individual’s goals. So, the essential difference is that CVs speaks for themself while the resume speaks to the potential employer via targeted statements.