Comparison between Professional Resumes & Curriculum Vitae (CVs)

Picture comparing apples to oranges


Curriculum Vitae and Professional Resumes differ in several important ways as shown in the following table:

Issue Curriculum Vitae Professional Resume
Target Audience

In North America, CVs are geared towards academia and research.

In most of the rest of the world,  CVs are used by both academia and business.

In North America, professional resumes are geared to business.

CVs have the same structure as resumes with the added sections on papers authored or co-authored; colloquia presentations given; and references made by other authors in the same field.

Advanced degrees and acedemic standing are very important. So are awards and recognition. They are often listed first after your contact information.

Videos are not currently part of most CVs.

Professional resumes replace the acedemic history by an optional section on books and magazine articles and presentations given at conferences. If very positive feedback was received, this can be mentioned.

Detailed academic achievements are not as important and usually only a list of degrees are needed.

Access to videos are becoming more important as we transition to using the Internet more fully. Videos may be embedded in resume or referenced on a site like YouTube or both embedded and referenced.

Internet Presence

Use of professional sites like LinkedIn are seldom used.

Personal social media sites like Facebook are seldom referenced.

Professional sites such as LinkedIn are used for networking. They are becoming increasingly important.

When a candidate is being seriously considered, recruiters often try to find the candidate on social media sites and other places on the Internet.

Extra-curricular Activities Personal activities outside of work are seldom mentioned. Personal activities that show community involvement and leadership are important as a differentiator between candidates.

In North America, the section on experience emphasises academic achievement and positions held.

In the rest of the world, this section is like a professional resume.

The section on experience emphasises the business contribution of the candidate. For example, how much the candidate made or saved the company.  Also, hard data is very important, if it is available. For example, saying that you increased sales by 30% is significant.


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