When Should You Submit a CV Instead of a Resume?

John Krautzel
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Know when to submit a curriculum vitae instead of your resume so you do not miss out on a career-changing opportunity that can lead to a stable position with a great employer. A great CV can help you land an opportunity that plays to your unique expertise and strengths.

Defining a Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vitae differs from your resume in that it's longer and highlights your educational background. A CV can run two, three or more pages instead of just one or two, and it has much more information about your entire professional history. Rather than summarizing your degree and previous jobs, this document offers a detailed look at your entire education and work life.

Your experience, work history, qualifications and accomplishments do not change from one CV to the next, but it's still important to tailor a CV to each position for which you apply.

When to Submit a CV

Submit a curriculum vitae instead of a resume when applying for any jobs outside of the United States. Most international employers expect applicants to submit a CV instead of a resume. In the United States, most positions in academia and medicine require a CV, since these jobs are typically more complex and require very specific types of experience and qualifications. This is even true of entry-level positions. If you want to be sure, contact the HR department or recruiter for the position to determine whether you need to submit a CV or resume.

How to Write a Dynamite CV

Your curriculum vitae should focus on the position at hand. If you're applying for a teaching job at a university, emphasize your teaching background. If you favor a research position, pay more attention to your experience doing relevant research in your field. Use bullet points to showcase career highlights, key achievements and major projects. Do not include every job you ever had on your CV. Only include positions that are directly relevant to your chosen field. For example, mowing lawns for a summer may not be relevant, but working as a docent at an art museum as a teenager is relevant information if you're applying for a curator position at a major art gallery.

Highlight education, certifications and work history while interspersing skills underneath subheadings. This is particularly important if you attended graduate school, medical school or law school. The recruiter should know what you learned and how long you spent gaining field experience that makes you an ideal candidate for a position, especially if the employer must follow specific government regulations to remain certified to operate.

A list of technical skills also comes into play. Include your experience with specific computer software, medical equipment or complex systems. Doctors must know how to run state-of-the-art equipment, while a graphic design professor should understand a wide range of specialty computer software relevant to the field.

Your curriculum vitae offers a more detailed explanation of your work history compared to a resume. Knowing when to submit one, and for which types of jobs, can put you on the path to landing a long-term professional position.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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