A common question posed by persons looking to have a professional resume created is, “What is the difference between a Professional Resume and a Curriculum Vitae?”  Usually, the follow up question is, “When do I use a Professional Resume versus a Curriculum Vitae?”  Let’s tackle these questions one at a time to learn more about when to use a Professional Resume versus a Curriculum Vitae.

The biggest difference between a Professional Resume and a Curriculum Vitae is the level of detail found within each document.  As stated in our past blogs regarding resume efficiency and effectiveness, a resume should be a concise and on-point document that a reader can get through in 30 to 60 seconds.  An effective resume is one that provides the reader with quick-hitting, quantifiable and unique information which specifically pertains to your skill sets, experiences and accomplishments.  The professional resume should be written as a personal marketing document about your work history.

Conversely, a Curriculum Vitae is a highly detailed and extensively written document that provides the reader with the complete work history overview, no matter how mundane the experience or activity may be.  Generally, the Curriculum Vitae can be anywhere from 3 to as many pages as necessary to highlight all of your professional experiences.  Where the Professional Resume mainly focuses on work history, the Curriculum Vitae will focus not only on work history, but also on items such as Speaking Engagements, Publications, Research Papers, Graduate Training, Internships, Academic Appointments, Lecture Experience, Board Memberships, Professional Memberships, Fellowships, Media Presentations, etc.  As you can see, this level of detail can make a Curriculum Vitae quite a lengthy document.

The next question when addressing the use of a Curriculum Vitae is, “Who should use a Curriculum Vitae?” and “When should a Curriculum Vitae be used?”  The answers to these questions are relatively simple.

In general terms, Curriculum Vitae’s are most utilized by persons within the academic, medical and technical fields.  People in these field are usually more engaged in continuing professional development and as such, have more to define on their CV.  This is due to the fact that these fields are generally the most specialized and require the most continuing education and professional development to get ahead in their field of expertise.

While sometimes people will use the terms Curriculum Vitae and resume interchangeably, the reality is that in most cases, a resume is all you will need in most job search situations.  If a potential employer asks for a Curriculum Vitae, try to clarify their definition of Curriculum Vitae before submitting your candidacy.  If a Curriculum Vitae is required, make sure you take the time to define all of you experiences and competencies no matter how trivial you think they may be.

Action Resume Service is a 23 year old professional and executive resume writing and career development company serving a nationwide client base.  To learn more about professional and executive resume writing and career development services, visit www.actionresume.com or call us at 610-613-3907.