Is a Resume the same as a Curriculum Vitae?

You’ve found an ad for your dream job. It’s exactly what you’ve been looking for, is in the perfect location, and is offering the ideal salary. They ask you to submit your Curriculum Vita. But you only have a Resume. Are they the same thing?

In Australia the answer is” yes”. While technically two different documents, in Australia we use the terms Curriculum Vitae and Resume interchangeably, so submitting a Resume instead of a Curriculum Vitae is fine. However, this is not the case internationally.

A Curriculum Vitae / Curriculum Vitæ (or CV) comes from the Latin term “course of life” and is essentially your professional biography. Your CV is set out in chronological order (latest information first) and summaries your education, work experience, skills and other accomplishments. It is used in most counties outside the United States and Canada.

Resume (or résumé) comes from the French “to sum up”. It is the document of choice in the United States and Canada. Generally, a resume is a one or two-page document that is adapted for each position. It summarises your relevant education, work experience, skills and other accomplishments but, unlike your Curriculum Vitae, is not necessarily in chronological order.

While in Australia we use the terms interchangeably, what employers are requesting is a combination of the two documents. Whether the employer has requested a Curriculum Vitae or a Resume, you should provide a document, tailored for each position, that provides your relevant education, work experience, skills and other accomplishments in chronological order (latest information first). Unless you are new to the workforce, your Curriculum Vitae / Resume is likely to be 3+ pages in length.

Follow these links for more information and tips on writing the perfect Resume or CV, how to lay out your Resume or CV, or how to write your first Resume or CV