Resume or CV?
One of the most common questions I am asked by candidates is
whether they should be creating a CV or a resume. And then the second most
common question is "What is the difference between a CV and a resume?"
The correct answer is really simple. If you are applying for
a clinical position you should be submitting a resume. Why? Because resumes are
short and sweet and when employers are hiring a clinician for direct care all they
really want is a quick summary of your education, credentials and skills.
Remember, the purpose of a resume is to get you in the door for an
On the other hand, a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is appropriate if
you are applying for an academic, consulting, research or other non-clinical
role. Why? Because a CV is significantly longer than a resume and includes all
sorts of information that is rarely pertinent or relevant if you are applying
for a traditional clinical position.
While a resume focuses on the triad of information I
mentioned above, (education, license, skills) a CV goes further and can include
presentations, publications, research, committees, continuing education or even
your thesis or capstone project. A resume should be limited to 1-2 pages
maximum but it's not unusual if a CV goes on for up to a dozen pages.
So why so much confusion? Well one reason is that over the
past few years employers and recruiters have begun to ask for a CV when what
they really want is a resume. I don't know how or why this has become a trend
but I can tell you it is not going away anytime soon. And furthermore, the
inaccurate use of the term seems to go in only one direction. In other words,
clinical positions quite often request a CV when they mean a resume but rarely
does an educational or research position ask for a resume when they mean a
My advice: Don't worry about whether you call it a CV or a
resume, just make sure that the content is relevant, appropriate and clearly
shows that you meet the requirements of the position. If it's a traditional
clinical position, keep your information more brief and focused on skills and
experience. For academia or a consulting position you can feel free to get
wordier - much wordier.