What is the difference between a résumé and a CV?

Without getting all MPSIMSy on you, I’m looking for a job. My visiting adjunct academic thing ends this summer and I have been looking for a position for some time, sending out my Curriculum Vitae (CV) to the scant few schools out there looking for a Petrologist/Mineralogist. Well, times a-runnin’ out so I’m now looking for a “Real” job for the comming year–jobs that ask me to send a résumé.

Okay, so I’ve got a nice CV. They ask for a résumé. I’m assuming they don’t want my CV… or do they? Is there a difference between the two, and if so, what is the difference?

(Note: My CV has the following information: Education, Professional Positions Held, Professional Interests, Skills, Professional Associations, Publications, and References.)

CVs tend to be more detailed and used more in academic circles; resumes in the rest of the world. They are used for similar purposes, but you’ll find that there are slightly different format & content rules for resumes (which, by the way, have only one accented e - the second one [sorry, pet peeve], but can also be spelled sans accents).

For example, if you’ve been working for a year or two you would not start your resume with an Education section - your work experience is more to the point, and therefore is expected to go first. Or you might start with a Skills section at the very top - what you know how to do can be more important than where you’ve been doing it lately.

Generally you would not see a Professional Interests section in a resume. If you want to mention this type of thing, it goes in your cover letter. You would also not include References, though you’d prepare a separate sheet with those and have it available at the appropriate point in the process.

I could go on for a while, but my suggestion is to go to your local library or book store, and browse through some How-To books on resumes. You’ll get the idea pretty quickly.

The good news is that you’ll be able to use most of your CV material in your resume.

PS - If they’re so similar, you ask, then can’t I just send in my CV? Well, you can, of course, but it’s always better to give prospective employers - and their HR staff - what they are looking for. A CV instead of a resume could make you seem a bit pretentious (too much detail listed that’s not relevant to the workplace you are aiming for) or give the impression that you are an entrenched academia type, thus excluding you from consideration for a “real-world” job. Best to play the game by the rules.

A CV is generally a lot longer and in my experience used for positions in academia. All the CVs I’ve ever seen are several pages and list publications, details of fellowships, scientific achievements, academic honors (I mean big honors like being awarded a department chair - not “I graduated summa”), etc. This is in addition to the regular stuff a resume would have: companies worked at, positions, duties.

If you are applying to a non-academic place of business, I would cut down the CV to no more than 2 pages. I wouldn’t provide the references with the resume but have them listed separately and available at the interview. But it really depends on where you are applying and for what.

I believe the trend is to merge both things and call it "Ridiculum Vitae"

Well, in French, there is an accent on both "e"s

The MW online dictionary says:

Main Entry: ré·su·mé
Variant(s): or re·su·me or re·su·mé

Etymology: French résumé, from past participle of résumer to resume, summarize, from Middle French resumer