CV versus Resume – describing the differences

What’s the difference between a Resume and a Curriculum Vitae (CV) – CV versus Resume?

This depends on where you are living and what you do for a living. There are as many explanations as there are different ways to use a CV versus Resume. There are although some simple rules in the discussion about a Resume versus a CV. Below we will try to enlighten you and give you an insight in the biggest differences.

Differences from Geographical point of view

If you are living in Europe including the United Kingdom, you will be able to use the terms CV and Resume rather interchangeably. There is little difference between them for people living in EU/UK. Although CV is more used than Resume here. If you live in the United States, the differences between a Resume and a CV can be big; you could say that a CV in a way is a special type of Resume.

In North America, most professionals in the business world would always have a Resume, being a two pager, consisting of the most important information about you and your expertise.

If you are working in more specialized areas like highly academic jobs within for instance research, medicine or similar, you would probably know a CV as a presentation of everything that you have done in your career including, all work experience, all educations, diplomas, honours, project you worked on and concepts created in your work. A CV will be a substantial longer document with all this information.

Differences in the Length of a CV / Resume

There are off course more specific differences then how many pages a CV/Resume would consist off. Depending on if you have for instance listings of scholarly accomplishments, publications (academic or business), articles this would be considered a CV. On the other hand more business achievements, skill, and credentials would be part of a Resume.

A basic guideline for a North American Resume would be a 1-2 page document consisting of the most important information, trying to sell you to potential employer. A North American CV, as used mostly for academic positions, will contain a substantial amount of information about everything that you have done, and all educations you have, and typically consist of several pages. Instead of a Resume which is the major accomplishments you have done the CV will have all the relevant and mandatory achievements and credentials.

In EU/UK, CVs can be very short or extremely long, depending on what you want to achieve and what you want to share. It is mostly depending on what position you are applying for.

It is rather confusing what to do

It can be confusing what to do, but instead of just trying to do the right thing, consider sending an email to the employer and simply ask for what level of details they are asking for and offer them further details on request. The only thing that can happen is that they will remember your name and this might give you an opportunity to be seen as professional because you asked what they were looking for – an interview opportunity might not be as far away as it was if you had not asked or if you had made the wrong assumptions and had send your CV/Resume in the wrong format / level of detail.

You should also be aware of the fact that the cover letter or the application will be seen as you trying to get the employer to read your CV/Resume to see if your competences are the right ones for the position.

Reference guide to the major differences between a CV and a Resume

North America

CV or Curriculum Vitae

  • Typically 6-15 pages (can be even bigger)
  • Usually used within academic or science
  • Complete listing of all achievement and experience
  • All elements are thoroughly described
  • Must be read thoroughly and not easy to get a simple overview


  • Typically 1-2 pages (max. 3 pages)
  • Usually used within business (administration)
  • Summary of accomplishments, credentials and achievements
  • Highlighting the important elements
  • Easy to get an overview


CV or Curriculum Vitae

  • Can range from a simple 1-2 pages to as long as necessary
  • Can be used in any area of business
  • Depending on what job you are applying for it can be detailed or simple


  • Not used in Europe

Main objective

The main objective of a CV or Resume is to give the employer all necessary information for him to create an overview of the person applying for a job so that he can decide whom to choose for an interview.

If ever in doubt, call the potential employer and ask them what they need then you already have a “toe” in the door.

Let Comoto help you do it the easy way

Remember that when using Comoto, you can always put all information about yourself and you work life in there and then just pick the most important for the position at hand. Easy and convenient create a specific CV / Resume for you. Have multiple CV / Resume ready for you to use in different application. You can even have them in different languages and different specifications. When using our CV Templates you can export to these and then make minor adjustments afterwards, taking the hassle out of making CV / Resumes.

Different writing styles of Curriculum Vitae

Different writing styles of Curriculum Vitae writing

It can be difficult to search around in the enormous amount of ideas, opinions and guides that is available today. Here you can find descriptions on the different writing styles of CVs that is recommended. There is not one optimal or correct version – the right style depends upon a lot of different factors and to find out what will work best for you, will be something you discover when you have tried different versions.

The final result should hopefully be that you gain full control of your CV and get the job of your dreams.

There are three styles you could choose from:

Functional Curriculum Vitae

This CV style is based mostly on your skills; it concentrates on the acquired skills you have gathered in the past, but also how you have used these skills in your previous positions. This style would be the best style to use if you have gaps in your employment history and/or want the recruiter to focus on your expertise/skills rather than discovering your visible gaps in your employment history. Not that you should withhold any important information, but you don’t need to make it obvious for the recruiter to see these negative facts in your CV.

You could say for whatever reason – if your skills / expertise are more important for a recruiter / headhunter than your qualifications or employment history, then a functional CV is the obvious choice.

Performance Curriculum Vitae

The performance Curriculum Vitae style mostly focuses on past performance. This is often the case if you’re a major achiever or very often seen in “sales” or “economic” related positions. With this type of CV you will focus the attention of the recruiter on your performance/achievement during each chronological job listed in your employment history. For example if you have been on the same step on the ladder for some years and achieved a lot at your work, but now you want to take the next step in your career. You can – by using this type of Performance CV – , show that you are a high performer and have achieved goals; that you have done this for some years and now you’re ready to take the next step. If the recruiter / headhunter recognize this, he knows you’re committed and will do the little extra “something” to achieve your next goals.

Targeted Curriculum Vitae

A targeted type of Curriculum Vitae would focus on the requirement of the vacant position and exclude most other unnecessary information that could distract the recruiter / headhunter from judging you to be the perfect match for the vacant position. Sometimes this could be the case if you’re from a completely different sector or your employment history is too diversified to be a perfect match. The skills and expertise you have acquired during your professional working experience has helped your professional capacity, but it is not directly applicable to the vacant position unless you illustrate why. That’s why in this case the best idea would be to have a CV targeted for that specific job.

Which CV type is the best?

Standards, guides or rules are almost not best used as they are, and this is especially the case with regards to your CV or Resume. The best thing that you can do is to take these good ideas and put them together to become what will be called a “Combination Curriculum Vitae”. This style of a CV is the most used format. You basically use a little of all the above styles when you are trying to make that perfect CV. It is rare that a clean type would be used, as the job vacancies are fairly complex and your employment history would need to be targeted every time to answer the requirements of the recruiter / headhunter.

How to Use: Create CV or Import your CV before you pick a Template

Create CV or Import your CV before you pick a Template

create cvs

“Comoto offers you an exciting new way to present yourself and apply for jobs with an online CV, CV file or a printed CV.  It also becomes easy to create multiple CV versions and to control who can see what information on your Comoto Web Profile.”

create cvsGet started with our CV Wizard

If you want to create a new CV, the Comoto CV setup wizard will take you by the hand. Step by step it will help you to enter all important information for a professional looking CV.

create cvsImport your CV from LinkedIn

Create your first CV within seconds by importing your LinkedIn public profile. It will import all your current work experience, education, professional summary, skills and even your picture in just two clicks.

create cvsDetailed work experience
and education

Describe your work experience and education choosing the level of details you want. To get a complete CV, remember to add and rate your language skills and other competencies.

Tag Yourself with Keywords!

With our SkillsTags you can simply describe yourself and your experience with just a couple of keywords. By rating these SkillsTags you can show how good you are in an area. Using tags is often faster than writing a long text both for you and an employer, and it will help your CV to be better found on Comoto.

Gather all your CV related Documents

Add (attach) all sorts of documents and certificates like letters of recommendation, diploma, projects, work samples and many more to certify and authenticate your CV. It will raise your credibility with employers.

CV Tips – CV Phrases to use in your Curriculum Vitae

Useful CV Phrases for your CV

Though every Curriculum Vitae (CV) should be unique, it is always good to user what is called CV phrases, Power or Action words. These words can be used in a wide variety of ways, but when you describe the successes you have achieved in your Work Experience they are a must. Here, we show you some of the Phrases that can be used and how they can be incorporated in your CV. A previous article was made with a list of these words to give you an overall idea.

Here we will try to put them together in some phrases for your use. As always it is good to use these words, but don’t overdo it, use them with caution and don’t use the same for all your achievements.

  • Accomplished a turnaround of…
  • Centralised the management of…
  • Completely redesigned the…
  • Stimulated the growth with…
  • Gained widespread experience in
  • Motivated a group of…
  • Participated in group management…
  • Assisted with the creation of…
  • Examined the benefits of…
  • Established a team of knowledge workers…
  • Obtained the majority of customers…
  • Surveyed the creation of…
  • Formulated the overall strategy…
  • Managed the…

This is just a small portion of what to do with these power/action words, only to give you an indication of how to use them.

The Comoto Team

Comoto‘s aim is to become “The Central Place” where you can create, clone, copy, manage, backup and distribute your CV or Resume and Cover letters fast and easy. To create your first Comoto CV / Resume, signup for free and just add your data (or use one of the many easy import features), pick one of our special designed templates, preview your Resume and finally export to your favourite format (.DOC – .PDF – .PNG) or publish it in a Web Profile (Public/Private). Now you are ready to have full control of your CV or Resume. Notice other unique features – like multiple resumes – a few clicks and you can create a Resume targeted for a specific job or Export to many different formats.