CV versus Resume – describing the differences (UK tekst)

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.

Tailor make your CV to the job you want – and get it!

Tailor make your CV to the job you want – and get it!

Your CV is probably the most important part of your application to get the job of your dreams. The cover letter will be the place where you convince the recruiter/headhunter/company to read on, and read your entire CV.

A very good idea will be to Tailor make every job application with a Tailor made CV, if you want the job of your dreams, the employer should also read a “dream of a CV”.

The basic principle of your CV is to Tailor make it to the job:

  • Be sure to cover the most important job skills, qualifications, and experience in your CV.
  • Be certain that most parts of your CV relates to the job you apply for.
  • Use the same skills, experience, and qualifications description as in the job ad.
  • Ensure that your previous experience is clearly and relevant to the job application.

This is a lot easier to do when using Comoto, you can have several CV in the system and specialize them to the current application.

You have the basic material available from your basic CV (maybe your LinkedIn profile), and then you should just adapt that material to the wishes to you dream job.

An Outline of the basics in a CV is seen below:

Professional Summary

The professional summary is the part where you describe your overall motivation. Here you should describe that the current job would fit into your career choice. This is should show the employer that this job is the next step on your career ladder.


Skills are mostly seen as keywords in a job add; they are essential criterias that you have to have to fill this position. It is not a question if you have them all, most people don’t or just barely, but you must include all the required skills as much as possible. Highlight the skills where your expertise really supersedes the demands highlighted and mention the rest.

Work Experience

Your former work experience needs particular care and you should try to reuse some of the skills or goals explained in the job ad. Explain you experience very concise and clear, write the roles and tasks you had. Be sure to use the same wordings as in the requirements for this job.

Use several examples, and where it is possible show how your skills where developed and refined through your previous work experience. Make it extremely clear that you have gained extra expertise through your previous experience.

Achieved goals

Goals that you have achieved on top of your work experience for each job description are extremely positive, it shows that you aim for the goals the employer puts up and that you are dedicated to the relevant tasks. Try to use examples that are related to the new job application if possible.

Educations / Qualifications

A lot of job ads describe a certain set of required qualifications. You should try to provide qualifications that meet these requirements. Sometimes you have similar qualifications, try to convince them that they are good enough. Either do it by email beforehand so that you are sure that your qualifications are good enough. This also gives you the opportunity to have a talk with the employer before you send your CV.

Your qualifications need to be direct and to the point, and if the employer describes them very details, you do the same. Make it look like you’re obviously qualified and the best choice for the job.

As described above it is not that hard to make your CV targeted to the job your applying for. Using Comoto to do this is very easily, you have the opportunity to have several distinct CVs and you can change them and have as many as you like in your portfolio. You can even make them online versions, so that you can refer to a link if you talk with an interesting person.