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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Oct 21, 2013

CV vs. Resume

My company recently advertised for a graphic designer and I was tasked with vetting resumes, application, and portfolios.

Several of the applicants applied with the requested documents, but one very talented designer applied using her Curriculum Vitae (CV)—a long, highly stylized document that would have worked best in application for an academic position rather than the non-profit sector. Since her portfolio was excellent, and I really wanted her to have a shot at the job, I ended up contacting the designer and having her resubmit a more succinct resume for the posting.

What’s the Difference Between a CV and a Resume:
 The main difference between a CV and a resume is the intended audience.

A CV speaks primarily to an academic audience. It documents both academic and intellectual accomplishments.

A resume is usually read by hiring managers in non-academic organizations or companies, and ideally should be tailored for this audience. These managers can review hundreds of applications for a single position; each being reviewed for fifteen seconds or less. Therefore resumes must be clear, concise, and make an immediate impression.

That said, both of these personal marketing pieces must provide a persuasive account of your specific skills and experiences as they relate to the specific job. When applying for a specific position, pay close attention to which document they require--and apply with the correct one.

Comparing Both Documents:

Curriculum Vitae
Resume
Audience
Academics in your field
General audience of employers who hire for a wide variety of positions
Goal
Presents a full academic history — that includes teaching, research, awards, and service.
To demonstrate that you have the skills and experience necessary to succeed within the position you are seeking
Length
One or more pages--however long it takes
One to two pages
Focus
Demonstrates academic achievements, scholarly potential, and any research undertaken.
Represents professional experience, extracurricular and volunteer work, and skills gained from these
Essential Information
Education, publications, presentations, teaching experience, honors and awards, and grants
Skill and experience gained as related to the job sought

adapted from CV or Resume? from University of Illinois

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