When and Where to Use CV or Resume While Applying for Overseas Jobs?

Decoding use of CV and Resume globally

Knowing the difference CV and Resume can help you decide where to use which?

Have ever wondered before why a Brit applies using a CV and an American with a resume? And also why does an Aussie apply with both? There are several differences between the two types. This article will help to where in the world to make use of which of these documents.

Curriculum Vitae

A CV (Curriculum Vitæ, which means course of life in Latin) is surely an in-depth document that can be laid out over 2 or more pages. It contains a high level of details about your achievements, a great deal more than just a career story. The CV covers your education and also any other accomplishments like publications, awards, prizes etc .

A CV tends to be organised chronologically and should make it easy to get an overview of an individual’s full working career. It usually is static and doesn’t change for different job roles, the difference would be in the cover letter.


A resume, or résumé, is a to the point document typically not longer than one page as the intended the reader will not read your document for very long. The goal of a good resume is to make an individual stand out from your competition.

The job seeker should adapt the job application to every position they apply for. It is in the applicant’s interest to change the resume from job application to another and to tailor it for the needs of the specific post. A resume doesn’t have to be ordered chronologically, doesn’t must cover your whole career life and is an extremely customisable document.


As stated, about three major differences between CVs and resumes. They are the length, the purpose and the layout. Any resume is a brief summary of your capabilities and experience over one or two pages. While CV is more detailed and can stretch properly beyond two pages. The resume will likely be tailored to each position whereas the CV will stay put and any changes shall be in the cover letter.

A CV has a very clear chronological order listing the whole career in the individual. Whereas a resume’s information may be shuffled around to best suit the applicant. As mentioned earlier, the main difference between a Resume and a CV is that a CV will be a full record of your career history and a resume is a brief, targeted list of ability and achievements.

Let’s Revise

CV : long, covers your entire career, static
Resume : short, no particular format principle, highly customisable

Usage Around the World:

A resume is the preferred application document in the US in addition to Canada. Americans and Canadians would use a CV only when applying for a job in another country or if searching for an academic or perhaps research oriented position.

In the UK, Ireland plus New Zealand, a CV is used in every contexts and resumes aren’t used in any way. The CV prevails in mainland European countries and there is even a European Union CV format designed for download.

In Germany, the CV is somewhat more commonly known as a Lebenslauf (true to the Latin origins) and is only one of many application file the poor German job seekers must produce to have an interview.

In Australia, India and South Africa, the terms resume and CV are used interchangeably. The term resume is used more regarding jobs in the private sector and CV is more commonplace when applying for public services positions.


So what gives if you sign up for an American company in Europe or vice versa? The jaded folks in HR encourage both types. Although I would recommend you use the regional version. It’s not that hard to change your document after all.

Which do you prefer CV OR Resume OR both OR none? Please share your views in the comments below!

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In case you are writing your resume then you may want to know about the different types of resumes used!



Avani Lalka is an experienced marketer, and a writer in the field of new-age marketing and career development. She writes from her heart to make a difference in the lives of the people that follow her. Currently she is heading Account Based Marketing (ABM) in a popular Pune-based startup. Feel free to connect her as she welcomes new ideas and opportunities. Email: lalka.avani7@gmail.com