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Job Hunting

Looking for a new job can be a pretty stressful time, yet it is important to keep focused and upbeat.  This article on job search gives a useful 'top 10' for stress free job search.

Interview Preparation

Improve your interview success by thinking about the type of questions that you might be asked and doing some interview practice - read more here about recruitment interviews.

CV vs Resume: Is there a difference?


Is there a real difference or is it just semantics (n. the meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text)?  The answer is yes, and yes, or indeed no, and no.  Let me explain.

At its simplest level the difference is simply the US name and the UK name for a document which you use to succinctly summary career achievements. Thus the name CV and the name resume describe the same tool which serves the same purpose. They have the same goal – namely to demonstrate your skills, achievements and suitability to a recruiter or prospective employer as quickly and simply as possible.  However, there are some differences in preferred style and content of the tool in the US and the UK.

Generally in the US the aim is to keep your resume to one page (but there has been some slight relaxation to two pages but generally it is better to go with the conventional one page).  The US resume is more focused on relevant skills and achievements and less of a ‘career history’.  There is less space so all the extraneous data is cut out.

In the UK the trend is very much to stick to two pages.  Exceptionally (for someone just starting out for example) it can be one page – but this is dictated by content (or lack thereof) rather than ideology.  In Europe there is still some tolerance of slightly longer CVs. 

As trends with CVs have led to them becoming shorter, the result is that there is less to distinguish between a CV and a resume.  The traditional full length CV which is a full and complete description of your career and what led up to it are now limited more to particular jobs (academic jobs or some research type roles) or circumstances (grant applications etc). 

The CV or Curriculum Vitae, to give it its Latin name, is the standard format for job applications throughout most of the world. In the US, resumes are more common for job hunting, and CVs are limited in use to academic jobs or when applying for grants. Styles and preferences do differ from country to country so it is a good idea to check this out if serious about applying for a job outside the UK or US.  The UK style CV of two pages will probably work reasonably well in Europe but you may miss out on demonstrating your adaptability.  Differences can be around the amount of additional information you provide, interests and hobbies (UK best practice is to leave this out) and also pictures (if in doubt better to have no picture, than a picture in a culture where they are not expected).  Styles can also vary – text or bullet points, discursive, use of I (or indeed any pronouns).  If in doubt and where you cannot get accurate information on particular country preferences your safest bet is a two page professional CV with limited personal information which is unlikely to shock or offend (which needs to be avoided at all costs).