Decoding the Job Application Process

Learn the difference between CVs and resumes, and excel in creating your ideal job application with our succinct guide.

7 min read

This article is part of our series "Job application tips and strategies"

Navigating the job market can be a daunting task, and the terminology used in the application process can sometimes be confusing. In this blog post, we will demystify common terms and phrases related to job applications, such as "what does CV stand for," "what does CV mean," "what is a resume," and "what is a CV resume." By understanding these key concepts, you can be better prepared to create a strong and effective job application.

A group of people sitting at a table discussing documents lying on the table

What does CV stand for?

CV is an abbreviation for the Latin term "Curriculum Vitae," which translates to "course of life." A CV is a detailed document that outlines your professional and academic history, including your educational background, work experience, achievements, and skills. The purpose of a CV is to provide potential employers with a comprehensive overview of your qualifications and experiences, allowing them to assess your suitability for a particular job or position.

What does CV mean?

A CV is typically used in academic, research, and medical fields or when applying for positions that require a more detailed account of your professional and academic history. It is a more extensive document than a resume and can span multiple pages. A CV will include information on your research projects, publications, presentations, awards, and affiliations, in addition to your educational background and work experience.

What is a resume?

A resume is a concise, one- or two-page document that highlights your most relevant qualifications, skills, and experiences. It is tailored to the specific job or industry you are applying for and emphasizes your ability to perform the duties of the position. The purpose of a resume is to quickly and effectively showcase your qualifications, making it easy for potential employers to determine if you are a good fit for the job.

Resumes typically include sections such as:

  • Contact information
  • Objective or summary statement
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Skills
  • Certifications or licenses (if applicable)
  • Awards and honors (if applicable)

What is a CV resume?

The term "CV resume" can be somewhat misleading, as it suggests a hybrid between a CV and a resume. In reality, these two documents serve different purposes and are used in different contexts. As mentioned earlier, a CV is more detailed and primarily used in academic, research, and medical fields, while a resume is shorter and tailored to specific job applications.

However, there are cases where the terms "CV" and "resume" might be used interchangeably, particularly in countries outside of the United States. In some European countries, for example, the term "CV" is commonly used to refer to a document that is more similar to a resume in terms of length and content. In these cases, the term "CV resume" might be used to describe a document that is essentially a resume but referred to as a CV in that particular country.

Understanding the differences between a CV and a resume is crucial for job seekers in order to create the right kind of document for their applications. A CV is a more detailed account of your professional and academic history, while a resume is a concise summary of your most relevant qualifications and experiences. By knowing the purpose and structure of each document, you can better tailor your job application materials to the specific requirements of the positions you are applying for.

At, our AI-powered cover letter writing service can help you craft the perfect cover letter to accompany your CV or resume. With our help, you can quickly create a strong application that showcases your unique qualifications and helps you stand out in today's competitive job market. Try it now for free!

Written by Timo Hillmann - Founder

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