The terms ‘CV’ and ‘resume’ are often used interchangeably. Nevertheless, they refer to two different types of documents, and sending the wrong one may eliminate you from the competition for the role. Today we are going to explain what stands behind the CV abbreviation and how to create a successful CV.
The difference between the CV and resume explained by a professional CV service
In the US and Canada, employers in non-profit, for-profit and government organization typically expect you to apply with a resume. A resume is a 1-2 page document which summarizes your education, work history, professional skills and any other information which is relevant to a prospective employer. Note that a resume is NOT your career history – its purpose is to portray you as the best fitting candidate, which often leads to removing the old or irrelevant details of your career history. If it’s the resume that you need to create, read our guidance on creating modern resumes here: http://resumeperk.com/blog/must-dos-and-donts-for-modern-resume-you-should-know.
A CV, or curriculum vitae, is only used to apply for jobs in academic or research fields. As the name indicates, when writing a CV, you should cover your entire education and professional experience – no facts are left outside. A CV typically includes additional sections which a resume doesn’t have, such as academic achievements, research, publications, professional affiliations, etc. As the CV is more detailed and comprehensive than the resume is, it reflects on the document’s length: CV usually exceeds 2 pages, and even a 4- or 5-page document is acceptable.
Note that in Europe a CV means the same as resume. That is, if you apply for jobs in the UK or France and they request a CV, be sure to attach a resume.
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CV writing guide from the professional CV writing company
The most essential difference between the CV and resume is that the former contains full information about your educational and professional endeavors. Below, you’ll find a step-by-step guide on what to include in this type of document.
- Name and contact information
Just like a resume, a CV starts with the applicant’s name and contact information, such as address, e-mail, and phone number. While it is acceptable to attach a link to your professional profile or personal website, be sure to omit any personal information, as well as your picture.
- Educational background
List the university names and degrees in reverse order, for example, PhD, MA, BA. You may want to indicate your most significant coursework or thesis subjects. In the CV, Education section always goes above the Experience since in the research field your academic background matters more than the paid employment.
- Academic achievements
If you have had a solid number of academic accomplishments or awards, it’s recommended that you create a separate section for them. If there are only 1-2 achievements you can think of, it’s better to include them as a part of your Education section.
Have you completed a dissertation (or several ones) which is highly relevant for the academic area you are applying for? If so, it’s highly recommended that you include a separate section to draw the readers’ attention to it. Write the subject, publication details and a few sentences summarizing your work.
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- Work experience
As you have summarized your key academic milestones, it’s time to outline your work history. If you’re an experienced professional, write this section exactly as if you were writing it on a resume – in a reverse chronological order. List company names, position names, employment dates and a short bulleted list of your daily responsibilities and accomplishments in each role. In a CV, it’s typical to include all the jobs you had from the beginning of your career.
If you’ve worked in several areas throughout your long career, you can group the experiences into relevant categories (examples of categories might be Teaching experience, Research experience, Leadership experience, etc.)
If you are a student with no paid experience, it’s recommended that you include any internships, fellowships or assistantships within the company or university. Write about this experience as if you were writing about the full-time employment – with the organization name, position name and a list of your responsibilities/successes.
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For academia, it’s highly important that you demonstrate the list of publications in books, research reports, industry journals or any other reputable sources. Include any academic publication you authored or co-authored, using the format appropriate in your field.
- Presentations and conferences
Whether you were teaching students, giving lectures at the conferences or events, be sure to list the lectures and presentations you delivered in a separate section. The Presentations section highlights your subject matter expertise, oral communication skills as well as teaching experience. Include the organization name, year, the subject of your presentation and 1-2 sentences going deeper into detail if necessary.
- Research experience
Have you participated in a research or led a research group? This worth being mentioned on a CV. Describe the research type, its purposes or any other information which is relevant for a job you’d like to obtain. The current projects can be mentioned as well – outline its purpose and let the reader know that the research is still ongoing.
Although the Skills (or Core Competencies) section is considered optional for a CV, the professional CV writing service recommends that you include it. This section communicates your areas of expertise at a glance, highlighting that you are a perfect fit for the opening. Note that your proficiency with the skills you’ve listed should be proven by the facts from your academic or professional background.
Curious about which skills are in demand for the companies in all fields and which skills to capitalize on in your CV? Read our top skills list here: http://resumeperk.com/blog/watch-and-learn-top-15-qualities-of-the-ideal-employee.
- Memberships/professional affiliations
Memberships in local or national professional associations should be indicated as well. Write down the organization’s name, and if you’re an active contributor, mention your successes or appointments to positions in these organizations.
- Design and formatting
Note that the CV typically has more conservative design than the resume. This means using black font on white paper sheet only, with no extra colors or fancy formatting tricks. Use no other formatting except for bulleted lists.
Take care of the readability of your CV: keep the font from 10 to 14pts, and opt for one of the common font types (such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman). Capitalize and boldface the subheadings to make it easier for the reader to navigate through the document. Boldface the most important information such as university names, position names or dissertation title. Keep it plain yet neat and concise, and remember that the appearance and clear structure of the CV contributes to the first impression about you as well.
- Honors and awards
Have you won a prestigious industry award? Or maybe, you’ve received a scholarship to complete your Master’s degree or received a grant for your research? Collect your educational and professional awards and recognition under this section.
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Just like with resumes, references shouldn’t be a part of your CV. Create a separate reference sheet to provide it upon request. Remember to include only professional references in that list – i.e. your university professors, colleagues, tutors, former employers, etc. Including your friends or acquaintances as references is considered unprofessional.
- Covering letter
To apply for the majority of academia and research jobs, you’ll also need a cover letter. The cover letter is written to outline your motivation for joining the academic institution. It can be longer than a standard cover letter for the position in a commercial organization, but it’s recommended that you keep it to one page. However, if you have 10+ years of experience and impressive research/scientific background, it is acceptable to make it two pages.
The typical cover letter structure consists from the introduction (where you briefly outline your strengths and inform where you’d learnt about the opening), the letter body (the main part where you expand on your education, experience and accomplishments) and a closing part (used for salutations and display of courtesy). Be sure to avoid the don’ts of a covering letter to make it more appealing for a potential employer.
As you can see, a quality CV should give a comprehensive perspective of your education, professional and research experience, as well as your accomplishments in your field. Unlike the resume, it stresses your academia involvement and intellectual accomplishments and has no limit in length. Therefore, you can feel free to expand on aspects of your background – all of them will increase your chances to get an interview.
Tips for formatting professional curriculum vitae
Once you’ve ensured that a CV contains the necessary information and reflects your professional growth, it’s time to think about formatting. We recommend all higher education professionals and researchers format their CV with these tips in mind:
- Use consistent formatting. This means using the same font, idents, headings and types of formatting throughout the document.
- Place the most important facts at the top. Create a Summary section that briefly outlines your career story and biggest achievements. A persuasive summary can inspire the hiring manager to pay closer attention to your application.
- Be careful with color. Academic industry won’t welcome a very creative approach. The best CV writing services recommend that you make a black and white CV with little touches of color to structure the document.
- Aim for better readability. Use bulleted lists rather than paragraphs and leave some white space between sections.
Neat formatting may seem like a minor issue, yet a well-structured document can draw more attention and actually help you land a dream job with a college faculty or institution. Yet, if your CV doesn’t bring much interviews, the problem extends beyond formatting. In this case, you are welcome to use our professional CV writing service.
We offer effective CV writing services for all career levels
Not all CV writing services are the same. You need to look for experienced or certified professional resume writers who are qualified enough to improve your job search outcomes. Our company isn’t the largest resume writing service on the internet; however, ResumePerk.com offers some brilliant advantages to every client:
Highly professional resume writers
Each resume writer on our team has experience reviewing resumes and writing them in line with your needs. Our writer network constitutes of 100+ writers and editors with college degrees and experience with academic CVs specifically.
We offer individual approach, meaning that CV writers build your CV from scratch based on the information you provide. We don’t use templates or pre-written text! As a result, you receive a professionally written resume that reflects your unique academic engagements, experience and educational background.
Adapted for applicant tracking systems
CVs that are not adapted for an applicant tracking system are at high risk of getting rejected. Send us the link to your target position, and our resume writing expert will target the CV and cover letter content towards it. Your perfect writer will add the needed skills, qualifications and keywords to help you get shortlisted by the system and get seen by a human hiring manager.
Excellent customer service
As leading resume writing services, we are focused on providing you not only with excellently written documents, but also with exemplary customer care. Our deadlines vary from 24 hours to 5 days so you could choose the term that better suits your needs and your budget. We don’t provide a phone consultation. Instead, you can reach out to us via live chat 24/7.
We believe in the power of productive cooperation, therefore, you can speak to your assigned CV writer anytime to discuss your professional goals or revise the first draft. Speaking of revisions, our resume writing services offer 2 weeks of unlimited revisions for free!
Additional services to help you get more interviews
Our team offers all the features that are useful for job-seekers. In addition to a CV, you can order cover letters that showcase your motivation and soft skills, LinkedIn profiles that help you build personal brand online, and thank-you notes after the interview that help candidates land their dream employment.
If you were looking for a certified writer from an English-speaking country to assist with your CV, you’ve come to the right place! Message us to discuss how we can streamline your job search in academia. And if you’ve come here for career advice or career coaching, you can find it for free in our Blog section.
Get professional help with your CV
If you are too busy to construct your CV by yourself, hiring a professional writer might help. Our company provides affordable help with CV writing. Send us your old CV, fill out a questionnaire, and the writer will collaborate with you to create a comprehensive CV that will make your academic background shine. Hiring a professional will also save your time, so you’ll have the opportunity to check how to ace a phone interview.