A CV is Not a Resume. Here’s Why.

Jawaria Suhail, MD, asks our audience if they're applying for nonclinical jobs with the same old CV.

A CV is not a resume.

In the United States, a CV and a resume are two different documents.
In our everyday lives, we sometimes use the terms CV and resume interchangeably. But that does not mean that the two are the same.
Now, there are some countries where that may be true, but not in the United States.
Depending on what type of job you are going for, choosing the right document will make a lot of difference in positioning you for success.
So knowing the difference between the two and when to use them, and how to write them are important because these are both important tools used in the job search process.

A CV is an outline of your academic achievement and credentials.

It is comprehensive and lists everything you have done professionally.
And is therefore long, just the term CV itself means the story of life. It offers a complete background of your educational career.
All the presentations, publications, affiliations, titles, achievements, high-level research projects, everything.
It is used in academia, college applications, most clinical jobs, Grant scholarships, and doctoral programs.
The reason it is needed in these areas is that it gives a clear and detailed picture of your academic history.
And that detailed picture is needed by academic institutes in assessing your educational background really well.
So your CV is an organized and presentable way of showcasing your academic achievements and it lists everything in chronological order showing your academic progression.


Now what is a resume and why is a resume important?

A resume is also a job hunt tool.
But it is geared more toward the applicant’s skills and job compatibility.
It is shorter, concise, direct to the point clear, and presents the information that is needed for the job.
A resume is personalized and customized for the job at hand.
It does not list everything.

For example, you don’t need to list all of your past hospital affiliations on a resume.

The resume presents the most relevant information in the best light for a specific job.
Unlike a CV which is a standard document, a resume is tailored to the recipient and it does list an outline of jobs, skills, and experience but it does so in a shorter format.
The focus is more on your transferable skills so that you can show that you are a perfect fit for this job.

Knowing what to include and knowing what to leave out from the resume is important.

Making sure that our resumes are job-specific is important.
Knowing your skills and transferable skills and experiences that are needed for the job is important.
A resume is written with the most important information at the top and it is a resume, that is needed for most non-clinical jobs.


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