Resume CV and Cover Letters

Difference between Resume and (CV) Curriculum Vitae – Resume Hacks – CV Hacks

CV and Resume difference
Written by Muhammad Yousaf

Higher education institutions and employers mostly demand a curriculum vitae rather than a resume. It is vital to note that the two are different in various aspects.  A resume is a one or two paged summary of individual qualifications, experience and educational background with intention of demonstrating fitness in a given position or field.  The main focus of a resume is directed on individual’s strongest qualifications that support and helps them to fit a general or specific provision of the material.

A Curriculum Vita is used for the academic audience instead of a resume.  It primarily summarizes your experience and academic qualifications in relation to an academic interest.  Candidates with a Ph.D. have a two to four-page length because of their limited experience.  Over time, it develops into a lengthy and comprehensive statement giving detailed activities as well as professional qualifications.  It is possible to create a two page tightly drawn document version or a complete version tailored to suit different needs.

Various audiences tend to seek CV files that are tailored to suit different specific purposes and audience instead of a resume.  Such examples where a CV for the job can be used include:

  • A Ph.D. holder in Organic Chemistry aiming for a research scientist position in a pharmaceutical company
  • A Ph.D. in Economics looking for a slot in the Commerce Department.

Sometimes you can be unsure if sending your CV template is the right thing or not. It is vital to scrutinize whether it is important by understanding whether you are sending your documents PhDs or if the Ph.D. is relevant for the named position.  Also, ask yourself if your scholarship is related to the given position and if yes, then a CV for the scholarship is the most appropriate document to use as it provides more about your academic background compared to a resume.

Writing a Curriculum Vitae as compared to a Resume

As stated earlier, a CV is a summary of the academic and educational background of an individual. The purpose of a CV is to show credentials for a fellowship, grants or an academic position.  The length can range from two to four pages bearing in mind that different fields calls for different standards and therefore essential to ask your department for a feedback on the CV.




When applying for an educational position, you are asked to submit a CV for interview along with other documents such as a statement of teaching interests, dissertation abstract and a statement of research interests. Your main objective is to get into an interview with the search committee.

What is included in your CV?

There are two important categories that your Curriculum vitae should include namely: the primary and supplementary materials.  The primary materials should touch on individual applicant personal information, dissertation, awards, and honors, education,  research and experience, fellowships and grants, languages, teaching experience, presentations and publications, references, relevant professional experience as well as other things such as association, conferences, and memberships.

The supplementary materials consist of dissertation abstract, course lists, statement of scholarly and research, cover letter and statement of teaching interest.

The Primary Materials for Curriculum Vitae

1.Personal information

The applicant’s name should appear at the top of every page. The first page should include your name, address, contact numbers, and emails address. The page numbers should appear on all pages with an exception of the first one. Communication with the potential employer/ an employer should be on a professional level and therefore consider using real names on your email as well as professional automatic replies. It should be the case with phone messages too.

2. Education Background

You should write about your education in a reverse chronological order listing your degrees, institutions you studied in and the date awarded. It is also important to list the date when you expect to get a degree for your current program.  Also, you are expected to list your thesis title and the name of your advisor.  When creating your CV file, at this level, you should be guided by the requirements of the job, your strength, and your discipline conventions.

3. Grants/Fellowships, patents, honors, and awards




You can put awards and honors at the top of your CV template but if you have a few, you can omit or put later. Here, you are supposed to list all the fellowships, patents, awards, research-related grants and dissertation-related grants.  If you are a scientist, you can create a research grants section separately and write it later in your CV.

4. Research Experience

Scientists should explain their undergraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral research in this section.  You should include the relevant techniques and substance employed listing the names of the projects, professors, institutions, and dates. Notably, you can outline any contribution you made which can be appended to a statement of research interests.

5. Teaching experience

This section solely depends on the institution you are targeting as well as your individual strength as an applicant.  The primary information should be the institutions you taught, the period and what you were teaching. You should also include your titles at that time.

6. Presentations and publications

The strength of your publication record determines the placement of this section. A substantial presentation and publication record can be first but if it’s too short or lengthy, it can be placed at the end of your vita or have extra pages. You can divide this category as follows:

  • Papers and presentations where you include locations, dates and representation titles.
  • Publications where you can divide into various categories such as abstracts, books, reviews among other relevant publications if you have them. You are recommended to use standard bibliography form for your publications.
  • Abstracts which should not be listed with papers as it gives a padding impression.

7. Relevant professional experience

This section can be used to list any relevant experience related to administration such as tutoring, committee work and conference organizing, research and teaching.

About the author

Muhammad Yousaf

Muhammad Yousaf is mentoring new students to win scholarships for a long time. He realized the fact that it is essential to create a platform where students can find authentic opportunities to apply for and ask questions regarding any relevant matters.

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