This English and Language question answers what makes a résumé different from a curriculum vitae (CV).

But when is it more appropriate to use one over the other? Are there industries that expect one and not the other? Is a CV more common outside the US?

  • 3
    Are you looking for anything more than is provided by the answers to an identical question over on English Language and Usage?
    – Mark Booth
    Apr 11, 2012 at 14:06
  • @MarkBooth The English SE doesn't really focus on when one should be used over the other. But if you think the question is off topic here, I can edit it at your suggestion. Apr 11, 2012 at 14:10
  • I think if you can make your question distinct from the EL&U question, it could be more appropriate for The Workplace. Also, it would help if you explain what you currently expect of a résumé compared to a CV, as this is most definitely different for the UK, compared to the US.
    – Mark Booth
    Apr 11, 2012 at 14:16
  • 3
    The job listing usually mentions which they prefer. Use the one that is asked for - i.e. follow the directions provided.
    – jefflunt
    Apr 11, 2012 at 14:17
  • 1
    When you move to work in the US Apr 12, 2012 at 3:37

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately as that English Language and Usage question mentions the terms résumé and CV have, to a degree, come to be used interchangeably in the US.

Generally the only places I've encountered that truly want a CV are academic institutions (interviewing for professors/lecturers/etc.) and law firms (big cases you've argued), but your region (or prospective employer) may vary.

Bottom line? If you have any doubt whether they want a summary résumé or a full CV, ask.
Submitting a 10-page CV to a company that really only wants a simple one-page summary of your work experience will probably hurt your application, but a polite inquiry to the HR person ("I see you've requested my CV - just to clarify do you want the full 10 pages, or a one-page summary?") can avoid the whole problem.

There's also nothing wrong with having "Full Curriculum Vitae available at URL" at the bottom of your résumé.

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