Thursday, March 3, 2011

CV vs Resume

I just discovered that my students are not aware of the word "CV." Only one student in a group of 24 finally figured out that it means the same as "resume." Is it some new generational thing? Is the word "CV" not in use any more? If so, then I have a problem because the word "resume" is one of those words (together with "focus" which I always make sound like "fuck us") that I haven't been able to learn to pronounce well in English.

21 comments:

Claire said...

To be perfectly honest, I think your students are a little dopey. I'm 18 and granted live in England, but the word CV is known perfectly well here and is used frequently.

If your students don't know it, tell them once what it means and hen just use it continuously from then on. You shouldn't have to pander to them.

Brenda said...

I had this discussion with a friend recently. To us, resume denoted a simple, one or two-page document that gives a very brief overview of your professional experience and educational qualifications, while a CV was more in depth and more detailed in all aspects.

As young people who are just entering the job market, your students (and my friend and myself) are more familiar with resumes because we likely don't have the type of of job experience, academic publications, or a wide variety of volunteer experience that would be included in a CV.

I think the distinction is largely cultural, though. My mother, who is Venezuelan and received her masters in England was always familiar with the term. My father, who is American, was just satisfied with having "a long and a short resume" until my mother taught him the term!

Anonymous said...

I thought CV was not used at all in the states. I'm in Europe and the usual word is obviously CV.

I wouldn't say they mean exactly the same. They may have the same purpose but have a different format or so I learned.

Pagan Topologist said...

A person's CV, or "cirriculum vitae" is, as I understand it, far more detailed than that person's resume. The resume is a synopsis of the CV, listing only the highlights. More and more must be left out as one gets older. For example, my opera singer daughter had while a student three or four engagements as a chorus member in opera productions. These are no longer on her resume, but they are lines on her CV.

I have even heard people say that a resume should be no more than a page long, or maybe two at most. This would necessitate many academics' leaving out most of their publication list.

Clarissa said...

When I was looking for a job in the US, I was asked to provide a CV every single time.

This idea that people should reduce their CVs to 1 page is wrong and counterproductive, say recruitment experts.

Clarissa said...

I asked students in my other class what a CV was, and one student suggested it was an obituary.

Pagan Topologist said...

"This idea that people should reduce their CVs to 1 page is wrong and counterproductive, say recruitment experts."

This may depend on what kind of job one is seeking. The daughter I mentioned above has been told that her resume should be no longer than a page, two at most, when she goes to audition for opera singing roles.

Leah Jane said...

When I was 17, my job was working as the secretary in the office of a University Department, so I immediately learned what a CV was, since I filed away about 100 of them per day during a job search for a new adjunct.
Now, I work with the campus disability office, and part of my new work is to assist disabled students close to graduation with cobbling together a resume, and the word "resume" was used as opposed to CV. So I always assumed that the big distinction between a CV and a resume was that CV's were more significant in academics than fields my clients usually went into, like social work, journalism, and psychology.
Mea culpa I suppose.

Clarissa said...

Your daughter is an opera singer?? I LOVE opera. LOVE it. I always wanted to be an opera singer but God blessed me with neither a voice nor any kind of musical hearing. :-)

Pagan Topologist said...

One of my daughters is an opera singer; the other is a silversmith/jewelry maker.

Clarissa said...

A silversmith!! Another amazing profession. It must be so good to be so talented in a creative way. I'm very envious of such people.

Pagan Topologist said...

I will email you the silversmith daughter's website url. The other daughter does not have one yet.

Clarissa said...

Feel free to leave it here for everybody to see it if she is in need of visitors/promotion. My blog is "monumentally popular", you know. :-)

Silver jewelry is my major weakness. :-) :-)

Pagan Topologist said...

OK. It is:

http://www.loribellamy.com/

Thank you!

Clarissa said...

You have to head over to this website, guys. I'm looking at it right now and what this woman does is art.

Angie Harms. said...

My understanding was always that, in the States, academics use C.V.'s and all other professions use resumes. In Europe and elsewhere the C.V. is standard.

Anonymous said...

ha! the words are completely interchangeable in canada

sarcozona said...

Angie's right. In the US, CV's are for academics and resumes are for other kinds of jobs. They have very different formats and requirements. Also, most students won't have heard of a CV because high schools and job counselors aren't preparing students for jobs in academia.

Pagan Topologist said...

I have tried to ignore this, but cannot. CV is not a word. It is an acronym.

FD said...

CV is, in my opinion, a more European usage. It's anecdotal but I work in HR (in the UK) and invariably, people referring to resumes are either North American or have transatlantic experience.

Anonymous said...

We hire engineering graduates. Term CV is not used. One page resume, adjusted for the desired position, is much appreciated.