A CV in the US and Canada is a document that outlines your skills, experience, and education for prospective employers in academia and medical fields. Your CV should fill as many pages as needed to fit all your job-relevant information.
What does CV stand for?
CV is an abbreviation of the Latin term curriculum vitae, which means “course of one’s life.” Per that definition, your CV for a job should cover the course of your professional and academic career.
What’s the difference between a CV and a resume?
The difference between a CV and a resume is their length and the sections they include:
CVs have no page limit, giving academic and medical job applicants room to include all their relevant experience, training, and achievements.
Resumes are typically one page long — but they can be extended up to three pages for late-career applicants and executives with lots of experience.
Both CVs and resumes include sections for the following information:
- A short summary known as a personal statement
- Work experience
- Education details
- Key skills
- Extra sections for information like relevant coursework, volunteer work, internships, hobbies & interests, awards, and certifications
CVs differ from resumes by also including these sections (when applicable) for academic and medical professionals:
- Conferences attended
- Classes taught
CV writing resources
The fastest and easiest way to write your CV is by using an online CV maker. But you can also build one from scratch. If you choose to do that, here are links to expert CV writing help:
Frequently asked questions about CVs
Still have questions about CVs? We’ve answered six of the most common questions surrounding CVs below:
- What is the difference between a CV and a cover letter?
- What does “upload CV” mean?
- What is a CV template?
- What is the format of a CV?
- What is a CV profile?
- What is a CV for a college application?
1. What is the difference between a CV and a cover letter?
2. What does “upload CV” mean?
“Upload CV” means the employer or college wants you to attach your CV file to your application. If you’re applying for work or college admission in the US or Canada, a CV is the same as a resume: a 1–2 page document that describes your relevant experience and skills.
But if you’re applying to an overseas organization — or if you’re looking to work in academia or medicine — you may need to upload a CV that includes enough pages to describe your academic and professional career in greater detail.
3. What is a CV template?
Below is a CV template you can download for Word or copy and paste into your preferred word processor:CV Template
1. Contact details
Email: email@example.com | Phone: (555) 123 456 | Address: 47 Kin Street, Centralia, PA 17921 | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/yourproﬁle
2. CV Introduction
Skilled [industry] professional with [# of years] years of experience. Seeking to leverage my expertise in [relevant skills] to fill your [position name] position. An intuitive worker aiming to help achieve [Company’s Name]’s goals and take on more responsibility as quickly as possible.
3. Work or Relevant Experience
Most Recent Employer Name, Location
Job Title / Start Date – End Date
- Include a bulleted list of your accomplishments
- Make sure you add numbers to these bullet points
Earlier Employer Name, Location
Job Title / Start Date – End Date
- List any relevant accomplishments from an earlier job
- Assuming you no longer perform this job, make sure you use past tense verbs to describe this experience
Degree Name / Major
University, Location | Start Date – End Date
5. Skills and Certifications
- List your relevant skills and certifications
- Include both hard skills and soft skills
- Be specific (for example, mention the names of software packages and tools you’re able to use)
6. Additional CV Sections
- Here’s where you can add any other relevant information
- For example, you could talk about publications, languages, volunteer experience, relevant hobbies, conferences, or grants
4. What is the format of a CV?
The format of a CV is the way its sections are ordered.
For instance, If you don’t have any relevant experience, you should format your CV with your education and skills under your name, contact information, and personal statement. But hiring managers value experience, so if you have relevant work history, feature that at the top of your CV instead.
5. What is a CV profile?
A CV profile is a short summary of your most relevant skills and experience, meant to grab the hiring manager’s attention. This section, also known as a personal statement, goes at the top of your CV, under your name and contact details.
Below is an example of an attention-grabbing CV profile:
6. What is a CV for a college application?
A CV for a college application is an outline of your education, skills, and work history — including your volunteer and internship experience.
Submitting your CV or resume strengthens your college application by giving admissions officers a better understanding of your extracurricular activities.