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Professional Development Fundamentals: Curriculum Vitae vs. Résumé

people working inside white and black roomSome of us are preparing for the summer while others may be looking forward to finishing their graduate program. Nonetheless, the summer is a great time to apply for jobs because many companies and organizations offer excellent opportunities for personal and professional development.

To apply for a job, it is important to note the details of the position and organization. This information will help you determine whether a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or résumé are appropriate required to submit as a part of your job application.

Generally, research positions require a CV whereas industry and other non-research jobs may request a résumé. However, there is considerable overlap between these jobs and as such, it is important to prepare both CV and résumé. Moreover, a résumé tends to be for a specific job and organization and requires major modifications. On the other hand, since a CV is an overview of your professional/academic history, it can be submitted as a part of any application without major modifications.

In this blog post, I will describe general and some specific characteristics of CV and résumé. This post provides you with suggestions on how to make your job applications better suited with the relevant organizations and positions.

  1. Curriculum Vitae
    1. Personal/Contact Information: Email address, date of birth, and phone number [you do not need to include your home or work address]
    2. Education: Details of educational degrees (degree designation(s), year completed, GPA, institution name, and any awards or accomplishments).
    3. Professional History: A list of your professional positions including the time period and names of organization and positions.
    4. Publications: Full citation of your peer-reviewed publications chronologically (usually, APA or MLA). This section can also include subsections for government reports, white papers, outreach (i.e., blog posts), and other non-journal publications.
    5. Abstracts: Accepted or published abstracts in a format similar to publications. This section may also include invited presentations and workshops.
    6. Grants and Funding: Monetary amount, time period, and granting agency.
    7. Memberships: Committee or professional organization membership including your position, organization, and time period.
    8. Awards and Honours: Any other awards granted including the granting organization, type of award, and other pertinent information.
  1. Résumé
    1. Expression of Interest: A one to two sentence statement that describes your intent and purpose for applying to a particular position at an organization.
    2. Personal/Contact Information: Email address, date of birth, and phone number.
    3. Education: Details of educational degrees (degree designation, year completed, GPA, institution name, and any awards or accomplishments).
    4. Overview of Skills: A list of technical skills and certifications relevant to the position and organization of interest.
    5. Professional History: A list of professional positions including their time period, and names of organization and position. Each position is accompanied with bullet points describing your roles and responsibilities relevant to organization and position of interest.
    6. Reference Contacts: Name, type of relationships, and contact information. Alternatively, you can include “professional references available upon request.”

On the one hand, the CV may represent your complete work history, résumé, on the other hand, highlights some aspects of your work history that are pertinent to a particular position at an organization. The CV is an evolving document with information being added continuously whereas a résumé is a dynamic document that is modified continuously and tailored to particular positions and organizations.

person holding pencil near laptop computer

Uncommon Advice to Writing CV/Résumé

  • In most cases, a CV orrésumé is required to submit a job application. Nonetheless, you can still submit both documents as long as you fulfill all application requirements of the position. Organizations generally appreciate more information about you as long as your application adheres to their requirements.
  • All documents of your application package should be submitted as one PDF file starting with a cover letter, then résumé (or CV if requested explicitly), and then supplementary documents. The hiring committee may or may not choose to examine these supplementary documents when considering you for the position, but it does not hurt to attach them to provide more information about your professional experiences.
  • Some of us may have teaching dossiers/portfolios highlighting our experience in teaching and learning contexts. This document may include curriculum design positions, courses you have instructed, and pedagogical projects. For teaching and learning positions, this document is usually required. For other positions, you should still include your teaching dossier in the application as a supplementary document.
  • I design a “Grande Résumé” that contains my entire work history formatted as a résumé. This résumé can be many pages long – sort of like a CV that is formatted differently. Each of my professional positions have an updated description that explains my responsibilities. Since the descriptions of all possible experiences are already prepared, having a Grande Résumé is helpful because it will allow you to pick and choose relevant professional experiences with their descriptions into a new document for a particular organization and position.
  • Think of the CV as a document that tracks every aspectof your professional history. Therefore, the largest and smallest things of your work life may be included in your CV. For example, I usually have a section at the very end of the CV called “accomplishments” that includes interviews, article quotes, and invited workshops.
  • Generally, volunteer work should not be included in a CV or résumé. However, for individuals who are just beginning their professional life, you may only have volunteer work. In such cases, I find it helpful to reframe my work history as “professional history,” which includes both volunteer work and any paid work positions; both of them are in the same category and neither is identified as volunteer work. Once you have paid work, then you can create separate sections for volunteer and paid work.

selective focus photo of human hand

Posted in Productivity, Professional Development, Skill Development Tagged with: , , , ,
One comment on “Professional Development Fundamentals: Curriculum Vitae vs. Résumé
  1. Colette says:

    Great advice here

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