A resume (French for “summary”) or CV (Curriculum Vitae: Latin for “course of life”) is a document created for the purpose of showcasing your background, skills, and accomplishments. A resume, usually a page in length, “lists work history and experiences, along with a brief summary of your skills and education.”(1) A CV on the other hand, is a longer more comprehensive document. “It goes above and beyond a mention of education and work experience and often lists—in thoughtful detail—your achievements, awards, honours, and publications.”(1)
A resume is tailored to a specific job position, while a CV is a complete document of all your combined experience. Often resumes are used for job hunting and CVs are used for admission or jobs in academia. But don’t worry if you’re not sure which one to use, often the job posting will tell you exactly what you need to submit!
A cover letter is a formal letter that accompanies your resume. It is used to introduce yourself to potential employers and to convince them that you’re the right person for the job. Your cover letter shouldn’t re-state your resume, but offer new information and highlight the skills you have that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Tips and Tricks
Keep a professional tone and respectful language. Avoid using slang or contractions.
Keep it concise and one page. In resumes, bullet points are a great solution.
Use proper conventions (spelling, punctuation, etc.). Be sure to proofread before submitting. Printing out a document can help you catch more mistakes. If possible, have a friend or family member read it over too.
Highlight your tech skills. Are you proficient with any programs or software (Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc.)?
Give it aesthetic appeal. Is it eye-catching without being cluttered and flashy? Is the font professional and easy to read? Templates can be found online.
When listing or explaining your skills, look at the job posting provided by the company and use the same descriptive words they use to describe their ideal candidate.
Do research on the company. Does their website have their mission statement? How do they describe themselves on their “About Us” page? Use this information as a basis for your compliments and why you’re attracted and excited to work for the company.
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1 The Muse—CV vs. Resume: Here Are the Differences