We’ve just put the finishing touches on our revised Resume Guide – take a peek! Additional revised guides to come on our new Slideshare account.
I just finished reviewing a senior’s resume. She was unsure where to put the awards she received at the end of the year, and it’s no wonder. The information on her resume would barely fit on one page. Somehow, though, we managed to cut a few words here and there. Everything still fits on one page.
As I sit here looking at her resume, it suddenly hits me that I’ve known this student since she first came to Davidson four years ago. I met her in one of the Davidson 101 classes that all first-year students are required to attend. She was one of the students who came up afterwards and asked where our office was, and could she make an appointment to have her MBTI test interpreted? That was the beginning of seeing her once or twice a month. A lot of students are like that. They start using our resources and services early, and by the time they graduate, we’ve gotten to know them personally.
This student did make that appointment, and later made another appointment to work on her resume, and then another appointment after that one to find out about an interest test – the Strong Interest Inventory – which she took to help get an idea of what to major in. Whenever we had workshops she was interested in, I’d see her sitting in one of the chairs, notepad in hand, jotting down something she thought interesting. She was one of those students who considered her classes important, but also practical preparation for a job just as important, too. When she studied abroad, she was also working on getting an internship by contacting alumni to network with. She would email employers and alumni, and her networking paid off when she met and interned with an alumn who showed her what the field of advertising was about. She was hooked. Now this student has graduated and is heading to the “big apple” in a month to start her full-time job.
There are other students that we get to know like we have this student. They become so engaged in what we do that they become part of our office community. That’s what I think about when I think of the term “Davidson Community.” We get to know these students so well that they help us out with student representative activities that sometimes come up. For example, sometimes they will help interview candidates, assist students with practicing case interviews, greet employers, or talk with other students about their experiences seeking internships or jobs in Davidson 101 sessions. Their names come up often among our staff. And long after they graduate we still remember them, and talk about “the year that so-and-so” was here.
That’s what I’m thinking about as I look at this student’s resume. She won’t be here next year and I’ll miss her. But that’s part of the job. We get to know students so well that they become more than just a student to us. Sure, another student will come in the office and the same process will begin, but he or she won’t be like this student. (That person will be different, but in a good way.) Still, she’ll stop by when she comes back for alumni events, along with our other students. She might even talk her company into hiring Davidson students. (The Davidson cycle.)
Anyway, I shake my head and put aside her resume. It’s time to get back to work. The phone is ringing in my office letting me know there’s a student waiting with a resume for me to review. Maybe a first-year trying to get a head-start? …
The basic differences between a résumé and a curriculum vitae (CV) are the length, what is included in each document, and what each document is used for. A résumé is a one or two page summary of your skills, experience and education. It is brief and concise, usually no more than a page or two. (The preference is to keep it to one page.) In contrast, a CV is a longer (at least two pages) and more detailed synopsis.
There are different ways of talking about these documents. The word résumé, which is French for “summary,” is the overall standard in the United States. However, the word vita goes by several variations. A vita, which is Latin for “life,” is sometimes called a CV. CV is short for the Latin phrase curriculum vitae, which can be loosely translated into English as “course of life.” So, CV, curriculum vitae, and vita all refer to the same document.
A CV is an in-depth document that can be laid out over two or more pages. It contains a high level of detail about your achievements, a great deal more than just a career biography. The CV covers your education as well as any other accomplishments, such as publications, awards, honors etc.
CVs tend to be organized chronologically and should be easy to get an overview of an individual’s full working career. A CV is static and doesn’t change for different positions. The difference would be in the cover letter.
A résumé, is a concise document typically no longer than one page. The employer/reader will not dwell on this document for very long. The goal of a résumé is to make an individual stand out from the competition.
The job seeker should adapt the résumé to every position they apply for. It is in the applicant’s interest to change the résumé from one job application to another and to target it to the needs of the specific position. A résumé is a highly customizable document.
The three major differences between CVs and résumés are the length, the purpose and the layout. A résumé is a brief summary of your skills and experience over one or two pages, a CV is more detailed and can stretch well beyond two pages. The résumé will be tailored to each position, while the CV will stay the same and any changes will be in the cover letter.
A CV has a clear chronological order listing the whole career of the individual, while a résumé’s information can be shuffled around to best suit the applicant. The main difference between a résumé and a CV is that a CV is intended to be a full record of your career history. A résumé is a brief, targeted list of skills and achievements.
Usage around the world
A résumé is the preferred application document in the USA and Canada. Americans and Canadians would only use a CV when applying for a job abroad or if searching for an academic or research oriented position.
In the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, a CV is used in all work environments. Résumés are not used at all. The CV prevails in mainland Europe and there is even a European Union CV format available for download.
In Germany, the CV is more commonly known as a Lebenslauf. Applying for a job requires more documentation than in other countries. German employers want a lot of information about a candidate even before they make their first decisions on who to accept for an interview, so you must send them a packet with a cover letter, a “Lebenslauf” (CV), a passport photograph, school certificates, and testimonials of previous employment.
In Australia, India and South Africa, the terms résumé and CV are used interchangeably. The term résumé is used more for jobs in the private sector and a CV is more commonplace when applying for public service positions.
Questions regarding your résumé or CV can be addressed by your career advisor in the Career Services office during Walk-In hours (M-F, 1:30-3:30pm), or by appointment. In addition, Career Services has information, and sample resumes and CVs specifically for Davidson students on their website to use as guides.