Curriculum Vita or Resume? What’s the Difference?

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.

The CV
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.

The Résumé
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.


Pre-Med and Life Sciences Internships for Summer 2012

Internships and Summer Research Opportunities in the Life Sciences for 2012 are provided here.  Search for opportunities that meet any of the following criteria:

  1. Biomedical research
  2. Located in a medical or clinical setting
  3. Located in a medical school or health science center
  4. Has “biomedical” as a descriptor
  5. May be of particular interest to pre-med students

In addition to the valuable experience and good pay that an internship will give you, very many of the opportunities listed on this website (see below) also provide travel reimbursement, housing and meals. Don’t let concerns about living expenses or the location of an organization posted on this website prevent you from checking out an exciting and challenging  Internship position! If travel support, housing and meals are provided, this information will almost always be included in the details about the Internship that can be found by clicking on the internship website next to the organization’s name and location.

Pre-Med Internships for Summer 2012

Becoming a Physician Assistant

The physician assistant profession is a career which can be lucrative in a short period of time. It is a relatively new field, having only been around since the late 1960s after the Vietnam War ended. Experienced naval officers coming home needed jobs. However, with no equivalent professions related to what the officers had done during the war, the physician assistant profession was born.

When researching physician assistant school prerequisites, you will discover that it is no longer necessary to have miltary experience.  However, it is still required to have medical experience prior to entry into the physician assistant program at most schools.

Work Requirements 
Most physician assistant programs prefer that applicants have two years of relevant medical experience before applying. Work as a paramedic, a nurse, a respiratory therapist, or a medical assistant are examples of relevant work history experiences.

Volunteering, office work, medical billing and coding are not considered relevant medical experiences. Hands-on experience with patients is the key requirement for qualification.

Educational Requirements
Being in solid academic standing is also a requirement when applying for PA programs. You need to have taken and completed certain prerequisite classes. Most programs require general courses in English, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and microbiology. The majority of the physician assistant programs will also require a bachelors degree. (Some programs will not require this as a prerequisite, but this is changing so that eventually all programs will require the undergraduate degree.)

Application Process
The application process is competitive, as there are many applicants applying each year for a small number of openings. Make sure that your application is strong overall, and that you also have a strong, well-written personal statement as well.

Interview Process
The interview process is intense, and will require careful preparation. Practice ahead of time carefully and dress appropriately.  You may be asked personal questions regarding your character during the interview. (Are you the type of person that the interviewer would trust with the care of a member of their family?)

Difference Between a Nurse Practitioner and a Physician’s Assistant
There is a difference between a Nurse Practitioner and a Physician Assistant.  A Physician Assistant must be supervised by a physician, while a Nurse Practitioner may have their own practice.  For more details, go to Laying the Foundation for Physician Assistant Degree Programs.

Summer Health-Related Internships and Opportunities for 2012

There are many summer internship opportunities in health related fields. Most programs have application deadlines in January, February and March.

Opportunities are available in the following areas:
Research | Clinical | Public Health | Dental Medicine | Veterinary | International Opportunities | For Disadvantaged/Underrepresented Minority Students

These links are provided for your convenience and do not represent an endorsement by the Davidson College Office of Career Services, or Swarthmore College.  Click on the link of the areas you are interested in to find out about details, deadlines and requirements.  Start now to look for summer internships as positions will be competitive.

University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Offers Unique VMD-PhD Degree

SARS – AIDS – Ebola – Avian Influenza –Anthrax –  Botulism – Plague – West Nile Virus –
Mad Cow Disease  – Smallpox

Over 60% of all infectious diseases of animals can also affect humans. Incidences of new, emerging zoonotic infectious diseases are also on the rise.

Veterinarian-scientists, by virtue of their broad experience in multiple species and extensive training in both molecular and whole animal contexts, are uniquely qualified to address the complex problems presented in modern biomedical research. Earning a combined VMD-PhD degree at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine can prepare you for addressing these issues.

As part of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Vet is a veterinary college and a partner in one of the world’s great biomedical research centers. The interrelationship between animal health and human health –Many Species, One Medicine™ – is at the heart of the school’s research tradition. Knowledge gained from studying animals is vital for understanding human disease. Biomedical research is entering an era that requires the application of molecular knowledge to whole animal physiology.

Students in the program receive full funding support, including Veterinary School and Graduate School tuition and a graduate-level stipend with student health insurance. Funding is also available in scholarship form through the Pfizer Animal Health Diversity Initiative.

Past graduates of the program have entered areas such as:

  • Academics (Faculty)
  • Biotechnology or the Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Government Health and Science Agencies
  • Public Health and Emerging Diseases
  • Regulatory Medicine
  • Contract Research
  • Military Service
  • Clinical Research and Clinical Practice

For more information on the program, go to

Information to Improve Public Health

The Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce helps the public health workforce find and use information effectively to improve and protect the public’s health. It is a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations, and health sciences libraries which provide timely, convenient access to selected public health resources on the Internet.

This website also provides links to information in the following main categories. Click on those sites of interest to you to locate organizations and resources of interest.

Public Health Overview

Public health is the science and art of creating healthy communities through education, research, and promotion of healthy lifestyles. In public health, the focus is on health promotion and disease/injury prevention; this is in contrast to the medical model of care,which focuses more heavily upon diagnosing and treating illnesses and conditions after they occur.

Because of their “big picture” perspective, public health experts play a key role in emergency preparedness and response.* This may be why public health has become such a growing field in recent years.

You can earn over fifteen degrees from an accredited school of public health, including undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees. The most common are:

  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
  • Doctor of Science (ScD)

Find an overview of Public Health here to see if this is something you are interested in, and stop by Career Services to find out about internships, shadowing possibilities and ways to connect with alumni in the field to conduct information interviews.

Harvard’s Division of Medical Sciences Offers Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program

This summer 2012 Harvard’s Division of Medical Sciences will offer the Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program (SHURP) from Sunday, June 3 to Saturday, August 11.
 This is a ten-week summer research program for college students in under-represented groups within the sciences, and is offered for students who are:

  • currently-enrolled undergraduates considering careers in biological or biomedical research sciences,
  • who have already had at least one summer (or equivalent term-time) of experience in a research laboratory,
  • who have taken at least one upper-level biology course that includes molecular biology, and
  • are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • The deadline to apply is February 1, 2012.

SHURP is one of the summer research programs participating in the Summer Research Early Identification Program of the Leadership Alliance, a consortium of 33 colleges and universities dedicated to improving the participation of historically underrepresented students in graduate education programs.

Emphasis is on matching students with interests as much as possible.  The 2012 summer research opportunities will be available in a variety of biological and biomedical sciences including (but not limited to):

  • cellular and developmental biology
  • cell cycle regulation
  • cardiac and cardio-pulmonary functions and pathology
  • studies of blood cells
  • cancer biology
  • endocrinology
  • immunology
  • microbiology
  • molecular biology and genetics
  • neuroscience, receptor structure and functions
  • transmembrane signaling mechanisms
  • study of clotting mechanisms
  • virology

More information, including stipends, housing, faculty research interests and application materials can be found here.  Application deadline for SHURP 2012 will be February 1, 2012.

Contact Information
Answers to many common questions about SHURP can be found here.  If you have further questions, please email to contact either:

  • Sheila Thomas, PhD, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Minority Affairs, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Faculty Director, Diversity Programs, Division of Medical Sciences (phone: 617-432-1342), or
  • Deborah Milstein, SHURP Staff Assistant (phone: 617-432-4980)

Still have questions?  Send an email or call at 617-432-4980.


Allied Health Care Careers

Allied health careers are a broad range of health care professions that deliver patient health care services, besides nursing or physicians. As many as 100 different medical jobs can be found in allied health care, with these workers making up approximately 60% of the health care work force. Individuals in allied health work with physicians and nurses, either directly or indirectly with patients to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and technical services in a patient’s treatment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ten of the 20 fastest growing occupations are health care related, largely due to the growing and aging population.

Currently there is a shortage of mid-level specialities in allied healthcare careers, such as physical therapy, physical therapist assistant, occupational therapy, occupational therapist assistant, or speech language pathology or various imaging, respiratory, or laboratory jobs. However, working as a healthcare professional in the allied medical careers is becoming more beneficial as general physicians are decreasing in number and health care is becoming more expensive.