Are there differences between a resume and a resume?

After investigating the deep waters of the Internet, knowing each end of this subject, while forging our own criteria, in this article we reveal if there really is differences between a resume and a Curriculum vitae Or is it a myth?

spoilers: this is a subject with very interesting nuances, so open your mind. Let us begin! ✔

What the RAE says about these terms

If you search for the term “resume”, they automatically show you results for the definition of “curriculum vitae”, because the RAE uses them as synonyms; since the main purpose of both is the same: to serve as a tool to apply for a job.

In fact, this It is a paraphrased definition of what the RAE says 👇:

“Curriculum vitae” (CV) means “lifetime career”, which is used to designate the relationship between personal data, studies, work history and merits of a professional. In American Spanish, the term is also used in this same sense. “CV”. In Puerto Rico, they also use “resumé”, a French adaptation of “résumé”, which is also used in English.

If we let ourselves be carried away by the RAE, there is not a notable difference between both terms; because this same institution, which creates the rules of our language, uses them as synonyms.

However, the RAE only addresses the main purpose of these documents, but not the structure, extension, uses, etc., this is where there are really some differences.

So what is the difference between a Curriculum vitae and a resume?

From the outset, we can tell you that the purpose of both is the samebut the way of use can change slightly to adapt, mainly, to the country of origin.

The slight differences between a resume and a Curriculum vitae

That said, let’s see the differences (not so marked) between both documents 👇:

The format

On the one hand, the resume is a more informal documentwhose format is flexible and free, being able to adapt both to the country and to the company where the job is sought.

On the other hand, the Curriculum vitae it’s a more formal documentstructured and rigid, with a standard format recognized by recruiters (although there are several types of resumes).

In the resume, work experience and studies are usually prioritized based on the job that is requested; While in the Curriculum vitae a much more complete work-academic history of the entire professional career is usually presented.

The use of the term

The term “curriculum vitae” is most often used in European and Anglo-Saxon countries, as well as in international companies established in other countries; being a much more detailed and extensive document, given its formality, than the resume.

For its part, the term “resume” is commonly used in Latin America, above all, in Colombia; being a more concise and brief document than the Curriculum vitaebecause it focuses on prioritizing the most relevant aspects of the candidate, emphasizing their career.

The structure

Actually, the structure of each document depends, above all, on the country and the company where it will be applied for employment, because they usually have a defined work culture.

Even so, in it Curriculum vitae the following basic scheme is used, commonly 👇:

Header. Profile or professional objective. Work experiences). Academic training. Skills. Optional complementary sections (languages, courses, references, projects…).

Instead, in the resume the following structure is used, generally 👇:

Header. professional presentation. Work experiences). Education. Skills. References (personal and family, above all). Additional optional sections (languages, courses, hobbies, interests, etc.).

The position of the sections can change depending on the profile and professional situation of the candidate; although in the Curriculum vitae it is always preferred to keep the standard format.

The name of some sections

This it’s the subtlest difference between both types of labor documents, because each country has its own language and idioms; so it is logical that some terms change, in general, without this affecting the concept itself, of course. For example 👇:

Summary or professional profile – professional presentation: in it Curriculum vitae the first-second term (summary or professional profile) is usually used, while in the resume it is customary to use the third (professional presentation); but the goal of this snippet is the same in all these cases.
Academic training, studies or education – education: in it Curriculum vitae One of the first three terms is usually used (academic training, studies or education), while in the resume it is customary to use “education” to encompass all regulated studies.

The extension

We already mentioned it before.

The resume is usually a shorter and more concise summary, so it is more usual to keep all the information in a single page (reaching two, at most), since what is important is prioritized.

Compared to Curriculum vitaethat although the suggested extension is one to two pages, there are professional profiles that tend to extend up to a third pageThis is the case with academic and scientific curricula, given the nature of the areas.

The inclusion of references (personal, family and work)

In Colombia, for example, some companies usually require the inclusion of references in the resume, especially personal references and family references; which is unusual in countries where the term “curriculum vitae” is used more, even, where appropriate, companies usually request job references to corroborate the candidate’s data, if they consider it necessary.


This is not a universal ruleIt depends on the company, its work culture, the type of employment, etc. It is not something required by the country, but each company has its policies.

The similarity between a resume and a Curriculum vitae

Just as we cannot deny that there are slight differences between the two labor documents, which are few, especially due to the labor culture of the country and of the company where the job is sought, we cannot hide the fact that there is a very important similarity.

And it is that both documents have the purpose of attractively exposing the professional information of a candidate for a job position; whether in its concise or extensive version or with more or fewer sections, the purpose is not changed under any circumstances.

So it is not wrong to use these terms as synonyms, in some cases, especially when it does not infer the labor policies of the country or the company.

When to use a Curriculum vitae and when to use a resume?

Taking into account the theory that circulates the most on the Internet, this is how you can decide 👇:

Use a Curriculum vitae If you want to present in detail your work and academic career in companies in European, Asian, Anglo-Saxon countries, etc. Use a resume if you want to summarize to a minimum your academic career in companies in Latin American countries, keeping only the essential information for a specific job position, without the extension defining the relevance of the data.

What we advise 👇:

Use the labor document that attractively presents your most relevant information, respecting the labor culture of the country and of the company where you will apply for the job, regardless of the name of the document, based on its objective, which is the same in both cases. .

It is not that we want to go against the grain on this topic, it is that we want your professional presentation not to be limited to slight differences that distinguish between one document to another, because the truth is that the purpose never changes, despite these differences, which is what matters.


Always adapt your resume to the country, the company and the job positionbecause it is the best way to show that you have the capacity to adapt (an important aptitude), that is, that you can adapt to a job, even if it is in a different country from your country of origin.

In conclusion…

In the end, the reality is that the differences between a resume and a Curriculum vitae They refer more to the work culture of the country where the term is used, be it America, Europe, Asia…

That is why both terms are used interchangeably in many countries, because their purpose is the same, since both present the most relevant academic and employment information of a job applicant, subtly varying the way the content is presented.

In Resume-Examples we use these terms interchangeably to refer to aspects of writing, design, and basic structure; however, when necessary, we develop curriculum examples adapted to each country, respecting their work culture.

So, when you are going to apply for a job in a country other than your country of origin, familiarize yourself with its work culture to find out what changes to consider in your job presentation; The same applies to applying for jobs in international companies.

In summary, meet your potential employer and adapt to their labor policies, without this meaning breaking your head so much for what is the correct name of this document. ✔