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The Difference Between an Executive Resume and a Curriculum Vita

The goals of a curriculum vitae (CV) and an executive resume are the same – to present the candidate in the best possible light. However, there are some differences in the two.

The CV is the standard format for job applications throughout most of the world, but in the United States resumes are more common, although CVs are still used in this country for jobs in the academic sector.

A CV is basically a complete record of your entire professional history, while an executive resume is a more concise, sharply targeted listing of transferable skills and achievements designed to demonstrate your potential value to the reader.

In short, CVs are more job-focused, while resumes are more skill-focused. A resume is by nature more self-promoting, and there is much more room for creativity in presentation.

So which is more appropriate for your needs? The general rule is that if you are applying for a job in the United States – whether you are American or not – use a resume unless you are applying for an academic position. Anywhere else in the world, use a CV.

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